In my never-ending quest to avoid refined carbohydrates, I’ve come across a few tasty, healthier alternatives- one of them is brown rice pasta. Brown rice pasta cooks differently than regular- it takes twice as long, and often produces excessive amounts of starch in the form of cloudy, bubbly water. This water often overflows from the pot, and is a mess to clean up. Tonight I experimented with cooking the pasta twice. I started with a pound of brown rice pasta. The pasta was placed in a large pot of salted, boiling water, cooked for 4 minutes, then drained. I then re-boiled the pasta in a fresh pot of water for 5 minutes. The end result was a less-starchy product. Try this procedure when cooking brown rice pasta- cooking times may vary depending on pasta shapes.
Recently, I’ve been asked my many people how to cook rice. Most people think that cooking rice is easy, but it can actually be difficult. Often the rice comes out undercooked, overcooked, or clumpy; all things you want to avoid. Let’s start with the basics. Regardless of what type of rice you’re going to make, rinse it thoroughly in a pan. As you let the water wash away the impurities, you will notice that the water is cloudy. This is excess starch, and excess starch can cause the rice to become gummy and stick together. Continue rinsing the rice until the water runs clear- this will indicate that you have washed away all of the excess starch and loose kernels. With your clean rice in the bottom of your cooking pan, add enough water to cover, and add an additional inch of H2O. After you have added the water, add a small amount of seasoning (salt and pepper). Put on high heat, and let the rice/water mixture come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Allow the rice to cook for at least 20 minutes before checking it. Check the kernels by tasting them; they should be firm to the bite, not soft. With brown rice, you will need to let it cook for an additional 20 minutes before testing. Remove the rice from the burner, and let sit covered for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cover from the rice, fluff with a fork, and serve.