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Quick Pasta Plus

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I bought a Quick Pasta Plus microwave pasta cooker at a Big Lots bargain store for $4 US.

The instructions were pretty worthless (just a single sheet with pictures), so here is how I did things the first time:

There are water level lines on the ends of bottom section for 1,2,3, and 4 persons. The bottom section also has 2 handles that were separate pieces of the same green plastic that slid into place on each side.

I had a half-used 1 pound box of a store brand thin spaghetti which according to the spaghetti box would be about 4 servings. The top cover of the cooker has both 1 and 2 serving measuring holes so the amount seemed to be about right when I measured it that way.

The top cover also has a perforated section to use as a colander, and a molded in warning not to cook with the top cover in place.

There is also a steamer basket, so after putting in the water and adding the pasta, I put the steamer basket in so there would be something over the pasta and water.

According to the spaghetti box, the normal conventional stovetop cooking time was 7 to 9 minutes. I tried it for 9 minutes in my 1200 watt microwave, took it out, removed the steamer basket, fished out a strand and found it still crunchy. I guessed that 6 more minutes would probably do it, so I put it back in for that long.

After 15 minutes total it came out al dente, the way I like it. After I removed the steamer basket the slide on top cover worked well as a strainer.

My formula for now for cooking time in a 1200 watt microwave is 1 2/3 times the maximum suggested conventional time on the box.

I hope this might prompt some people who have them and put them away frustrated by the non-instructions to take them out and try them again.
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

Re: Quick Pasta Plus

I have used the Quick Pasta Plus some more and thought I would follow up.

The formula of multiplying the longer cooking time on the pasta bag/box by 1 and 2/3 in my 1200 watt microwave seems to work well for me. I have cooked penne and other shapes by this formula and it comes out al dente, the way I like it.

It seems that the practical maximum capacity for uncooked pasta is 8 ounces, half a pound. That seems to correspond with most of the pasta packages reading 2 ounces as one serving and the pasta cooker having water levels for one, two, three, and four persons.

I once tried cooking an entire one pound box of some thick variety of spaghetti (the cellophane wrapper ripped) and about half of it stuck together. The leftover mass kept OK overnight in the refrigerator. That evening I pulled it apart a bit, put it in 2 dishes, added sauce, microwaved each bowl individually for 2 minutes and it was hot and delicious.
post #3 of 4

Re: Quick Pasta Plus

So it makes 2 servings?
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Re: Quick Pasta Plus

Originally Posted by divadoll View Post
So it makes 2 servings?
I think that it all depends on what you consider is the proper size of a serving.

According to the pasta package, one serving is 2 ounces, 1/8 of a pound.

The markings on the pasta maker for water level are for one, two, three, or four persons.

By those measurements, there are four servings in half a pound of pasta.

The pasta I usually cook now I get in a club pack of eight 13 1/2 ounce boxes (just looked and checked the weight). The pasta is multigrain, which according to the box is 51% whole grain, so it's nutritionally a bit better than the all-refined wheat version. When I measure the pasta before cooking, I open the box, pour it all into a large measuring cup, pour half of it back in the box and the rest into the cooker which already has the water in it.

I am a male just under 6 feet tall and 190 pounds (down from 200 a couple of months ago). For me, the pasta is often my main meal of the day. My breakfast is usually a bagel with a small amount of light cream cheese and an apple or banana. I often have a piece of fruit or some fruit yogurt for lunch.

When I eat the pasta, I usually don't have it with meatballs, a salad, or bread. I usually top it with tomato based (usually) meatless sauce that comes in a jar. On the rare occasions I do have a salad (with a small amount of dressing), etc. with it, I eat half of the pasta I cook and put the rest in the fridge for the next day.

The one time I tried cooking a pound of thick spaghetti (because the cellophane package got destroyed) it was too much at once and most of it stuck together. I wasn't going to waste it, so I pulled some apart and had it then, put the rest in the fridge, and finished it the next day. I won't cook that much again at once.

For me, the Quick Pasta Plus cooks well enough with less fussing.
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