6 Tips On Cooking Pasta
While cooking pasta may seem like culinary child’s play, it is probably one of the most abused of all simple cooking tasks. Because many home cooks incorrectly treat their pasta, they end up with results that are less than desirable. So, I am going to highlight some essential tips on cooking pasta that the home chef can take to avoid the pitfalls of bad pasta.
1. Use a Lot of Water
One of the most common errors in mis-cooking pasta is to fail to use enough water. When you boil pasta, it releases lots of starch into the water, which can cause pasta pieces to stick and clump together. If insufficient amounts of water are used, then starch concentration will be too high and pasta will turn into a gooey mass. Experts recommend a large boiler or stock pot with 4-6 quarts of water.
2. Use a generous amount of salt
If you want to get flavor into your pasta, then just about the only way to do that is to generously salt your pasta water when you boil the pasta. Some cooks suggest adding between 1-3 tablespoons of salt to suit your taste and other say the good rule of thumb is to salt it like seawater.
3. Wait for the Water to Boil
Refrain from just tossing the pasta in the water before it gets hot. You should always wait until the pasta water reaches a rolling boil before dropping in the pasta. This helps all the pasta to cook evenly and ensures that it has a uniform cooking time.
4. Stir and Don’t Add Things
After tossing your pasta in the seasoned water, stir it frequently to prevent noodles from sticking together. Also, it is a culinary sin to add oil or butter to the water to prevent boil-over, just be vigilant and watch the pot.
5. Observe Cooking Time and Drain to Dry
Read the package and follow the proper cooking time to achieve either al dente pasta or soft water, as you desire. Then, use a strainer or colander to remove the excess water and do not rise the pasta as you will remove the salt and flavor as well as negatively affect the texture.
6. Save Some Pasta Water and Get Ready to Sauce
If you save a few tablespoons of pasta water, you can add it to your sauce. This will help your sauce to adhere to the pasta better and will also improve the flavor marrying the two ingredients together well.
If you follow these tips on cooking pasta your next pasta adventure will be more rewarding and much more delicious.