The other day I picked up a kitchen gadget called “Pasta Magic” and today I let it get close to the wonder that is my spaghetti sauce. After judging the results of this supposed time-saving device, I have to give it a resounding thumbs up. Actually, I not only have to give it the go-ahead, but I really want to.

Opening it up and looking at the contents, I found two containers, two strainer lids, two airtight lids, instructions, and a thermal sleeve that is supposed to help keep your hand from burning yourself while pouring the water you just used. to cook your pasta. I will go through each of the components, because I have something to say about each one.

The containers are sturdy enough and don’t seem easy to tip over. They have a lip around the bottom to keep them upright. They have one big flaw that I’ll discuss in a moment.

Strainer lids… they stink. I tried for a while to get the one I used to ‘wrap’ to the container and failed. The thing was, he couldn’t tell as he did it whether he was failing or not. There was no click, and no indication that they hadn’t been pushed as far as they could go.

The two lock-seal caps seemed fine at first, but they don’t click-seal either, so it’s not clear if they’ve been tightening all the way.

The instructions are the best part of the whole package, actually. They are clear and concise and say exactly how to use the device.

The thermal sleeve has no grip on the inside, so as you try to pour the Pasta Magic water, the sleeve slides up and down the cooking cylinder.

And that brings me to what happened and why this thing is really useless.

I made the pasta as directed and waited the full 10 minutes listed in the instructions (it says 7-10). I removed the sealing cap and, grabbing the thermal sleeve, tried to pour out the liquid. Although the strainer lid was supposed to act as a colander to strain the pasta, I decided this was my first time using Pasta Magic so I would have a backup and set it in the sink. Well, the thermal sleeve slipped off, the water pushed against the strained lid, knocking it over into the colander, and since the cylinder didn’t have any sort of spout, the still near-boiling water spilled all over my hand. I tipped it back and tried to pry the strainer lid off my strainer so I could pour the batter into its place and further fry my fingertips. I eventually cleared that out of the way and poured out the paste so I could have a look.

Awful. Some pasta pieces were undercooked, some were chewy, some were ‘al dente’ and many were stuck together. I tried to separate those pieces with a fork and it was clearly undercooked.

We try to eat it anyway. Some people have the misconception that pasta should be sticky, undercooked, and unappetizing. I am not one of them

* Physical quality: Poor… the covers don’t fit, and that’s the main useless feature of this device

* Ease of use: Poor… sleeve doesn’t grip as it should and barrel needs some sort of pour spout

* Results: Poor… the pasta was really quite bad

That’s why I say “Pasta Magic makes tragic pasta”. Don’t buy this except as a gift for the relative you hate.

On the plus side, we’ll be using them to store pasta on the countertop. Perhaps the entire product should be remarketed for that purpose.