The other day I picked up a kitchen gadget called the “Pasta Magic” and today I allowed it to approach the wonderfulness that is my spaghetti sauce. After judging the results of this supposed time-saving device, I have to give it a hearty thumbs-down. Actually, not only do I have to give it the thumbs-down, but I really want to.
Opening it up and looking at the contents, I found two containers, two strainer lids, two lock-down sealing lids, instructions, and a thermal sleeve that’s supposed to help you not burn your hand while pouring out the water you’ve just used to cook your pasta. I’ll go through each of the components, because I have something to say about each.
The containers are sturdy enough, and they don’t look easy to tip over. They have a rim around the bottom to keep them upright. They have one big flaw that I will discuss in a moment.
The strainer lids….suck. I tried for a while to get the one I used to ‘snap’ on to the container and failed. The thing was, I couldn’t tell while I was doing it whether I was failing at it or not. There was no snap, and neither was there any indication that they hadn’t been pushed on as far as they could.
The two lock-down sealing lids seemed alright at first, but they don’t seal with a click either, so it’s not clear that they’ve been tightening all the way.
The instructions are the best part of the whole package, actually. They are clear and concise and tell exactly how to use the gadget.
The thermal sleeve has no grip to it on the inside, so while you are trying to pour out the water from the Pasta Magic, the sleeve slides up and down the cooking cylinder.
And that leads me to what happened and why this thing really is useless.
I made the pasta as instructed and waiting the full 10 minutes listed in the instructions (it says 7-10). I took off the sealing lid and, gripping the thermal sleeve, attempted to pour out the liquid. Although the straining lid was supposed to act as a collander to strain the pasta, I decided that this was the first time I’d used the Pasta Magic and so I’d have backup and put on in the sink. Well, the thermal sleeve slipped, the water pushed up against the straining lid, which knocked it off into the collander and, the cylinder not having any sort of pouring spout, the still near-boiling water poured on my hand. I tipped it back upright, and tried to fish the straining lid out of my collander so I could pour the pasta in its place and fried my fingertips further. Eventually I got that cleared out of the way and poured the pasta so I could take a look.
Horrible. Some pieces of pasta were cooked thoroughly, some pieces were chewy, some pieces were ‘al dente’, and a lot of it was stuck together. I tried to pull those pieces apart with a fork and it was clearly undercooked.
We tried to eat it anyway. Some people have the misconception that pasta should be sticky, half-cooked and unappetizing. I’m not one of them.
* Physical quality: Poor…the lids don’t snap on, and that’s the primary useless feature of this gadget
* Ease of use: Poor…the sleeve doesn’t grip the way it needs to and the cylinder needs a pouring spout of some sort
* Results: Poor…the pasta was really quite bad
So that is why I say “Pasta Magic makes tragic pasta”. Don’t buy this except as a gift to the relatives you hate.
On the plus side, we’re going to use them to store pasta on the countertop. Maybe the whole product should be remarketed for that purpose.