8 Ways to Upgrade Your Pasta

Pasta is a dinner staple, so no doubt you've mastered the art of it by now. But sometimes there are still little mishaps — and we've got the solutions. 

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
2-minute read

Stop pasta from sticking...

...With vinegar

Adding a bit of white vinegar to the cooking water will lower the pH level and stop starch from getting pulled into the water, creating a sticky situation.

...Or with olive oil

Buy Now

As an Amazon Associate and a Bookshop.org Affiliate, QDT earns from qualifying purchases.

If your pasta came out too sticky, let it cool, then sauté it with enough olive oil to lightly coat each noodle. Be sure to stir or toss while reheating.

Stop the pasta from boiling over...

...With butter 

Keep pots of pasta from boiling over by adding 1 tablespoon butter to the water when you add the pasta.

Butter will also keep rice from boiling over. 

...Or with a metal spoon

Stop your pasta water from spilling over with this trick: Add a long metal spoon to the pot, and it will absorb the excess heat and let your pasta cook at the correct boiling point.

Just be careful, because the spoon will get quite hot!

Make your pasta taste its best...

...With its own water

Before you drain pasta, scoop out a cup of the cooking water. When you toss the pasta with the sauce, add a little bit of the water. The starchy water will help the sauce cling to the pasta, making for a tastier dish.

...With cold water

If you forgot about your simmering pot of pasta on the stove, and your noodles are now limp and mushy, try this trick. First run them under the coldest water possible—this will stop the cooking process immediately, and make the starch inside them contract. If you’re making a dish with tomato sauce, heat them back up directly in the sauce, as the acid will help them hold up even better.

...By keeping it warm

Here’s a trick that will keep freshly cooked pasta warmer longer. Place a large mixing bowl underneath your colander as you drain the pasta. The hot water will fill the bowl and heat it up. Once the bowl is warm, dump out the water and put the pasta in the bowl instead. Then cover the bowl, and take your time as you finish cooking the rest of your meal.

Bonus tip: fresh spaghetti in small spaces

Homemade pasta doesn’t need to take over your entire kitchen. Forget those hefty, commercial drying racks. A simple, clean plastic coat hanger hung from a pot rack or cabinet handles can work just as well.

About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.