Pasta, or spaghetti noodles, are a staple dinner item in every household. It’s also great for family gatherings, as there is an option for pre-cooking pasta. But pasta can sometimes get dry, brittle, and tasteless after becoming cold. No one wants that type of pasta, for sure!
So, you need to keep your pasta warm until you serve it or plan to eat it. Keeping the pasta warm won’t make the pasta sticky, soggy, or dry. Moreover, you don’t have to put it in the fridge just to keep it fresh.
We have three methods that will guide you on how to keep pasta warm. Then, you won’t have any worries about stale pasta.
3 Ways to Keep Spaghetti Noodles Warm
Cooking pasta beforehand is a great idea and a time saver. But, the problem is that the pasta is getting cold, leading to dry, bland pasta that’s too sticky to eat. A warm pasta will warm your heart, but a hard, brittle one will give you the feeling of eating sand.
The best way to keep the pasta warm is by using a slow cooker or a crock pot. They literally have specific settings to keep your food warm. Other than that, there are two more methods that are easy and work as well.
So, if you find your pasta getting cold quickly, these methods are sure life savers!
1. The Slow Cooker Method
A slow cooker or a crock pot, whatever you call it, is an excellent way to keep food warm. The best part is you can also cook pasta in it and forget it until you need to serve it.
A slow cooker simmers any food and gives you an ample amount of time to do other work. Moreover, it also has a “Warm” setting that keeps your food warm. Incredible!
We have two ways to keep spaghetti noodles warm in the crock pot. Let’s try!
(a) Keeping warm without sauce
You can use this method if you don’t want to add sauce to your cooked pasta instantly. It will help your pasta remain warm without sticking to the crock pot or each other.
- Cook your pasta as usual and immediately drain the water. Then, rinse it with cold water and let the water drain.
- Grease the slow cooker with olive oil or butter. Then, pour the drained spaghetti into it.
- Shake the pot with the lid closed, so the pasta gets coated with the oil.
- Now, set the slow cooker to “Warm” and let it be.
- You will have warm pasta to serve even after two or more hours.
(b) Keeping warm with sauce
To get the best result with the sauce, make the pasta sauce straight in the slow cooker. It will already coat the slow cooker and stay warm longer.
- Cook your sauce in the slow cooker for about 8 hours. It will give you some time to prepare for the party or gathering.
- Then half-cook your pasta and leave the rest of the cooking for the slow cooker. It will give you some time to incorporate the sauce and pasta while keeping the dish warm.
- Drain the spaghetti and put it in the sauce an hour before the sauce is ready. Then set the setting to “Low.” It will give you perfectly sauce-coated pasta.
- Then, after the dish is done cooking, put the slow cooker on “Warm” to keep the food warm until serving time.
2. The Water Bath/Double Boiler Method
There is no direct heat involved in this method which is great for not overcooking the pasta. It also keeps the pasta warm and retains moisture.
- Grab a large pot or dish and add water to it. Then, bring the water to a boil and lower the heat.
- At this point, the water will be at the simmering stage. Now, drizzle some olive oil on the pasta and toss it around to coat. It will help not to stick together.
- Place a smaller bowl in the simmering water and add your pasta to it. Cover the smaller bowl and let it be.
- Don’t overfill the large pot, and let any water in the smaller pot.
- If the water level has decreased, add some hot water to it.
- Stir the pasta occasionally to keep it heated throughout. Then serve it with sauce and condiments when needed.
3. The Chafing Dish Method
You have definitely seen a chafing dish at a buffet. It works like a double boiler, but it’s portable. It keeps the food warm, and it is a serve-yourself type of arrangement.
- Assemble your chafing dish. Put the fuel holders on the rack and then add the fuel. Now, place the water dish on the rack.
- You need to be careful now, as you will be adding half an inch of scalding water to the water pan.
- Light the chafing dish’s fuel to let the water stay hot.
- Make sure your pasta is already cooked because chafing dishes don’t cook food; they just keep it warm.
- Now, add the pasta to the food pan and put it in the water pan.
- Cover the dish and make sure everyone covers the lid after taking some.
Tip : Place the chafing dish on the serving station and away from flammable items.
How to Keep Pasta from Sticking?
Pasta has starch in it, and it will eventually stick to anything and even to each other. But sticky pasta tastes weird, and it also can’t hold onto the sauce as much. So, what can be done to get out of this sticky situation?
Here are some tips for you to get non-sticky pasta every time.
Tip 1 : Do not overcook your pasta because it will release a lot of starch.
Tip 2 : Always rinse your pasta with cold water. It helps to stop cooking it and gets rid of any extra starch.
Tip 3 : Do not let your pasta sit in the pasta water after it has cooked. Otherwise, you will get soggy and waterlogged pasta that will clearly taste like nothing
Tip 4 : Coat your pasta with olive oil if you are saving it for later. It will retain moisture and help not to become sticky.
Tip 5 : You can add a few drops of oil to the water you will use to cook the pasta. It will incorporate the oil well into the pasta and naturally not let it stick.
How to Make Pasta Ahead of Time?
If you are going to have a huge gathering and don’t have the time to make pasta, try making it ahead of time. Yes, we know pasta can get brittle and dry, which is totally unacceptable to serve to guests; but hear us out.
We have tricks up our sleeves that will let you make pasta 24 hours ahead of the gathering. Sounds impossible, but yet intriguing! So, let’s not waste any more time and let you in on our little secret.
- Make half-cooked pasta. Just cook the pasta for half the cooking time required in the packaging.
- Drain the pasta and run it under cold water. Then, place them on a baking sheet to cool completely.
- Now, take a mixing bowl and add the pasta to it. Drizzle a few drops of extra virgin olive oil. We recommend using one teaspoon of olive oil for a pound of pasta.
- Then toss the pasta to coat it evenly with the oil.
- Get an airtight container or a ziplock bag. Put your pasta in a container or bag and refrigerate it. Please make sure you put it in the back for a more stable temperature.
- Now, when it is time to use the pasta, just take it out and add it to boiling water to cook just for 1 minute.
How to Store Cooked Pasta?
If you have leftover cooked pasta and don’t want to throw out some perfectly delicious food, here are some ways to store it for later.
2 Days Storage
You can store your pasta in the fridge for 2 days using this method.
- Let your pasta cool down completely.
- If you have any meat with it, try to take it out.
- Then put your pasta into an airtight container and place it in the fridge.
- Make sure to put it at the back of the fridge.
- Then enjoy it later, but within 2 days.
30 Days Storage
This method lets you store your spaghetti for longer and keeps it fresh.
- Let your cooked pasta completely cool down.
- Get a freezer ziplock bag and add your pasta to the bag.
- Seal the bag completely. Use plastic wrap to cover the bag to give extra sealing. It will help retain moisture better.
- Now put it in the freezer on top of other items. However, the pasta can get smashed if you put it under something.
- If you want, you can also divide the pasta and bag it separately. Then put them all in an airtight container to freeze. This will let you serve a single or double portion of pasta instead of the whole thing.
A Warm Summary
Pasta is a simple yet delicious dish, but it can easily get ruined when it’s not warm. Our methods will help keep the pasta warm for longer and make it taste fresh. We also included some other important information that will really help you.
If you have tried any of our methods, let us know by leaving a comment. We will love to help if you have any questions. Have a great day!
Lorena Davalos joined our team during the Lockdown of worldwide pandemic. She is a nutrition expert and has a degree in this subject. Lorena surely knows her onion! She was looking for a platform where she could blend her expertise with commonly asked questions.