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Thread: Cooking pasta in milk??

  1. #1

    Cooking pasta in milk??

    I met a woman that cooks her macaroni in milk. Then, after the pasta is cooked, she adds the cheese. She says it makes for very creamy mac and cheese. Has anyone here ever cooked pasta in milk? If you did, what did you think?

  2. #2
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    Interesting. I've read that you could finish cooking it in milk, but only after first cooking in water, since milk should not boil for that length of time. Plus, that would use quite a bit of milk!

    I think i'll just stick with my T&T Mac & Cheese!
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  3. #3
    Why should you not boil milk for that long a time?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Libra20 View Post
    Why should you not boil milk for that long a time?
    I would think that it would scald and burn and taste gross. Maybe you could ask the woman if you can watch her sometime as she makes the dish. I'd be interested in hearing how it's done.

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    If you boil milk for longer periods of time its sugars (lactose) starts to caramelize and you end up with Dulce de Leche!
    However, you would need to cook it for at least one hour to get to that point.
    I believe cooking the pasta in milk would not make the milk taste bad, it would just thicken up as with any other liquid when water evaporates.
    Seems like an interesting thing cooking the pasta directly in milk for mac and cheese! I have seen fish poached in milk (and those who have tried swear that is taste wonderful), but the pasta is new to me.
    Let us know if you try it, I would be curious to see how it looks/tastes like myself!
    Ana

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    I was in Russia in the Caucasus mountains, back when Gorbachev was starting to bring the iron curtain down. We were staying in a cute 'Sounds Of Music' hotel near Mt. Elbruz (US$7/night full board with drink). Most of the food was lovely, fresh trout from the river outside, goat killed in the courtyard and grilled over a wood fire (a Georgian speciality).

    However, breakfast was an ordeal. We were climbing all day so needed the sustenance, or I wouldn't have eaten it.

    First course: Pasta (small macaroni) cooked in condensed milk
    Second course - blini with tomato salad. Yuk! Nice later on but not for breakfast.

    The reason I posted this is due to Aninha's comment about Dulce de leche, condensed milk is half-way to dulce de leche.

    I guess if you liked pasta that much, it was probably nice. But I didn't like it, for me the extreme sweetness of the condensed milk (even when watered down a bit) just didn't go with the pasta. Being 50:50 Irish:English I like protein of porcine origins for breakfast, I'm not a fan of cereals anyway so it's not a fair judgement on the pasta really.
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  7. #7
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    Oh man, I cannot imagine eating pasta cooked in condensed milk....
    When I mentioned the dulce de leche, I was just making a comment on the "cooking milk for too long", but as I said, you need to cook it for at least 1 hour to get to that stage of sweetness, plus condensed milk has sugar added to it, it is not only milk, as does Dulce de Leche, which is sugar and milk cooked together.
    Cooking just the milk for a period of time would actually result into evaporated milk as opposed to the sweetened variety.
    I don't see a problem in cooking pasta in the milk as far as the milk taste is concerned, as you boil pasta for about 7 or 8 minutes, and I don't think that would be enough to cause any major changes in the milk taste.
    It is like cooking regular or irish oatmeal in milk, you do need to cook for around 5 minutes (or more), and the milk flavor remains the same.
    But I don't want to cause any stirs in the board, I am no expert by any means, I just found it interesting the idea of cooking the pasta in milk!
    Sorry if I was inappropriate with my comments.
    Ana

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    I didn't think your comments were inappropriate.

    I know what you mean about fish. I make a soup called Cullen Skink, a traditional scottish soup of smoked (uncoloured) haddock (finnan haddie), you poach it in milk, take the fish out, remove skin and bones and return to the milk and simmer gently. You boil some small cubed potatoes and drain, drain the milk stock into anther pan and discard the bones/skin, add a chopped onion and the potatoes, simmer for 20 mins and finish off with a dash of cream and a knob of butter to thicken and season with pepper. It is truly delicious.
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  9. #9
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    I haven't cooked pasta in milk, but I have cooked it in broth using the absorption method, which I first read about HERE. It's the same as cooking risotto, simmering it just covered with liquid and adding more as you need it. I imagine this would work with milk as the liquid. The starch from the pasta would thicken it, and since it only simmers it shouldn't get that boiled milk taste.

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    I only cook basmati rice so I always use the absorbtion method, just 2x as much liquid as rice, works every time.
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  11. #11
    I haven't tried cooking pasta in milk, but the CI Best 30-Minute recipe book uses a similiar technique for skillet chili-mac, American chop suey, and (I think) mac-n-cheese. They cook the pasta in a skillet, after meat or or aromatics are sauted in it. I like it because you only have to wash 1 pan!

    Good luck!
    Nancy

  12. #12
    I finally ended up trying this. It was too creamy and not cheesy enough. But a fun experiment!

  13. #13
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    Growing up my mother used to cook pastina in milk. I still make it that way. Sure, it's a tiny spec of a pasta and it only needs to be cooked for a short time (like angel hair).

    I cook oatmeal in milk all the time, too. It doesn't scald. Even if I cook steel cut oats in milk. That takes at least 30 minutes.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by vabelle35 View Post
    Growing up my mother used to cook pastina in milk. I still make it that way. Sure, it's a tiny spec of a pasta and it only needs to be cooked for a short time (like angel hair).

    I cook oatmeal in milk all the time, too. It doesn't scald. Even if I cook steel cut oats in milk. That takes at least 30 minutes.
    we like our Cream of Wheat cooked in milk, then with honey, banana and walnuts added. my hubby-man used to make this for me when we were "new."
    now i make it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vabelle35 View Post
    Growing up my mother used to cook pastina in milk. I still make it that way. Sure, it's a tiny spec of a pasta and it only needs to be cooked for a short time (like angel hair).

    I cook oatmeal in milk all the time, too. It doesn't scald. Even if I cook steel cut oats in milk. That takes at least 30 minutes.
    I also cook my oats in milk, sometimes half milk half water, I love the way it gets creamy cooked in the milk! Never had a problem either!
    It is about the same thing as when making rice pudding, cooking rice in milk is the same principle... you are only using a different grain (oats or wheat in case of pasta)
    Ana

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by heavy hedonist View Post
    we like our Cream of Wheat cooked in milk, then with honey, banana and walnuts added. my hubby-man used to make this for me when we were "new."
    now i make it.
    I loved cream of wheat cooked in milk as a kid. I can't imagine cooking it in anything else! I haven't had it in years. Yum.

    Oats don't seem to have the same richness for me, but I think they are healthier. Maybe I need to experiment more.

    Note on the pasta. I used whole milk. I think if I did it again, I'd use a low fat milk. Whole milk was just too creamy. It overwhelmed the cheese.

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