Pasta Prep: How to Cook Plain Pasta in Advance

You can prepare pasta up to 24 hours in advance. To do so, follow these instructions:

  • Cook it for half the time recommended in the package instructions.
  • Then, drain the pasta and spread it out on a cooking sheet and allow it to cool.
  • When it is cool, toss the pasta with extra-virgin olive oil—aim for approximately 1 teaspoon of oil per pound of pasta.
  • Then, put the pasta in an airtight container or Ziploc bag and refrigerate.
  • When you are ready to start making your dish the next day, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the pasta and allow it to cook for approximately 1 minute.
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