I love to eat pasta and vegetable salads in the summer, but I hate to steam up my kitchen to make them. It seems so counter-productive (when the AC has been working hard to keep things cool) to leave a boiling pot on the stove. But then a friend of mine told me a little secret to making pasta in the summer that saves a little heat â€“ turn the heat off once the water has come to a boil! This sounded pretty silly to me, but I thought I’d give it a try. Here’s what I did: brought 2 quarts of room-temperature water and a teaspoon of salt to a boil, added a box of medium-sized pasta shells, waited for the water to return to a boil then covered and turned off the heat. Ten minutes later I had perfect al dente pasta, with much-less-steamy kitchen! I would imagine this would work with most dried pastas (just add one minute of cooking time), but perhaps not fresh pasta where the rolling boil helps keep the noodles separated. Regardless, there’s a rotini and grilled vegetable pasta in my future. Give it a try! — Rebecca F.
Photo credit: Rebecca Firlik.