Whole Grain Pasta Cooking School: The Steamer

Welcome to the Whole Grain Pasta Cooking School! In this space we’ll share tips and strategies for cooking whole grain pasta in a school foodservice environment. Today’s lesson: The Steamer.

The Steamer

Using a steamer to cook pasta – as so many districts do – is one of the few methods that require a different set of guidelines than the rest. While the “5-Minute Rule” works great in kettles, braisers or stovetops, steamers are a different beast! Here’s our Chef Bruno Wehren’s sage advice to districts and schools for steamers:

  • Cook the day of service
  • Use a 400 hotel pan – no more than 4 lbs per pan
  • Barely cover with nearly boiling hot water – no more
  • Maximum heat on steamer – 8 minutes
  • Stir halfway
  • Might not seem ready, but mix with sauce, put in warmer

The last step is crucial. Since you’re finishing cooking your pasta directly in the sauce, make sure your sauce is hot first. By the time you’re ready to serve, the pasta will be perfectly al dente.

*ICYMI, see last edition’s post for more on the “5 minute rule”!

If you have a specific question about whole grain cooking procedures, send us a note at [email protected]

Buon appetito!