How to Cook Pasta

Sounds rather simple yes?  I agree, but even after all these years of cooking it, I still on occasion check the box for the length of time.

Different brands use different quality ingredients, and this can be one factor that can affect how you cook the pasta.   Whole wheat pasta for example will take longer than white flour pasta.  And thinner pasta will cook quicker than thicker pasta.

When we use our Philips pasta maker to make homemade pasta, it cooks in a shorter amount of time than store-bought pasta.

One brand makes angel hair with a certain width and density, while another brand might be slightly different. It really can vary.

Of course don’t forget that homemade pasta will cook faster than dried pasta.

In the world of cooking pasta,  one minute can be the difference between perfect al dente pasta and total mush.

Cooking Pasta

Here are a few tips when cooking pasta:

1. Add a drop of olive oil in the water to help coat the pasta while boiling.  This will help prevent sticking when removed.

2. Al dente means “to the tooth”.  This is the best way to eat pasta.  It is when there is still a slight firmness, but not a crunch.  You don’t want mashed spaghetti!

3. The thinner or smaller the pasta, the faster it will cook.  Remove early from water about 1 minute from when you think it is “perfect” because it will continue cooking.  Don’t remove it if it still has a crunch though.

4. When boiling thicker noodles like linguine, don’t worry about pushing it in the water right away.  Let it loosen up a bit and then use a fork to submerge the exposed sections into the water.

5.  A pinch of salt or two in the water enhances the flavor of the pasta.  I recommend this especially when a light sauce or no sauce is used.

6.  When using a sauce-less recipe, keep some of the pasta water aside to add to the pasta if it gets too dry.  Pasta with breadcrumbs, is such a recipe.

7.  You do not need to have the water a roaring boil.  A nice boil is fine.

8. Do not rinse the pasta unless you are in a hurry to stop the cooking, and are going to place it in a large pasta bowl with lots of sauce to help reheat it.  Of course serve immediately.

Best of luck!

Liz

Simple Italian Cooking
Easy Italian Recipes

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