Taking a Cue from Instant Ramen, Barilla Creates Pasta That Doesn’t Need Boiling Water

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It’s the instant ramen-ification of pasta

You’ve got better things to do, right?

If you’re one of those people for whom the thought of waiting for water to boil is enough to have you reaching for the Seamless app, there’s still hope for you — Barilla has decided to help you out. The pasta maker’s new line of noodles, called Pronto, is designed to eliminate as many steps to cooking pasta as possible.

It’s no longer necessary to wait for the water to boil. Even though that’s pretty much the only thing required to cook pasta, we’ve all been hangry before. No judgement.

While you’ll still need water, Pronto pasta only requires you to add dry pasta to cold water, turn on high heat, and give at least a semblance of stirring the pot. In 10 minutes, the pasta should be cooked, and all the water will have been absorbed into your noodles.

So there you have it: science has finally simplified pasta into the Italian cousin of instant ramen. It’s a good start, Barilla, but call us when you start incorporating the dried shrimp.

It's really easy to make spaghetti at home! Using jarred tomato sauce means you can have dinner on the table in under a half hour, too. Keep on reading to find out how to make a basic spaghetti with meat sauce!

Before you can start making your spaghetti you will need to first get the proper supplies and materials. To make this spaghetti you will need:

  • a box of spaghetti
  • a jar of marinara sauce
  • 1-2 pounds of ground beef or Italian sausage
  • two large pots, one for boiling the pasta and the other for making the sauce
  • serving untensils
  • salt
  • water

You can use as much meat as you want, really - but anywhere from 1-2 pounds per large jar of sauce should work out best. I tend to use 1 pound of meat nearly every time.

10 Answers 10

similar to what julio said, the main reason is that typical wheat-based noodles release a lot of starch into the water, which changes the consistency of the soup. the starches can add a dirty colour to the water, but more than that, they can also thicken the soup undesirably (think of making a roux). Finally, if there are leftovers, the noodles can sometimes become completely water logged, making eating it the next day a bit of a soggy experience.

That said, with all these considerations there are times when you might add the noodles directly in-- non-starchy noodles (eg. like rice noodles) seem to do ok. also parboiling regular pasta before hand seems to help a lot with the starch and can still help you achieve the flavour integration you mentioned.

Did you make this recipe?

  • If you don't have tongs, use a large spoon and fork to combine the noodles with cheese and butter.

  • Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days.
  • The butter and cheese may separate from the noodles the longer the pasta is stored.

Pasta and Broccoli Tips for Success

A few quick tips for making this perfect every time.

  1. Don’t overcook the pasta, there is nothing worse than mushy pasta.
  2. Reserve some of the pasta water before draining, you’ll add some of it back in after which will keep it from being dry, without having to add too much oil.
  3. And most importantly, use good cheese! I like Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano, don’t buy the cheap stuff, it’s just not the same.
  4. If you like a little spice, add some crushed red pepper flakes.

Is cheese in instant ramen really that good?

I feel like it's a joke that everyone plays, that cheese in ramen is amazing. I don't know. As a huge fan of instant ramen, I thought I should give it a try today!

I have those spicy Samyang chicken noodles, they are my favorite for a meal. I'm thinking about making it more wholesome for a meal-- maybe gochujang chicken, onions, bok choy, an egg, some more broth, etc etc. And I'm making it really spicy, and I've heard people rant and rave about cheese being the end all to it.

Could someone please enlighten me? Is it REALLY that good?

Honestly, I've gotten to the point where I won't have instant ramen without cheese on top (I don't have instant ramen that much anyway so it works out okay haha). I will say though that I've only tried this with a ramen that is super brothy and from what I know, Samyang noodles are pretty dry? I think it'll work but it won't be the same as having cheese with a ramen with more broth.

The best way I can describe it is that it makes the broth and the ramen super creamy. I've heard of some people adding cream cheese to their broth to achieve the same effect as well but I haven't tried it. The cheesy flavor isn't ever what I'm after, just the creaminess (i am not regularly a fan of the kraft singles type cheese, will go out of my way to not eat it but it's my#1 for adding to ramen).

The way I've seen people to it and the way I do it is:

prepare your ramen and get it fully ready (make sure it's plenty hot)

put a slice of american cheese (like the kraft singles, not real cheese stuff) on top

cover the dish completely to allow the cheese to melt (with a plate or another bowl or something)

when it's all melted, it looks kinda strange so you gotta mix it real good so the cheese can disperse in the soup

SA’s leading chefs tell us what quick pasta meals they throw together at home

If there is one ingredient that is in all of our kitchen cupboards, it is a dried pasta or noodle of some description. Cheap and almost infinitely versatile, a supper of spaghetti Bolognese or a pasta salad for Sunday lunch is in most of our cooking repertoires.

