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the glory of "as seen on tv"


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for my birthday, my mother & father bought me a beautiful cocktail print to hang in my dining room in honor of my swanky cocktail party, this really cool shower foot scrubber shaped like a foot, three unbelievable body butters scented in milk, olive oil & coconut, and the wonder seen in the photo above, the pasta express.

i'm something of a sucker for infomercial products... i don't buy the products all that often at all; as a matter of fact, i can't remember the last time i ordered something i saw on television, but fortunately for infomercial-junkies like me, most of the same stuff can be purchased at my local neighborhood bed, bath & beyond. still, i am thoroughly enthralled when an infomercial airs on tv. it doesn't matter if it's melissa gilbert hawking bare minerals cosmetics or that annoying british guy who says everything way too loudly while selling some sort of miracle kitchen knife; i'll watch it. i might scoff at the sheer cheesiness of the product and the low-budget production values, but i'm watching, nonetheless.
so, it stands to reason that the first time i saw the pasta express on an infomercial, i was completely captivated and couldn't stop watching. i thought it to be miraculous; this clear plastic tube with a lid that COOKS YOUR PASTA. no more huge pots of rolling, boiling water!ingenious. inspired. a bargain at only $19.95.
of course i didn't buy it. now, had i seen it on my last venture to bed, bath & beyond, i might have bought it... turns out i didn't have to, because my mom & dad bought it for me!
it's simple: you boil water in a kettle, fill the pasta express with uncooked pasta, then pour the boiling water over the pasta, snap on the strainer lid, and voila! in 7-15 minutes, you have perfectly cooked pasta!

maybe.
i like my pasta al dente, and there's no better way to check pasta's doneness than getting your hands and teeth on it. turns out you can't do that with the pasta express. you have to keep the lid on it until the pasta is done. so, exactly how do you know when the pasta is done if you can't take the lid off?
yeah. you can't. i had to play with it a couple of times to get the pasta right. fortunately, i saw this potential pasta disaster before it happened and made concessions for experimentation. i was on a mission.

the first and second attempts yeilded something akin to polenta; way too overdone and absolutely inedible. again, this wasn't a complete waste because i'd planned for it in my attempt to play mad scientist with my new pasta toy. the trick, i learned, is watching the pasta; i've watched enough pasta in my time to eyeball it for doneness, and this hard-earned, well honed craft came in handy on my third attempt - my penne was perfect the third go-round. i'd gotten a bit cocky and filled the pasta express on this last attempt with enough penne for a dinner portion, and tossed it in fresh basil pesto and shaved parmasean with some toasted pignolis.
delicious.
and, seen on tv!


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About me

  • I'm melissa mcgee
  • From Temple, Texas, United States
  • photographer. singer. soapcrafter. herbalist. dogmom. godmother. fantastic cook. i kiss better than i cook. [all photographs on this blog copyright melissa mcgee unless otherwise noted.]
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