Use Tahini Instead of Mayo for Creamier, Delicious Pasta Salad

When it comes to pasta salad, I’m firmly in the no-mayonnaise camp. In an effort to avoid the whole mayo-laden dish sitting out in the hot sun conundrum, I usually dress my pasta salad in a light vinaigrette before serving it at a barbecue.

But what if you want something a little creamier? That’s where tahini comes in.

Source: Why You Should Be Putting Tahini in Your Pasta Salad

Tahini is such a better nutrition choice than mayonnaise.

Add Semolina Flour to Pasta Water for an Extra Creamy Sauce

The days of drowning a plate of naked pasta in endless ladles of sauce should, in theory, be long gone. You’re probably already tossing your freshly drained pasta in a pot with just enough of your sauce to lightly coat the noodles. You might even be tossing the pasta and sauce in a warm skillet with a few spoonfuls of pasta water to help make the sauce extra clingy and silky. But why stop there?

After all, since it’s the pasta water’s starch that helps make the sauce so silky, why not increase the starchiness of that pasta water even more? Tossing a heaping handful of semolina flour (the same flour that dried pasta is made from) into the pot before dropping in your pasta will make your pasta water way starchier than it would be otherwise. Add a few spoonfuls of this super-charged pasta water to your pan of pasta and sauce, and restaurant-caliber silkiness will be yours.

Source: The Trick That Makes Every Plate of Pasta More Luscious

At first read, I thought it was “salmonella”…

Make Perfectly Crispy Baked Mac and Cheese With a Cookie Sheet

When Mick and Keith wrote, “You can’t always get what you want,” our thoughts wandered to the corner brownie, the center of the skillet cookie, and the perfectly golden, but too-quickly-devoured, top of the macaroni and cheese.

But as Amanda Hesser shows us in her Baking Sheet Macaroni and Cheese, the crispy, cheesy top of the pasta doesn’t have to be as fleeting as you once thought.

Source: How to Make the Crispiest, Dreamiest Macaroni and Cheese

I would think, for those that want the crispy, doing this in a well greased muffin pan would be even better. Even more surface.

Turn Leftover Pasta into a Filling Breakfast Frittata

The next time you find yourself with a neglected cup of macaroni or that last serving of spaghetti that no one seems to want, promise me you’ll try this. I’ve been making pasta frittatas ever since another Kitchn writer mentioned it years ago, and it is hands down my favorite way to use up leftover pasta—along with whatever else is hanging around in the fridge.

Source: Leftover Pasta? Make a Frittata!

Perfect for weekend brunch! 😉

The Secret to Perfectly Reheated Pasta Is a Bit of Water

When the Epi team started brainstorming ideas for #EpiLunchWeek, we first delved deep into our own lunchtime quandries. Photo editor Chelsea Kyle’s first question: “How do I revive a day-old portion of pasta?”

The most obvious answer: don’t. Start with a pasta dish that’s as good cold as it is served fresh from the kitchen (perhaps packed into a jar).

But if it’s piping hot noodles enrobed in rich sauce you’re after, the answer isn’t so clear.

Source: How to Revive Leftover Pasta at Work

For something creamy, like Alfredo or mac and cheese, substitute milk for the water.

Roast Dry Pasta Before Cooking It To Give It Some Extra Flavor

I’ll admit I was skeptical of this idea we found in Ideas in Food by Alex Talbot and Aki Kamozawa. Roasting concentrates flavor— roasted vegetables, I can get behind. Roasted fruit and citrus, too. But pasta is pretty perfect in my mind, so why roast it dry to enhance flavor before cooking and saucing it?

Source: Roast Pasta Before Cooking It. Really!

I guess this new generation has never heard of Rice-a-Roni, where you brown the pasta in a pan before adding the rice, spices and boiling water.

Anyone Can Make This Two-Ingredient Butter Sauce

This past summer I had the opportunity to step behind the doors of a restaurant kitchen. This is a place I don’t venture often, but when I do get the chance to sneak inside, I am eager to grasp onto any little chef’s trick or tip I may come across in this uncharted territory.

And on this particular occasion, I hit gold. The chef was preparing baby potatoes for our dinner that evening. While I’d most likely roast them whole with olive oil and garlic, he instead dropped them into a pot of creamy, pale yellow liquid where they’d be poached. That liquid wasn’t broth or a funny-colored water: it was beurre monté.

Source: The Secret 2-Ingredient Butter Sauce You Need to Know About

I’d suggest using stock instead of water. For extra flavour.

Upgrade Your Biscuits by Treating Them Like This Classic Pasta Dish

Lately I’ve been noticing a curious new trend: cacio e pepe everything. Chefs are making cacio e pepe pizza and polenta and risotto. Now you might say, “Hang on, by that logic couldn’t you call anything with freshly ground black pepper and hard sheep’s milk cheese cacio e pepe-flavored?”

Source: Give Biscuits the Cacio e Pepe Treatment

Yum! Biscuits made with cheese and pepper are awesome for egg sandwiches. I like to use the King Arthur flour “2-ingredient” biscuit base for mine. It sounds crazy but it works. All you do is take self-rising flour and add in heavy cream, stir, and it makes amazing biscuit dough. Add in pepper and shredded cheese and you can have biscuits in under 20 minutes from start to finish. They are quite heavy though with the cream and the cheese so I wouldn’t eat them all the time.

“Purge” Clams Before Cooking to Get All the Sand and Grit out of Them

Italy’s pasta with clams has the double distinction of being one of the world’s great seafood dishes and one of its great pasta dishes. It’s just that the way it’s often served, with the pasta chock-full of clamshells, is deeply flawed.

Source: Want Better Spaghetti alle Vongole? Stop Packing It Full of Clamshells

Or put the clams into a lot of cold water that you’ve added white or yellow cornmeal.  The clams take in the cornmeal, flushing it out of their system along with the sand. It takes an hour or so, and it truly works.

Try These Tasty Upgrades to Your Childhood Meal Classics

As a child, you may have imagined your adult diet as a buffet of your favorites, like hot dogs and Oreos. Your tastes probably matured along with the rest of you, but a childhood classic still hits the spot once in awhile. To make sure you revisit the past in the tastiest way possible, we’ve rounded up some upgrades.

Source: Try These Tasty Upgrades to Your Childhood Meal Classics

I quite liked this grilled cheese variation, but it needs pears.