We chatted to some of South Africa&rsquos best chefs this week to ask about what pasta we might find in their cupboards at home, how they prepare their pasta dishes and if they have any tips for us home cooks. Read on for all the details:

&ldquoI cook with Barilla dried pasta at home&rdquo, admits well known Joburg chef, with a guilty smile. His cooking tips are simple, &ldquoDon&rsquot add oil to the pasta, so the sauce sticks to the pasta as it should. However, the best way to eat pasta is plain with really top quality olive oil, salt and Parmesan cheese. Then you can appreciate the quality of the ingredients.&rdquo

&ldquoI must say at the moment I have really been enjoying linguine, especially when I&rsquom in the mood for making a dope pasta dish for friends and family. I love the feel and the way it looks.&rdquo Katlego confesses with a laugh, &ldquoOn the other hand, being a bachelor and working crazy hours (15-18 hours a day), after a long day and needing a quick snack before bed, you can&rsquot go wrong with a bowl of instant noodles!&rdquo

He tells us his pasta rules: &ldquoJust stick to the basics – just make sure that your water is boiling and is seasoned with good salt, and not overcooking or undercooking the pasta. If I&rsquom feeling adventurous I normally cook the pasta in half water and half chicken stock – it gives the whole dish lots of extra flavour!&rdquo

Cheyne Morrisby, Chef and Owner of Cheyne&rsquos, SHIO, Lucky Bao and Ding-Dong Bar

Cheyne chatted to us on the phone: “I don&rsquot really eat pasta much, the noodle of my choice is an instant noodle. I buy a bunch from Korea Mart, in Observatory. They stock an incredible range of instant noodles. Cover the noodles with boiling water, let them sit for 2-3 minutes until soft. In my fridge I always have kimchi and wakame (dried seaweed) and I stir some of that through.”

His secret tip: “I also use a bit of Dashinamoto for extra flavouring, which is an instant Japanese soup powder with a salty, fishy flavour. To finish it all off I add a touch of chopped fresh green chilli, its absolutely super delicious and easy to make!”

Kerry Kilpin, Head Chef at Bistro Sixteen82, Cape Town

Kerry admits that life can get hectic for a successful chef, &ldquoThere is nothing quite like homemade fresh pasta but when there isn&rsquot time to make your own, I pop to Pick n Pay.&rdquo Her tips for tasty pasta? &ldquoMy trick with cooking pasta is to make sure you have enough salt in your water, undercook your pasta, add to your pasta sauce and allow the pasta to finish cooking until al dente in the sauce. This way the pasta absorbs and takes on more of the flavour of the sauce.&rdquo

Andre Hill, Head Chef at Upper Bloem Restaurant, Cape Town

Andre&rsquos ultimate comfort food is a bowl of pasta. &ldquoThe two types of pasta I eat the most are Conchiglie, better known to me as a kid &ldquolittle snails&rdquo and the Fusilli Tricolour both from Woolworths&rdquo, he says. “I ate these two a lot as a kid, so it brings back good memories, I guess I liked the idea of pretending I&rsquom eating snails, and what kid doesn&rsquot like things that are colourful?&rdquo, he says smiling.

He shares the ultimate 2-minute noodle hacks: &ldquoI have to admit though I never been one to shy away from a quick 2-minute noodle and chucking everything I have into it! Spices, Nuts, herbs, Leftovers, only it must take under 5 minutes.&rdquo

So when cooking I always add a bit of spice into the water, Masala, Jeera, Dried Dhania or Chilli. Depending on what I&rsquom making I might add a little of the stock tubs (that as a chef, I would never normally admit to using at home!) and at the end, just taking some of the liquid reducing down, adding the same amount of butter and making a quick emulsion to coat the cooked pasta.&rdquo

Jess van Dyk, Head Chef at La Colombe Restaurant, Cape Town

Jess admits that pasta is one of her all-time favourite meals. &ldquoGrowing up my whole family loved it, and my mom makes a damn good lasagna. So obviously its always the first option if I have to cook on my off days.&rdquo she tells us. Is there anything better than homemade lasagna?

Which pasta does Chef Jess reach for? &ldquoI love the Woolies linguine. I find it&rsquos got the best bite and overall texture. I also like linguine as it goes well with both Italian style or Asian dishes (its a good substitute for a decent egg noodle). But then again, 2-minute noodles are probably the best substitute for a quick stir fry!&rdquo

Jess uses the pro method of reserving some of the pasta water: “Before straining the pasta, I save about 500ml of this pasta water which I add to my sauces or pasta dish, as it takes away any starchiness and gives a glossy but not watery finish to the dish.&rdquo

Glen Williams, Chef Proprietor of Foxcroft Restaurant

A longtime fan of instant Asian noodles, Glen told us about his go-to noodle, &ldquoMy favourite brand is Nissin dae ramen, its a basic ramen noodle with killer flavours. I buy one kind with a panda on the wrapper and it is my favourite because they’re thicker noodles and the flavour is “sour veg beef hotpot”. It comes with a little foil packet of pickled/fermented veg – winner!&rdquo.

