Casseroles like baked ziti and lasagna make feeding a crowd easy, but getting the noodles just right can be tricky. Uncooked noodles can make the dish dry and chewy, while parboiled noodles can turn out gummy. The solution: Instead of parboiling, soak the dry pasta in cold water (4 quarts per pound of pasta) for 60 to 90 minutes. This hydrates the starches just enough so they soften to the perfect texture when baked.
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