This 1 Kitchen Staple Could Save Your Overcooked Pasta


It’s happened to us all. You’ve had a busy day at work, you’re trying to wind down, sort a quick dinner and suddenly, the door goes, you lose track of time and before you know it, your pasta is overdone.

You’re too tired to change it so you’re left with limp, sad pasta instead of the al dente texture you were hoping for.

It’s a sad state of affairs really but it’s avoidable with one simple ingredient: olive oil.

Olive oil revives overcooked pasta

So, according to the food experts over at Mashed, all you need to do to get your pasta back to a decent texture is a little bit of olive oil. They recommend heating olive oil in a skillet, adding the overcooked pasta and gently sautéing over a medium heat until the pasta is a little firmer or to your preferred texture.

Additionally, the folks at She Knows recommend adding some garlic or parmesan to add an “extra kick” and some flavour to disguise the texture and flavour of overcooked pasta.

Extra garlic and parmesan? You don’t have to tell me twice.

How to prevent overcooking pasta

Of course, ideally, we would never overcook pasta in the first place and while timing is an essential component of preventing this, the experts at Myrecipes recommend the following tips for nailing it the first time:

  • Use a big stockpot with plenty of water instead of shoving pasta into a small saucepan, especially if you’re cooking spaghetti or other long pastas
  • Use a good several spoonfuls of salt to the water to ensure the pasta seasons well. Don’t worry, you won’t be ingesting most of it.
  • Don’t just boil your water, bring it to a rolling boil to release starch. Don’t forget to give it a good stir, too.
  • If you’re planning to cook pasta in a sauce, take your cooked pasta out of the pot around three minutes sooner than package instructions suggest, as the sauce will also cook it.
  • Keep your pasta water for thickening sauces.
  • Don’t rinse the pasta.
  • Store cooked pasta correctly. Once cooled, put leftovers into an airtight container and refrigerate. According to the pasta experts at Barilla, you should eat it within two days.

Bon appétit!