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The Truth About Quick-Cooking Pasta

By Cook's Illustrated Published March 2012

Three-minute pastas have started popping up in supermarkets. Are they any good?

Ronzoni offers three—minute pasta in elbows, rotini, and penne. It is simply much thinner than conventional versions of these pasta shapes, so it hydrates more quickly. When we compared Quick Cook 3-Minute Elbows with traditional elbows from our favorite brand for this type of pasta, Barilla (following the cooking directions on each box), the traditional noodles were unanimously preferred. The Quick Cook Elbows disappointed with a mushy, gummy texture that seemed flimsy and insubstantial alongside the nice chew of the regular pasta.

We’re all for speeding up dinner prep, but considering that quick-cook pasta saves mere minutes, we see no point in cutting this particular corner.

FAST BUT FLIMSY

Quick-cooking pasta is not worth the shortcut.