Guest Post: How to Cook Pasta Quickly in a Skillet

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This guest post comes from our contributor Mama J. from A Little Bit Crunchy, A Little Bit Rock and Roll.

Once you’re done checking out this helpful post, be sure to try making some of these 9 Easy Baked Pasta Recipes.


How to Cook Pasta Quickly in a Skillet

They say a watched pot never boils. Sometimes it feels that way when you are waiting for your pasta water to boil for dinner. Traditional methods for cooking pasta require a large stock pot and about one gallon of water for every pound of pasta you cook. Salted or unsalted water, lid on or lid off- any way you try it, a big pot of water takes a long time to boil.

Years ago I learned that cooking pasta does not have to use a lot of water, and it doesn’t have to take a long time. Pasta can actually be cooked quickly, with less water, in a skillet. Not only are you saving water and fuel, you’re saving time!

Here’s what to do:

1. Take your desired amount of spaghetti and place it in a large skillet. You want the skillet large enough for the spaghetti to fit in without hanging over the edge.

2. Cover the pasta with cold water.

3. Add about half a tablespoon of salt.

4. Bring the water and pasta to a boil.

5. Once the water comes to a boil, your pasta is almost done. Continue cooking until your pasta is al dente; firm but not hard.

6. Drain your pasta, reserving some of the cooking water.

That’s all there is to it. Perfectly cooked pasta- fast! Not only that, but you are also left with a flavorful pasta water that works perfectly for thinning out a thick pasta sauce.


Now that you’re ready to cook up your pasta in no time try this trick out with your next pasta recipe you cook. Check out some of these fantastic pasta recipes from our guest poster Jenni and others: like Easy Homemade Stove Top Mac N’ Cheese, Easy Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Spinach, and 14 Most Popular Italian Pasta Recipes.


About the Blogger:

Mama J Jenni Profile Pic Guest Post: 7 Top Easter/Passover Recipes to ShareJenni Fleener is the creator, photographer and chef behind A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock and Roll. She has had a passion for cooking since she was a child. Forget Saturday morning cartoons, Jenni was watching Julia Child. In high school, she would pour over Rolling Stone and cooking magazines. In college art school, she would come home from the design studio to prepare homemade bread …read more about Jenni on her Featured Foodie profile on RecipeLion.



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  1. Monica says

    So I’m not totally understanding the 2nd step. How much water should be covering the pasta? Just barely covering? An inch covering?

    • Sarah says

      Hi Monica,

      I would say just barely covering the pasta with water is the idea, no more than 1/2″ likely. Thanks!

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