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Dry pasta lends itself to a variety of cooking techniques, so let’s toast it, and then cook it risotto-style to build a creamy sauce from the noodles.

I learned this method from a chef who was from Togo but apprenticed in Italy. It was what the kitchen staff ate for lunch. He called it “Toast Pasta.” Here, in this recipe for Toasted Penne with Chicken Sausage, it’s presented with browned sausage. Chop and add Spicy Broccoli Rabe for an impressive and very complete meal.

For more cooking tips and kitchen science secrets, check out MAD DELICIOUS: The Science of Making Healthy Food Taste Amazing!