How To Cook Pasta, The Easy Way
We may all associate pasta with Italy but pasta dishes are loved the world over. Whichever variety you may like and whatever kind of sauce you want with it, here’s a quick guide as to how to make the perfect pasta every time.
The 13 rules to follow
Decide which kind of pasta you’re going to be cooking. Ideally, choose a pasta that best suits the sauce you’ll be using. If possible, opt for a genuine Italian pasta made from 100% durum wheat semolina.
Get a large pot and fill it no more than two thirds of the way with water. This ensures the water won’t spill over when it boils. Conversely, don’t make the mistake of under-filling the pot, as this runs a high risk of turning the pasta sticky. To speed up the process, you can use pre-heated water.
Turn the stove up high.
If you feel like it, add salt. One or two tablespoons should be enough for a large pot.
Wait for the water to boil.
Now that it’s boiling, add the pasta to the water and then start to stir it with a long spoon. Keep an eye on things to make sure the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot, especially early on in the process. To avoid making too much or too little pasta, be sure to read the instructions on the packaging.
Now turn the stove down slightly but keep the pasta boiling, stirring it regularly, in order to prevent the pieces sticking. There’s no need to cover the pot. Traditional Italian pasta is not cooked with a lid on.
Once the pasta’s been boiling for eight to ten minutes, take a piece of it from the pot, give it time to cool and then bite into it. If it’s too hard or has a white center, it’s still not yet ready to eat. It’s ready for consumption when it’s done all the way through but still firm. In Italy, this is called, “Al dente,” which translates as, “To the tooth.”
When the pasta’s done, turn off the stove and empty it into a strainer. For your own welfare, be certain to keep the pot tilted away from you. This is so that you don’t get hit in the face by a cloud of hot steam.
Now that you’ve drained off all excess water, you can put the pasta back into the pot. Just make sure that you don’t put it back on the hot part of the stove, as this runs the risk of burning it.
If you wish, you may, at this point, add a tablespoon of olive oil before tossing the pasta. Doing this is, however, not compulsory. The benefit of it is it may prevent the noodles sticking together. The downside is it may make your meal less tasty by creating a barrier between the noodle and the sauce.
Now cover the pasta with the sauce of your choosing before giving it a shake inside the pot.
Finish off by adding grated Parmesan cheese, basil, parsley or any other garnish you might like.