There’s more to pasta than meets the eye. As you would know if you’ve ever tried making pasta at home, more often than not, you’ll end up with gooey, sticky stuff that’s just not worth the time or effort.
But that’s why we’re here, no? To make sure your next pasta escapade won’t end as poorly as the last.
Tip 1: Don’t put oil in your water or on your pasta.
Oil added to the water or on the pasta, is wasted. In addition to that, your pasta will slip through the sauce like sand grains leak through your fist; you’ll end up with greasy pasta, and no matter what you do, the sauce just won’t stick with it.
Tip 2: Fill your pot properly.
The rule of thumb is to add 3 litres of water to every 250 g of pasta. This will ensure that once the pasta begins to cook and expand, there will still be plenty of water for the noodles to move freely. If you don’t start right, the end result won’t be quite to your satisfaction. And who doesn’t like satisfaction?
Tip 3: Salt your water like the sea.
This is the only opportunity you get to season the pasta. 3 litres of water require a minimum of 1 tbsp. of salt. If the water doesn’t taste like the sea, you end up with pasta that lacks flavour.
Tip 4: Bring water to a rapid boil before adding the pasta.
Since starches absorb water instantly, signore, we recommend you add the pasta only once the water’s temperature is extremely high. No one wishes to eat soggy pasta. Us Italians, we want it al dente.
Tip 5: Drop and stir.
As soon as the pasta falls in the pot, stir the brew. The pasta won’t stick together, nor will it stick to the sides or the bottom of the cooking pot.
Tip 6: Check the package for boiler time.
Different shapes of pasta require different times to cook Al Dente, which means tender but firm to the tooth. Long, thin pasta shapes take lesser time to achieve that than the short, plump ones. The best route to start is by referring to the boiler time mentioned on the packaging. And just to be sure, start testing your pasta two minutes before the time mentioned. You can even drain the pasta and cook it further with the sauce and still get to the al dente stage.
Tip 7: Always save some cooking water.
Before you drain your pasta, store a cup of cooking water. Leave this aside for your sauce. You’ll need to fetch it back when the sauce is done.
Tip 8: Add pasta to sauce, not the other way around.
Straight from Jean Panzani’s cookbook, this is the best piece of advice we have to offer. Your sauce should be done before you start cooking the pasta. Keep the sauce in a wide saucepan, and add the pasta immediately after they have been drained.
Tip 9: Lastly, it’s time to bring back the cooking water.
Once the pasta has been tossed into the sauce, add the saved-over cooking water to the sauce. The pasta will adhere completely to the sauce, and you’ll be adhered to pasta the Italian way.
Done reading? What say we get cooking?