We've all faced this situation before. Last night's pasta dish was eaten fresh and it was incredible. We were happy about the leftover because it meant we could enjoy the pasta once more. Whether at work or at home, we fix ourselves a plate and microwave it. Everyone of us has been mostly disappointed with what comes out.
Luckily, there are effective and varied ways (including the microwave) to get the best out of your leftover pasta (it deserves the best) using what may be available to you.
Type of Pasta Dish
Due to the variety of pasta dishes that are out there, the most important aspect of this post is tailoring it as much as possible. The first distinction is whether you are reheating plain pasta or pasta in sauce (includes baked pasta dishes).
This guide is based around this dichotomy.
Due to the lack of sauce, it is often more challenging to reheat plain pasta without overcooking it. The following options garner the best results.
Bring enough salt water to cover the pasta to a boil. Once you have done so, pour the leftover pasta into the water. Allow this to simmer for 32 seconds. If you require further time, try 2 more 15-18 second intervals. Pour and strain this pasta no later than 60 seconds after boiling.
Plain pasta can be reheated in the microwave, but it must be done right. Place the leftover pasta in a microwave safe dish. Cover the top of the dish fully with plastic cling wrap with one corner open to allow for steam to escape. Microwave on medium to high heat for 1 minute. If not heated enough, use 15 second intervals until desired temperature is achieved.
Pasta in Sauce and Baked Pastas
These pastas can also be reheated on the stove top and the microwave. They can also be reheated in the oven. A larger amount of pasta will take longer to heat.
Put the pasta in a heat proof plastic ziploc bag. Securely seal the bag and place in a pot of boiling water. Allow the bagged pasta to boil for 1 minute. If the amount requires more time, check the temperature every 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Place the pasta in a microwave protected plate or dish. Cover the plate with plastic cling wrap with one corner opened to allow for steam to escape. Heat at medium heat for 1 minute. If the food is not heated sufficiently, heat again for 18 second intervals until the desired temperature is reached.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Celsius. Place the pasta in an oven safe dish and cover completely with aluminium foil. Place pasta in the oven for 20 minutes. Check to see if the pasta is heated by inserting the tip of a knife in the centre for 5 seconds. If it is hot to the touch the pasta is ready. If it is still cold, allow the pasta to remain covered in the oven for another 10 minutes.