The mere notion that you can make a creamy carbonara pasta dish in minutes—using dried pasta that cooks right in the sauce—is in and of itself pretty amazing. But the fact that kids (okay, sure, and you) will love it is an even better notion! This technique will only work in a glass loaf pan. The higher sides help contain the inevitable foam as the pasta cooks and also retain more heat for quicker cooking. (And if you don’t know that the microwave’s no place for a metal pan, just trust us on this one.)
— Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
Excerpted from THE KITCHEN SHORTCUT BIBLE Copyright © 2018 by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. Used with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York. All rights reserved.
Some helpful notes: You must use small elbow macaroni to get the timing right. Shred the Parmigiano-Reggiano with the large holes of a box grater, rather than grating it into powdery dust. If you’ve got kids who don’t stand on ceremony, you can substitute 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese. Also, this recipe is calibrated for a 950-watt microwave. If using a 1200-watt oven, shave about a minute off the cook times in both steps 2 and 4—and watch for overflow from super-heating. If the pasta begins to foam over the top of the pan in step 2, stop the microwave, wait a few seconds, and start again. You can easily double the recipe, just be sure to use a second loaf pan and microwave separately.
- 1 cup dried small elbow macaroni (about 4 ounces)
- 1 cup whole or low-fat milk (do not use fat-free)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground dried mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 ounces Canadian bacon, diced
- 3/4 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1-1/2 ounces)
- Place the macaroni in a 9 x 5-inch microwave-safe glass loaf pan. Add enough water just to cover the pasta.
- In a 950-watt microwave oven, cook on high for 5 minutes, stopping the microwave for a few seconds if the pasta begins to foam over the dish, then continuing to cook as directed. The pasta should be almost tender and the water almost gone. Carefully drain out any excess (but very hot!) water.
- Whisk the milk, egg yolk, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until uniform. Pour over the macaroni; add the Canadian bacon and cheese. Stir well.
- Microwave on high for 4 minutes, pausing the microwave twice as the pasta cooks to stir thoroughly, until the pasta is almost tender, with some chew left. Set aside at room temperature for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, before serving.
Have got 800 watt michowave how long do I cook pasta for.
Robyn Doyon-Aitken says
The recipe was tested using a 950-watt microwave, so you’ll have to play with the timing, perhaps increasing the time by 30-seconds to one minute at steps 2 and 4.