It’s an age-old problem: You make the best fettuccine alfredo of your life, put the leftovers in the fridge, and then the next day you have only a gummy, gloopy mess and memories of the delicious dish the night before.
The Internet has come to the rescue with a few helpful suggestions. Real Simple and MyRecipes advocate dropping your cooked, un-sauced noodles into a pot of boiling water for less than a minute. If your spaghetti is already sauced, Real Simple proposes baking your pasta in a dish covered with foil for 20 minutes at 350°F.
But both solutions fail to address what to do in one common scenario: bringing your leftover pasta to work for lunch.
When you’re in the office, access to an oven is probably limited, and you’ll get strange looks in the break room if you sprinkle Parmesan on pasta you've reheated in a bowl of water you boiled in the coffee maker. But the good folks at Epicurious propose a simple trick for making microwaved pasta taste, well, not so microwaved:
Add a splash of water (1 to 2 tablespoons) to the container and place the lid askew (if the lid is metal or otherwise not microwave-safe, dampen a few layers of paper towel to drape over the opening instead). Microwave on high in 90-second intervals, stirring between each, to warm the dish evenly throughout. Once the pasta is hot, put the lid on securely and—very carefully—shake the container.
A side note: If your container has a pop-on lid, be careful that trapped steam doesn’t cause the lid to pop while shaking.
And there you go! A few drops of water is all it takes to revive your noodles. Stir in some cheese and enjoy your pasta—and the envious looks you'll get from your co-workers.