How microwave pasta: You need to adjust your cooking time!

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Sometimes it's just too hot to fire up the stove to make pasta. This is just one of many instances in which a microwave comes in quite handy.

Place your pasta in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl. Do not use plastic.

Add enough water to completely cover the pasta plus a couple of inches.

Set your bowl on a microwave-safe plate to catch any water that might boil over.

Look at the suggested cooking time on the pasta package and add 3-4 minutes. (Yes, it takes longer that cooking it on the stove. On a stove, you add pasta to boiling water. When you're using the microwave, the pasta goes into room-temperature water.)

When the timer dings, let your pasta sit for 1 minute and then check it to see if it's how you like it. Give it a couple more minutes if it's too chewy for your taste. You might need to add a smidge more water.

When your pasta is ready, strain it over a sink.

Note: This method works best with smaller pastas like shells, elbow macaroni, farfalle (bow tie), orecchiette, penne and rotelle. If you're going to use spaghetti, break it into thirds.

[ONLINE: Pasta shapes dictionary]

Note: Be careful because water boiled in a microwave might not bubble. Those bubbles could form very quickly when the water is moved, which means it could splash you. You might have heard about "exploding water." It's relatively rare, but it can happen.

If you're truly concerned, place a small wooden mixing stick or spoon (not plastic and definitely not metal!) in your bowl before you start cooking. It has to be there before you hit that start or cook button.

"It may not be necessary, but it won’t hurt anything either," according to

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