Lékué Pasta Cooker
You may be thinking, “Really? Microwaved pasta?” I was too.
And the first time I tried the Lekue Pasta Cooker, I ended up with a mountain of mushy, overcooked spaghetti that nobody at my table enjoyed — and that ended up down the garbage disposal.
But after tinkering with the cooking time, I made some batches of pasta that were perfectly al dente and ready in about six minutes, start to finish. Sure beats standing around waiting for water to boil.
How it works: Place fresh or dried pasta in the plastic cooker, cover with water, secure the orange silicone lid, and microwave for 4 to 8 minutes. Let it sit for a minute or two to let steam escape, then flip the lid and drain. There’s room for at least four servings of pasta, but you can cook just a single portion, too.
The timing requires some tinkering, depending on the strength of your microwave and the kind of pasta you’re making: whole wheat may take longer than white; ditto for rigatoni versus capellini. But despite the initial trial and error involved, this product definitely could simplify the dinner hour, especially for time-crunched families, college students with access to only a microwave, or anybody who wants one less pot to wash (the pasta cooker cleans up easily in the dishwasher).
Younger kids could even get in on the action by pouring in the pasta and water and setting the timer. Because the pasta cooker gets quite hot and produces a lot of steam, however, grown-ups should take over from there.