Any Chef knows very well how to manage a proper double cooking process for his pasta dishes but I guess a simple and practical guide would be appreciated especially among the non-professional audience .
But in fact, what is double-cooking? Double cooking is a culinary technique that allows a faster preparation of the orders due to a pre-cooking of the selected pasta. In brief, depending on the pasta type, the normal lead time can be above 15 minutes especially if you use a quality brand ( as a rule of thumb, given the same shape, the longer is cooking-time the better quality is the pasta brand ) and in food service this is definitely a too lengthy waiting time
For this reason pasta can be pre-cooked, usually for half of the time it would normally requires, stored in a proper way, and revived just on demand with simply 60 second additional cooking.
This process is very common and broadly used among PROS, but it’s very important to state that not all the brands perform the same and the difference in final result can be massive. One more time, the better quality is the pasta the better is the performance in double cooking, avoiding pasta stickiness and micro-breaking.
Here are 6 simple standard steps explaining how this process works :
Step 1 : Boil the water. Pasta needs sufficient water, ideally 1 Liter every 100g, it’s important to respect this proportion in order to avoid that pasta stick together.
Step 2 : Add salt. Once pasta is boiling add salt and immediately after add the pasta. It’s commonly thought that the best ratio is 7gr of salt for 1 Liter of water.
Step 3 : Respect the timing. After approx 1 minute in the water it’s better to slightly stir the pasta, and keep stirring in regular interval. The better is the quality of your pasta, the less you need to stir it up. Refer to the table here below for the cooking time ( every different pasta type has a different pre-cooking timing ) based on De Cecco pasta, arguably one top performer brands in double cooking.
Step 4 : Chill the pasta. After the pasta is properly drained proceed spreading the pasta in a classic gastronome tray . The size of the tray depends a lot on the type of pasta you are preparing however a classic GN1/1 : 530 × 325 mm it’s usually suitable. It’s very important not to pile the pasta but keep it evenly spread as much as possible. Add some olive oil on top just to maintain the content of the tray well preserved and seal with cling film .
Step 5 : Store your pasta. Ideally in a blast-chiller but if no blast-chiller is available the best solution is to let the pasta cools down at room temperature and then store it in the fridge .
Step 6 : Revive your pasta. Pasta is now ready to be revived any moment, just put it in boiling water for 60’’ ( follow the table @point 3 ) and in one minute you’ll have a perfectly cooked pasta .
Double-cooking is definitely a key in modern food service especially now that pasta popularity is crossing over any kind of restaurant concept. By following these simple steps it is possible to serve an amazing pasta dish in just few minutes, requiring just a little bit of planning and most important, a good pasta brand!
Keep eating only the TOP !