Penne pasta is a type of pasta similar to fusilli but with straight sides and a hollow center. It is rod-shaped, although the traditional penne shape is tapered. Penne can be served in a number of recipes, anything from pesto for a healthy lunch dish to a creamy vodka sauce for dinner. Although it’s more convenient to use a stove and pot for cooking most pasta, if you want to cook penne in the microwave, it’s extremely simple.
-Place water into a large microwavable dish. Leave enough room for your penne.
-Add salt. Salt is an important part of any pasta recipe because it enhances the flavor of the pasta. Without salt, pasta wouldn’t taste like much, and that’s why it’s the first ingredient you add to your water.
-Add pasta. If you’re cooking penne in the microwave but want to cook more than one serving at once, simply multiply the ingredients by how many servings you want to make. For example, if you’re cooking three servings, you would use 3/4 cup water and other ingredients.
-Put a lid on the dish just large enough to leave room for your stirring spoon. You don’t want it too tight or it’ll explode everywhere when the pasta starts bubbling over.
-Microwave the pasta until al dente (it will still be firm but not crunchy). Cooking time varies depending on your microwave. For microwaves without a rotating plate, cook for 6-7 min. If you have a rotating plate that turns the pasta over every 2 minutes, cook for 4 min. Make sure to stir at least once after you’ve taken it out of the microwave to ensure even cooking.
-If you find the pasta is undercooked, you can repeat this process once more before serving it. If it’s overcooked, you will need to add more water and cook it again.
-Cooking times also vary depending on how high the wattage is in your microwave, so expect slight variations.
-You can add a small pat of butter to each serving if desired. Butter will make the texture smoother and give it more flavor.
-If you want, add a little milk in with your salt and pasta water for a creamier dish.
-Add 1 Tbsp olive oil when cooking the penne in the microwave. It will give it a richer flavor and creamy texture.
-Add fresh herbs like basil, parsley, oregano or thyme to your pasta for an extra punch of flavor.
Although cooking penne in the microwave is a quick and easy way to prepare this type of pasta, it’s not always perfect. Since microwave ovens vary greatly in wattage, you might have to do some experimenting with your own oven before mastering this method. In addition, microwaves cook from the outside of an object inward. This means that if you microwave your penne too long, the outsides will be dried out and crunchy while the insides are still uncooked. You can avoid this by stirring often and reducing cook times as needed. With a little time and patience, cooking penne in the microwave is sure to become second nature. You may also like to read the Smart Pasta Maker review and tips on how to make pasta in the microwave.