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    Kitchen Tips: Cooking Pasta

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Kitchen Tips: Cooking Pasta - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. My family loves pasta, so I make pasta at least once or twice the week, and there are some tips that you should know about cooking pasta, because when I teach my cooking classes, people ask me questions and I am surprised at how much misinformation is out there. A couple quick tips: if you start off with a thin, metal pot, the water will boil much faster. Okay? It is really important that you use salt in your water. A lot of chefs say you want your water to be salty like the ocean. I do not necessarily add that much salt, but I do use a good kosher salt, and you need about a tablespoon of kosher salt for each quart of water. Now, another thing that I have been told by people is they add oil to the water. Why would you do that? There is no reason to do that. If you add your pasta to the pot, and you take a good pair of tongs, and you are stirring your pasta around immediately, and pretty much throughout the whole cooking process, your pasta is not going to stick. The bad thing about adding oil to your pasta is once you take your pasta, cooked pasta, out of this pot, and add it to a sauce, the oil is going to cling to those strands of pasta, and your sauce will not adhere to that pasta. It will just slip right off, so you definitely do not add oil to your pasta water. Now, you want to cook your pasta until it is almost done, they call it al dente meaning "to the tooth,". Now what that means is you are going to bite into a strand, and you want to feel a little bit of resistance. You are going to take it out of this hot water, and what you want to do is you are going to have your sauce over here cooking away, be it tomato sauce or whatever type of white sauce you are making, and you are going to add this cooked pasta to that hot sauce cooking. Then you are going to take your tongs and you are going to stir it all together so what happens is this dry pasta is going to suck up and absorb all that wonderful sauce you have got over here on the side. Then you are going to put it out onto your platter and serve it. So those are just a few tips that I tell people to make the perfect pasta. Salty water, dried Italian pasta, I use Italian pasta because it is a harder semolina wheat, it does not absorb as much water in the cooking water as our domestic brands do, and you also want to make sure you never oil this water. So those are just a few of my cooking tips for making pasta.