The simple Italian rules of how to cook pasta properly.
Today we talk about how to cook pasta properly.
Pasta is the most known and appreciated Italian food in the world, it is produced in many shapes and lengths, but to be true “all’ Italiana”, pasta should be cooked “al dente“.
Do you know how to cook it properly?
You will tell me: “Easy, just boil it in saltwater”.
In a sense it is correct! And then?
What are you doing?
Put it in a bowl, pour over the sauce, stir, add some Parmesan cheese and bring it to the table?
So how to cook the pasta properly?
Although cooking pasta may seem a very simple process, it is actually quite easy to make mistakes in this process.
Follow my advice and you will find out that perhaps many of you have made mistakes in cooking it.
First of all, be sure to cook it just long enough.
The difficulty to cook it also depends on the quality of the pasta: if it is low quality, often requires very short cooking times, while it is high quality, cooking times increase.
Personally, I advise to buy the pasta of good quality even if it is a little expensive and avoid to buy cheap and low-quality pasta.
Nowadays almost all producers indicate the correct cooking time on the package, but it is preferable to know how to evaluate independently how to cook it “al dente”, as required by the authentic Italian gastronomic tradition.
It is “al dente” if it is properly cooked, but not to the point of becoming sticky. You should feel slight resistance when chewing.
To achieve this, you must follow a few simple rules.
First of all, regarding the doses, you must remember 1 liter of water, 8 grams of salt for every 100 gr of pasta.
For the cooking process, however, just follow these simple directions:
Put the necessary water in a tall, wide pot, place it on the stove and bring it to a boil
Add salt only when the water starts to boil.
When the salt has melted, put in the pasta. Remember to mix it after about a minute and at least for the first four minutes keep stirring at regular intervals.
Cook it two minutes less than the recommended time on the package, because you have to continue cooking it in the pan with the sauce (this is a fundamental step).
Keep in mind that, since the last tasting, pasta continues to cook while it is drained, seasoned, distributed in the dishes and brought to the table.
Drain the pasta and reserve about a cup of the cooking water.
Turn on the heat under the pan with the sauce that you have already cooked, add the pasta and mix well.
Continue to cook for about two minutes so that the pasta absorbs all the flavors of the sauce.
Add a tablespoon of cooking water and grated Parmesan cheese, if necessary. Continue to toss it so that the starch makes the sauce a smooth and creamy consistency.
Pasta cooked al dente should be slightly resistant to the bite. If you undercook the pasta, you will be able to see a little white dot or a white ring at the center of the pasta this means that the center of the pasta is still raw.
Instead, if you overcook it will become too soft and it will be more difficult to digest.
It may seem difficult, but with a little practice, you will know how to cook pasta properly even without tasting it.