His tip to spicing up instant noodles: &ldquoBlack vinegar also makes almost any Asian noodle dish better. From soba to ramen, it just packs such a flavour punch.&rdquo

Step 6: Cook Hard and Fast

Once everything is in the pan together—cooked pasta, hot sauce, pasta water, and extra fat—it's time to simmer it. Simmering not only reduces liquid (and thereby thickens the sauce), but also contributes to mechanical stirring, helping that starchy pasta water do its job of emulsifying the sauce with the fat and getting it to coat the pasta. The hotter your pan, the more vigorously the sauce will bubble, and the better the emulsion you'll form. I crank my burner up to maximum heat and cook, stirring and tossing the pasta constantly (to ensure that it doesn't stick to the bottom), adding more pasta water as necessary until it gets that perfectly saucy texture.

Finishing pasta, you'll notice, is a game of constant adjustments. Pasta water gets added throughout the process in order to adjust consistency. Don't be afraid of it!

Putting it all Together

Shirataki noodles are a versatile keto-friendly ingredient that will curb your cravings for pasta and rice. Although these noodles will not mimic the properties of traditional rice and pasta varieties, you may enjoy much more because of their unique texture and ability to soak up all the delicious flavors in your favorite sauces when prepared correctly.

Once you’ve prepared the shirataki noodles, feel free to toss them into any of your favorite sauces and add some meat and cheese on top for extra protein and fat. If you would rather follow a keto-friendly noodle recipe instead, try making some keto chicken pad thai or keto pumpkin carbonara. These dishes cover such a diverse range of flavors and textures that you’ll never get bored of them.

Whether you follow recipes or experiment with them on your own, shirataki noodles are a great addition to the keto diet that can improve your health on many levels. Try them out for yourself — you might be pleasantly surprised.

I think the problem here is that the definitions overlap quite a bit, which is always a good cause for confusion.

Pasta is defined as shaped dough made of Durum wheat and boiled in water. That is the traditional pasta in my opinion.

Noodles are uaully long and thin, and can be made of any starchy material, like rice or even beans.

Basically, things like risoni or even fusilli are pasta, but not noodles. Spaghetti and fettuccine are both noodles and pasta. Rice noodles like ramen are noodles but not pasta.

All noodles are pasta, all pastas are not noodles. For instance couscous is pasta, but it bears no resemblance to a noodle. Most pasta is made of wheat flour, but not all. Even if it's made of rice or some other grain, it's still pasta, but it might not be a noodle.

Noodle is or atleast has become a shape. Period. In taste texture usage and ingredients, Asian and Italian "noodles" are different creatures altogether. And yes pasta is not just referring to the shape of a cooked duram wheat for. It's more of a reference to the entire dish or end result. It's a bit of a misnomer as pasta is the "noodle"" and the end resulting dish. When I think "noodle" I think of Asian cuisine. Not Italian. However many north American folks think noodles not pasta when eating say spaghetti or linguine. why. Not sure. It's pasta man.

Look folks, let's not confuse this issue. Noodles are pasta and pasta are noodles! All the same.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo is one of the most basic and delicious pasta recipes EVER&mdashand it couldn't be easier to make! Our recipe is a little untraditional (there's heavy cream) but it's just as easy to whip up as the rest. In fact, it's so easy you can memorize it! Half a cup butter, cheese, and cream is all you need to make this luscious sauce. (Well, plus some pasta water, but that doesn't really count. 😉)

What is Fettuccine Alfredo?

Tracing back to 15th century Rome, this dish quickly became popular throughout Europe, and later America. In the beginning, the sauce was comprised solely of butter, parmesan, and pasta water. Nowadays, there are all sorts of interpretations of the original recipe. Some add cream, some add more cheeses and herbs, and many add meat or fish.

What can I serve this with?

Shrimp Alfredo and Chicken Alfredo are two of the most popular types of Alfredo dishes&mdashboth delicious and hearty adaptations on the original. Steak or salmon would also be delicious, but quite heavy. If you're looking for something on the lighter side, try folding halved grape tomatoes and fresh spinach into the hot pasta before serving.

How do I reheat my leftovers?

We recommend reheating your pasta in a pan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Microwaving the pasta can give your noodles a too-soft texture, and might leave your sauce greasy instead of creamy.


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