How do you make leftover spaghetti not dry?

In this article, we will answer the following question: How do you make leftover spaghetti not dry? We will teach you our best trick to keep leftover pasta fresh for longer. We will also give you the most excellent tips for forever successful spaghetti. 

How do you make leftover spaghetti not dry?

To make leftover spaghetti not dry, you have to run the pasta under cold water and drain well. Add a little oil and store them in a box with a lid. When cooked, pasta releases starch. It is this substance that makes spaghetti sticky and dry. 

When making pasta, it often happens that it sticks and looks dry after cooking. Not very practical to serve! Fortunately, there is a trick to prevent the pasta from sticking out of the pan. And this stuff works with any kind of pasta, not just spaghetti. The trick is to add one teaspoon of olive oil to the cooking water. 

Here’s how to do it: 

  1.  Take a large pot. The larger the pot, the less likely the pasta will stick together. 
  2.  Fill the pot 3/4 full with cold water. 
  3. Boil the water. 
  4. When the water boils, add a teaspoon of olive oil. 
  5. Add the pasta to the boiling water.
  6. Once cooked, pour them from the pan into a colander. 

And there you have it, you’ve avoided sticky and dry pasta! You will be able to serve spaghetti and fresh pasta to your guests without worry. 

How does olive oil help with dry spaghetti?

This trick effectively prevents the pasta from sticking, but the explanation is not necessarily what you might think. 

Indeed, olive oil stays on the water’s surface because it is lighter: During cooking, the pasta stays below the water’s surface. Therefore, they are not in direct contact with the olive oil, which is on the surface. So this is not when the oil prevents the pasta from sticking. 

As the water boils, bubbles rise to the surface, which creates a kind of movement in the pot. This movement is sufficient so that the pasta does not clump together. 

Once the pasta is cooked, you empty the pot into a colander to separate the solids’ liquids. This is when the pasta will pass through the oil until now on the water’s surface. 

It is this lubrication that keeps your pasta from sticking. So even when cooling, your pasta does not stick. This technique is great for making cold pasta that doesn’t stick, right? 

Extra tip: Be aware that you should never put olive oil in water if you add tomato sauce to pasta. 

Why? Because the oil layer on your pasta will act as a barrier between the pasta and the sauce. As a result, your pasta will have a hard time mixing with the sauce you have prepared. It would still be a shame, right? If you’re making pasta with olive oil and garlic, that’s okay!

Great tips for successful leftover spaghetti

Pasta is one of many people’s favorite foods: it is the convivial dish par excellence. It can be made into a most refined meal, or more simply a quick way to feed the whole family for those days where one is in too much of a hurry to do anything else.

The secret to having good leftover spaghetti is to cook them right in the first place. So, here we come:

  1. Allow 1 liter (4 cups) of water per serving of pasta. So for a 450g pack, you should use a saucepan that can hold about 5 liters—pasta sticks when not cooked in enough water.
  1. The cooking water should always be salted at the rate of one tsp—coarse salt (ideally) per liter. Don’t be afraid to go over your sodium limits – the pasta will absorb very little of this salt while cooking, but it will make all the difference in taste.
  1. Once the pasta is in the water, stir it well with a wooden spoon to not stick together. Also, stir from time to time during cooking.
  1. Note that the time indicated on the packaging is that provided for “al dente” cooking. This is the Italian way of tasting pasta, but if you like it a little more cooked, increase the cooking time slightly to your liking. 1 to 2 more minutes will give firm pasta, 1 to 2 minutes more will give soft pasta… And if you continue, your pasta will be good for the trash!
  1. If your recipe calls for the pasta to be cooked for longer afterward (for example, for a macaroni and cheese gratin), be careful not to overcook it.
  1.  Unless you want to use the pasta for a cold salad immediately, it should not be rinsed with water.
  1. Return the pasta to the baking dish, and now you can add 1 or 2 tablespoons of a fruity and flavorful olive oil.
  1.  Add a little grated Parmesan to the plates (or other cheese, to taste). 

Enjoy immediately while it’s hot!

One last tip

And one last little tip, but not the least: please never break your long pasta into small pieces before putting them in the water. This will not make them cook faster, but you will insult generations of Roman mothers, Venetian, Neapolitan, Genoese, Milanese, Bergamask, Sicilian, and others… And you wouldn’t want to have them all on your back, would you?

If you have any tips or questions on the content, please let us know!

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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