Over the years we’ve become fans of microwave cookery … it’s fast, it’s convenient, it takes less energy, and it uses less-expensive energy. And, with experience, it can produce excellent results. We’ve reverse-engineered recipes to use the microwave, and it’s all we use to cook bacon. In short, we use our microwave for much more than melting butter!
One set of techniques that the microwave is well-suited to perform is steaming: fish, vegetables, and more. But we’ve never used it to boil, per se. That is, until recently ….This is where the Fasta Pasta - “The Original Microwave Cooker” - comes into the battery.
OK: … hate the name! Pun-ny product names, especially those that involve mispronunciations and/or regional vocal accents, annoy me. And we did not test so cannot vouch for the recipes for dishes other than pasta. But this product definitely does what it says it does best: it cooks pasta, of many types and sizes, very well. In fact, it was chosen by Cooks’ Illustrated, over offerings from two other brands we know and love, as the “Winner” and “Highly Recommended” Microwave Pasta Cooker.
The technique is as simple as you would want it to be: choose your pasta and measure out up to 4 servings (or 8 servings with the Family Size), add salted cold water to the indicated level, microwave on high power for the appropriate time (we usually use the boiling time on the pasta package, but the time may vary depending on your microwave), cover and drain, shake to release any remaining water, strain again, and then rinse if desired (and strain, shake and strain again as needed). That’s it! The Cooking Guide (included) spells out the details.
The lid includes portion-measuring holes for spaghetti-type pastas, and drain slots at one end to assure safe, controlled draining of the hot water. The water level guides are clearly marked on both sides of the cooker, so there’s no need to measure precisely. During the cooking cycle, the patent-pending reservoir design circulates the water and “tumbles” the pasta, to assure even cooking. After cooking, the lid snaps firmly into place over the handles on the long sides of the cooker for easy draining, without exposing your hands to the dangers of boiling water and steam. And when you’re done, both pieces go safely onto the top rack of your dishwasher for easy cleaning. As an added bonus, because you’re cooking your pasta in less water, the pasta water you drain off will be starchier than normal pasta water, which makes it work even better when you add a little to thicken your pasta sauces (See Cool Tip: Pasta, Get Sauced!).
The Fasta Pasta cooks a wide variety of pastas: all forms/sizes of spaghetti strands, fresh and dry tortellini, fresh and frozen ravioli, a variety of shells, macaronis, and noodles (including lasagna!), and even gives special attention to gluten-free versions. We even use it for rice noodles when we make Quick Vietnamese Beef Pho.
Available in 2 sizes.
In short, this is a well-designed, highly functional pasta cooker that performs without wasting water or energy … definitely a Cool Tool!
- Regular Size (4 Servings):11¾”/30cm x 5¾”/14.6cm x 3¾”/9.5cm - overall dimensions
- Family Size (8 Servings): 12”/30.5cm x 7”/17.8cm x 5”/12.7cm - overall dimensions
- FDA-approved Polypropylene PP5
- Top-rack Dishwasher Safe
- Cooking Guide included
- Additional recipes available online
- Patent Pending
- Made in USA
- Cooks Illustrated “Highly Recommended”