May 11, 2006 at 12:09 PM CDT - Updated July 27 at 3:05 PM
Does it Work Wednesday The Pasta Express By: Lauren Keith
This week I test a product almost three dozen Heartland viewers requested by email, even phone calling us. We listened - here's the Pasta Express test.
Looking for the perfect pasta? Then, apparently, you should look no further than this $15 gadget-- the Pasta Express. First, meet Jeremy Withrow. He's a cook at the Bella Italia restaurant who also claims he makes the best noodles in town. These two square off, and of course, Jeremy's a bit skeptical about this product.
"It's not going to cook a lot of pasta, just a few servings maybe," he says.
We follow the directions and boil water. Take note--- you still have to do that in a separate pot. Then, we pour the boiling water over dry pasta.
"It says pour it up to the top, where it's covering an inch," notes Jeremy.
We set the timer for eight minutes. The directions say the pasta takes between seven and ten minutes to cook. Jeremy notices the pasta is getting tender. He says that's the effects of the steaming.
"That's basically all pasta does is absorb water. You can see it looks like it is absorbing," he says.
While we wait some more, I ask Jeremy what advantage, if any, this gadget has over pots you normally use to cook.
"It would be a good route for people who don't want to stand over a pot and --it also takes up less room," he says.
The kitchen timer sounds-time to check in on the pasta. Jeremy chose to cook the pasta "al dente."
"Al dente means firm to the bite," he explains.
We strain the water and check it out. Jeremy is surprised by what he sees.
"I would say it's perfect pasta-I'm completely surprised!"
However, we're not done with this test just yet. The Pasta Express also claims you can cook other food in this cylinder like shrimp. So, we pour enough boiling water in to cover the shrimp, wait about six minutes, as instructed, and taste it.
"Not bad," I say after tasting the shrimp.
As of now, Jeremy says this product deserves an A! However, we're still not done. We have another food the Pasta Express claims it can cook. We test some veggies after five minutes of steaming. That's where we notice our first problem. The carrots are still pretty tough, even crunchy!
"So, what's your final grade, Jeremy?" I ask.
"After the veggies, knock it down to a B or B plus," he says.
I agree - if you buy this, you'll have to experiment with the cooking times and you'll still have to boil water separately.