6 Tricks To Prevent Macaroni From Sticking
Image Credit: Macaroni | Image Credit: Freepik.com

Hardly there are any people who do not like hot, steaming macaroni. In the kitchen, you’ll always find a jar stuffed with macaroni which is often enjoyed as a special meal. Being versatile, macaroni can be used in sandwiches, soups, and even salads. Although it is an Italian dish, it is highly loved by the people of India. 

For the unversed, macaroni is a style of pasta characterised by its narrow, tube-like shape. It is typically made from durum wheat and water and in some variations may also be composed of semolina. The common type of macaroni is curved with a hollow centre and is known as elbow macaroni. Where the straight macaroni resembles that of small tubes. This versatile pasta can be either served creamy in a classic macaroni and cheese or tossed with vibrant vegetables in a pasta salad. Although people love making and eating macaroni, one of the challenges appears when it turns mushy or sticky. However, it can be tackled with some simple tricks. 

Take a look:  

  • Plenty Of Water  

This is the first step to ensure that the macaroni does not stick during the boiling process. The usage of ample water allows the macaroni to move freely in the pot, preventing clumping and ensuring even cooking. If macaroni is cooked with insufficient water, it tends to stick together owing to the excess starch released from the pasta. Besides, using a large pot filled with enough water helps the macaroni to get room to move freely thus, reducing the chance of sticking together and turning mushy.  

  • Stirring  

It is a common practice that when macaroni is added to the boiling water, the individual pieces have the tendency to settle and clump together. This can be avoided by stirring the pasta frequently, particularly during the initial stages of cooking which will ensure that each piece will remain separate. The agitation achieved by stirring the macaroni will prevent them from sticking to each other and the bottom of the pot. Moreover, stirring promotes even cooking a desired level of doneness.  

  • Salt The Water  

Salting the water serves a dual purpose while cooking the pasta. First and foremost, it prevents the macaroni from sticking together. When salt is added to the boiling water, it increases the boiling point of the water, which creates a slicker cooking environment, reducing the chances of the macaroni becoming mushy or sticking against each other. Besides, the salt penetrates the pasta as it cooks, enhancing its flavour.   

  • Add Oil  

This is a helpful technique in preventing the macaroni from sticking against each other. This is achieved as oil creates a thin film on the surface of the water, which helps in coating macaroni as it cooks. The coating reduces the chances of the pasta sticking against each other. However, ensure you use oil sparingly, as too much oil can make the pasta slippery and prevent sauces from adhering to it properly.  

  • Rinse With Cold Water  

Drain the cooked macaroni in a colander and rinse it under cold running water. Rinsing enables the excess starch to be washed away from the surface which causes macaroni to stick together. The cold water cools down the pasta quickly and helps firm it up slightly, maintaining its texture and structure.   

  • Avoid Overcooking  

Timing is crucial when boiling macaroni. Make sure that pasta is cooked beyond al dente (firm to the bite) stage, its starches break down excessively, causing the macaroni to become extremely mushy, soft, and sticky. The excess starch can make the pasta clump together as it cools or is mixed with sauce. By cooking the macaroni to al dente stage, the pasta retains its structure.