I love that moment when the pasta tumbles into the bubbling pot, quickly starting to soften within minutes as I stir it.
Cooking pasta and noodles is universally one of those things that most people learn to cook early in life.
In many ways it is a simple process, but there are a few DOs & DONT’s to keep in mind to ensure it is ‘pasta perfect’.
- Do use a very large pot, allowing at least 1 litre of water for every 100g pasta
- Do cover and bring the water to a rolling boil, then boil uncovered
- Do salt the water, so it is as salty as the sea
- Do stir the pasta until the water comes back to boiling so it doesn’t stick
- Do retain some of the pasta water to add back to the sauce if needed
- Do toss the pasta into the sauce, Don’t just spoon it on top
- Do not add oil to the pasta water
- Do not break long pasta/noodles (it is said to be ‘unlucky’ as long noodles are a sign of a long life)
- Do not rinse cooked pasta
- Do not overcook it! Pasta should be cooked to ‘al dente’ stage (which means it has some resistance when you take a bite). Aim to retain a small white floury spot in the centre and remember that the pasta will continue to cook when tossed with the sauce.
Interestingly, serving pasta ‘al dente’ also has health benefits as the pasta is lower GI (glycaemic index) which means it takes longer to digest and metabolise, so it doesn’t affect the blood glucose levels as much.
Join me for this week’s Pasta Cook-Along .. .we are making a rich ragú to go with rigatoni pasta!