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Pasta That Pops

by Derek Stump

Do you have a favorite pasta shape? Maybe you like long spaghetti, bendy macaroni or curly fusilli. But what if your pasta could change shapes? That’s the idea behind this new pasta. It starts out flat but pops into a new shape as it cooks in water. The trick is all those little lines, or grooves, cut into the flat pasta. Those groovy sections cook more slowly, which makes the pasta curl into fun new shapes. The inventors say you can pack more pasta into a box this way. But the tastiest part is that now your dinner comes with a surprise ending.


Wee ones: Put a piece of paper flat on the table. Can you curl it into a new shape?

Little kids: Look at the pasta in the upper right corner of the picture. Do you think it’s longer or shorter after it has cooked into its curled-up shape? Why? Bonus: This pasta takes 12 minutes of cooking to pop into shape. If you’ve been cooking for 7 minutes, how many minutes of cooking are left?


Big kids: If a normal box of curly spaghetti has 100 noodles and this type can fit 50% more noodles in the box, how many noodles can fit in the box? Bonus: If that pasta is 12 inches long before cooking but only 10 inches long after cooking, how many more cooked noodles than dry noodles would it take to make a 5-foot long line of pasta?

Answers:

Wee ones: Try to bend or wrap the paper into a new shape! For example, you could make a tube like ziti.

Little kids: It is shorter, because its ends have wrapped in on itself. Bonus: 5 more minutes.

Big kids: 150 noodles. Bonus: Just 1 more cooked noodle. There are 60 inches in 5 feet, so it takes 60 / 10 = 6 cooked noodles to add up to 5 feet, compared to 60 / 12 = 5 dry noodles.

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