Pasta Express: "Does It Work?"

It is by far the most requested product "Does It Work?" has ever tested. This week, finally, we put the Pasta Express to the "Does It Work?" test. We waited and waited for it to show up in the mail. We even paid sixteen dollars "express shipping." And it arrives a month later in a drab cardboard box. There's nothing inside except the original Pasta Express and a "free" mini sized Pasta Express. The makers include a Velcro thermal sleeve you'll need when you hold the tube to strain the water from it.

No need to break the spaghetti up in this thing, as long as we go with the tall cooker. We put the raw carrots in the short tube. Just pour boiling water into the double paned plastic until you're a quarter inch from the top. Pop on the strainer lid and seal it up. Spaghetti is supposed to take ten minutes, carrots fifteen. We strain the spaghetti first and were disappointed to find it wasn't fully done. Still a little firm, if not crunchy in the middle. We checked the carrots next. They were not even close to cooked. We put both foods back in their tubes and poured more boiling water over them and waited longer. The spaghetti finally cooked after a total of 20 minutes. The carrots never got done. Same thing for the asparagus.

Just like the commercial, we cooked shrimp too. We were all a little nervous, and picky about which "cooked" shrimp we chose, but no one got ill after trying the shrimp cocktail. Turns out, the shrimp, which we were all worried about was our only true success while trying to cook with this thing. The carrots, asparagus, spaghetti all cooked for the maximum recommended cooking times but none of them completely lost their crunch. When given a second chance with more boiling water, the spaghetti finally got soft through and through, but... Is it really worth the extra work and the extra wait? After all, you've got to boil water to cook spaghetti with or without the Pasta Express.

  "Does It Work?" The Pasta Express gets a "no." We paid 19.99 online for the Pasta Express.  It's now available at Linens 'n Things.  One other note, the lid on the small cooker tube arrived cracked.

Joe Terrell, Reporting