Pasta Production

We will be offering pasta dishes for carryout/delivery.

What is your production process for loose pasta (baked pasta is in another thread I made). We plan to cook al dente and then cold halt the cooking for storage. We will then portion for later production. So how are you reheating, saucing, cooking (for melting cheese) and packaging for delivery?

we shock our pasta w/ice, but don’t wash off 2 much starch…drain & toss in a dough tray, toss w/oil & stir a few times while in the walk-in…cover after a few minutes w/another dough tray…

portion into 9 oz baggies & freeze some excess…micro 4 60 secs, sauce/cheese & run thru oven for a few minutes (small aluminum rectangle used by many Chinese places…put a plastic top om it w/garlic bread in a 10" pizza box

Looks like we cook and set the pasta the same way.

I have been pricing the packaging. With your container and the box are you looking at 40 to 50 cents?

packing cost is high, but I get good $$$ for the product & it travels well…I use the same tins 4 wings…better/less messy than styro…again, travels well…put chicken tenders is pizza box as well…

Well, I do agree on not skimping on packaging. For our salads, we plan to use a black bottom plastic container with a clear top. Makes the colors pop out at you. May do the same with pasta if I can figure it out.

One of the pizza places I worked for that had pasta would do this:

  1. Boil the pasta and add oil into the water.
  2. Cook to al-dente then drain.
  3. While in the colander, shock with ice.
  4. Store in white plastic tub.
  5. Portion out of tub as needed.

THEN…to reheat…

We had a water bath (hot) that we would put the pasta in for approximately 2 minutes to “re-heat” the pasta and revitalize it, mix with the sauce and bake.

For spaghetti and the like, we’d still re-heat the same way, but heat the noodles and sauce in the microwave for 2 minutes after the hot water bath.

Oh my god, I am shocked that people still cold shock pasta! :lol:

Use a great high quality durum pasta like De Cecco or Divella and your pasta gets boiled, strained, placed on a sheet tray, oiled a little to prevent sticking, cooled, then portioned.

That is my method of madness. :wink:

We find that oil messes with the sauce adhesion to pasta when reheated. We also find that 30 to 45 seconds in a hot water bath is more than sufficient to refresh portioned pre-cooked pasta. When we freeze it for holding, then it takes up to 90 seconds to refresh.

drain and cool quickly
weigh portions into plastic bags (3 sizes)
chill or freeze as indicated
refresh portions in hot/boiling water for 45 seconds to serve
top with sauce heated in microwave
serve with garlic bread and parmesan garnish

I just wanted to caution you on the choice of containers. Here is what I found…I did the same thing, for my salads, used black bottoms with clear top. Looks classy, fits my gourmet image. So…salads sold ALMOST NEVER… I figure, ok, people dont like salads…stop selling salads, one day decided im going to make salads, I have some stuff in the back, i’ll put em out, see what happens…only have white containers with clear plastic lids, oh well, do it anyway…SELL LIKE CRAZY. I think, okkkkkkk, people want salads now, re order black containers, put em out…NOTHING…put em in white containers…SELL LIKE CRAZY!!!

Now, I have my salads on display in deli case beside POS, chances are you wont have them on display…but, thought you should hear of my interesting experiment.

That’s odd, canucklady, but a valuable observation. I thought they looked great but have not run them past my testers. I will try the black bottom, clear top salads, white hinged container, and clear hinged container all with the same salad and let them decide.

Very interesting indeed! Kinda like when they created “Performance Pepperoni” that would not curl and kept its nice round shape. People actually preferred the curling pepperoni that crisped up.

People prefer light/clear containers so they can see if lettuce is old. With black bottom, you can’t see wilting lettuce very well.

My thoughts exactly haarvik.