Before draining the cooked pasta, be sure to save some of the cooking water to smooth out the sauce. Pasta is best freshly cooked, but it can be prepared a few hours...
Before draining the cooked pasta, be sure to save some of the cooking water to smooth out the sauce.
Pasta is best freshly cooked, but it can be prepared a few hours before your dinner guests arrive. Toss the cooked pasta with just a little plain olive oil, cover and set aside at room temperature for up to two hours. For longer storage, keep in the refrigerator. Reheat by transferring the pasta to a metal colander and setting it into boiling water a few minutes, just until warmed through. Drain and toss with the sauce and some of the reserved cooking water.
Precooked or leftover sauce can be reheated in a microwave. For a single serving just spoon the amount needed onto a microwave-safe plate, cover loosely with wax paper and microwave on high about a minute. For larger quantities, put into the top of a double boiler over simmering water until heated through.
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Casseroles such as lasagna freeze well before cooking. Cover with plastic wrap, then again with aluminum foil and freeze up to 2 months. Remove plastic, replace foil, and cook from the frozen state in a 350-degree oven for about 1¾ hours. Remove foil during last 30 minutes of cooking. A pasta casserole that’s been refrigerated overnight should have an additional 15 to 20 minutes added to the baking time.
Compiled by CeCe Sullivan, Seattle Times home economist