This is my go-to when I don’t want to cook but need to eat, or when I need a pasta base for something else but no space on the stove. You can add a bouillon cube or OWO or similar to the water if you want to use it afterwards to make a sauce: it will then infuse flavour into the pasta.
N.B. This is a one-portion recipe. However, you can probably swing two smaller portions of pasta. You don’t want to fill the basket more than 2/3rds at the most: pasta increases in size as it cooks, and will either overflow or not cook well.
- 1 portion of Pasta
- 1L Water
- Salt to taste
- Fill the bowl to the 1L mark with cold water. You can use just-boiled water: remove 9 minutes from the time.
- Insert the steam basket. The water should come about 1cm above the bottom of the basket.
- Measure one portion of the pasta of your choice, and drop it into the basket.
- Add half a teaspoon of salt on top. You can also season with pepper or other spices.
- Set at Varoma/steam temperature, 22 minutes, speed 1, cap off.
- Once it’s done, use the spatulla tool’s hook to remove the basket, and serve.
The water, when boiling, takes significantly more space due to the bubbles, and this is exarcerbated by the many nucleation sites on the basket and the pasta, as well as the increased emulsivity of pasta water. In the thermomix’s constrained bowl, that translates into a much-raised water level. When the water is below 100℃, that doesn’t happen, so the pasta is untouched (except for the bottom 1cm). Once it starts boiling, the water covers the pasta and cooks it. That way you preserve the requirement to only add pasta to boiling water, without having a manual step in the middle.
A litre of water takes about 8-9 minutes to get to boiling in the Thermomix. Using a kettle to boil the water is faster, but adds a step; additionally, the bowl being much colder than the water means it takes about a minute to start boiling again.
When the timer stops, so does the heat, and thus so does the boil. During cooking, about 300mL of water evaporate, so when it’s done, all the water receeds below the basket, essentially auto-draining the pasta. Finally, the pasta’s starch also drains off immediately, so the pasta won’t stick together (as much) if left alone for a bit (for example, if you’re cooking a sauce to go with it). And the starched water left is extra-concentrated, due to cooking with so little water: perfect to add to a sauce.
You can add one or two eggs, whole, on top of the pasta. They will hard-boil while cooking.
You can try adding other things in, but beware! If what you add significantly changes how the water behaves when boiling, you can end up undercooking or overflowing. For example, oil or butter result in severely decreased boil volume, and the water won’t cover all the pasta, so only the bottom tier will cook.