We’ve all been there – you get caught up in an episode of your favorite TV show or distracted by an engaging conversation, only to return to some pasta you had on the stove to discover that you’ve overcooked it. Preparing pasta is a relatively straightforward process, but cooking for even a minute or two longer than the instructions call for can completely change the texture and leave you with a gluey, gummy mess. While you can’t turn back time, know that there are a few ways to salvage your pasta and turn it into a dish so delicious that no one will know the difference.
The most important thing to do with overcooked pasta is to cool it down immediately by draining and rinsing it with cold water to stop the cooking process. This will help prevent it from becoming even more mushy.
Next, toss your pasta in a skillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil or butter and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until it gets slightly crispy on the edges. This will give your pasta a new life and add a pleasant crunch.
For serving, there are a few different options we recommend. You can certainly toss your pasta with any sauce you may have had planned, but if possible, go with a hearty, flavorful option that can help to hide any remaining mushiness. If you’re still not confident in your pasta’s texture, toss it into a soup, or try mixing it with some cheese sauce and baking for a delicious and creamy homemade mac and cheese.