Plain Pasta without Sauce and Fresh Basil

How To Keep Pasta Warm WITHOUT Sauce

Most of us know that adding a nice, heaping amount of hot tomato sauce will increase the temperature of our lukewarm pasta. But did you know that there are several other ways to keep pasta warm without adding sauce?

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The tips below are some of the techniques professional caterers or even savvy home chefs use to keep their pasta warm – and they don’t include adding sauce!

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After doing several recipe posts in a row, I thought I would throw in a quick ‘How To’ type post today.

Something similar to my 21 Crazy Ways To Use Leftover Taco Meat or a seasonal favorite of mine, How To Roast Pinon Nuts the EASY Way.

These ‘educational posts’ – as I call them – are a nice diversion and hopefully useful to anyone looking to answer a quick ‘how-to’ question.

Fresh pasta without sauce

But don’t worry!

If you were hoping for a new recipe, you won’t have to wait long…

I have several new recipes scheduled and I’ll be sharing these with you very soon!

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In the meantime, please check out my Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad Recipe – it’s a crunchy and refreshing cucumber salad that is perfect for summer!

Why You Should Know How To Keep Pasta Warm Without Sauce

There are several reasons why you might want to know how to keep pasta warm without adding sauce.

Perhaps you are preparing a large amount of pasta for a party and your guests will not arrive for quite some time.

Plain pasta without sauce

Maybe you are only serving a pasta dinner for two, but you are not ready to serve the main course yet because your side-dish isn’t ready.

It’s even possible you are done cooking, but you and your dinner guest are not ready to eat just yet.

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As you can see, there are any number of reasons why you might want to know how to keep pasta warm without actually adding sauce.

Below are some of the tricks professional caterers and experienced home chefs use to keep their pasta warm.

Most of these techniques are simple things that you can do, too!

Use The Stacked Pot Method (Sometimes Called The Double Boiler Method )

The stacked pot – or double boiler – method consists of using a larger pot and a smaller pot, together.

For this method of keeping pasta warm, the larger pot will be filled roughly half-way with water and placed on Low-Medium Heat.

Heat the water until the water is very warm, but not boiling.

A smaller pot will then be placed into the larger pot and the pasta will go into this smaller (upper) pot.

It’s best to buy a set of the pots you plan to use for this method, together, because such a set will often come with pots that can easily stack one inside the other.

An example of a perfect set to use for this method is the Cuisinart 4 Piece Cookware Set from Amazon shown below:

This Cuisinart 4 Piece Cookware Set also comes with a pasta steamer, which can be used in place of a second (upper) pot to steam the pasta in so that it stays warm.

But if you do not have a pasta steamer like the one shown above, just follow the procedure below using two pots:

First, fill the larger pot about half-full with water and place over Low-Medium Heat.

Greenlife – Cookware for the home chef

Then take a second, smaller, pot and place it inside the larger pot that holds the water.

For the upper (inside) pot, make sure to use a smaller pot that is roughly half the depth of the larger pot, but that can securely rest on top of the larger pot.

The steam that rises from the hot water in the larger (lower) pot will continue to very slowly cook the pasta in the upper (inside) pot, while keeping it warm.

Plain pasta with fresh basil - how to keep pasta warm without sauce

This is a do-it-yourself method of steaming that can be used for other foods in addition to pasta, such as steamed vegetables or dumplings!

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Use A Chafing Dish To Keep Pasta Warm Without Sauce

A Chafing Dish is a tool professional caterers use when serving a large amount of pasta for a party, banquet or large gathering.

Chafing Dishes like these work by heating a shallow pan filled with water that – in turn – keeps pasta placed directly above the water, in the main serving tray, warm.

The technique behind this is very similar to the Double Boiler Method of keeping pasta warm described above.

Warm water develops steam that rises and keeps the pasta in the chafing dish warm.

Greenlife – Cookware for the home chef

The difference between this method and the stacked pot method, is the method of heating the water.

Chafing dishes have built in burners or Sterno’s that can be lit and it is the flame from these burners that heats the water in the Chafing Dish.

Use The Warm Plate Method

This is a technique restaurants use to keep pasta warm – with or without sauce – once it’s ready to be served.

You can use the same method at home by warming up your pasta dish in the oven for a short period of time. Temperature is not too important, but you want to keep it around 300-350 degrees F.

It should only take 2-3 minutes to warm the plate.

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Once you remove the plate from the oven using a thick dish towel or these really cute oven mitts, place your pasta on the dish immediately.

You can add any sauce or toppings now or once the pasta is served to your guests.

This technique is more a short time frame solution because dinner plates will cool down relatively quickly.

Use A Crockpot (Slow Cooker) To Keep Your Pasta Warm

One of the most essential kitchen tools I can think of is a good old Crockpot!

There is almost nothing as versatile as a Crockpot for just about anything, from slow-cooking meat or simply keeping pasta warm.

If you do use a crock pot in this manner, add some olive oil into the crockpot to prevent the pasta from sticking together.

Throw Pasta In The Microwave

Okay, don’t literally throw your pasta in the microwave – that could get messy!

Just put your pasta in a microwave-safe dish and heat on High in a microwave like the one above for about 30 seconds.

This method will warm your pasta FAST, but the heat will fade somewhat quickly, which is typical of almost anything cooked in the microwave.

How to keep pasta warm without adding sauce

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So What Did You Think About My Suggestions For How To Keep Pasta Warm Without Sauce?

I would love to hear if you have any ideas for keeping pasta warm.

Do you know of any tricks or techniques I may have missed?

If so, please let me know in the COMMENTS SECTION below!

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