How many times each week are you eating pasta?
If you are like other people throughout the country, this is likely a staple in your diet.
It’s easy, quick and filling. Also, you can prepare it a number of ways. However, to cook the perfect pasta, you have to know how to cook something al dente.
This means that it is still firm to the bite, but delicious and perfect for multiple meals a week. Al dente means the pasta isn’t hard, chalky, too soft, etc. After all, there isn’t anything quite as bad as overcooked pasta – it will ruin the entire meal.
Some tips to help you cook perfect al dente pasta can be found here.
The Al Dente Pasta Preparation
One of the biggest pasta “fouls” is just grabbing a pot, filling it with water, and dumping pasta in before the water even boils. Not only that but using a pot that is too small for the past you are cooking.
To make perfect al dente pasta, you need to start with a large pot so that your pasta can move freely. A general rule of thumb to follow is to use five to six quarts of water per pound of pasta you are cooking.
Boil the water. Don’t try to jump ahead. You need to make sure the water is at a hard boil, at which point you will add approximately two tablespoons of salt. Once the salt is added, add your pasta and allow the water to reach a hard boil once again.
General Tips for Cooking
When you add the pasta, you can add a lid to the pot to help it reach a boil faster; however, you should remove it as soon as it begins to boil again. This will prevent it from boiling over.
Another tip you can use is to stir the pasta constantly for the initial one to two minutes – but just the initial few minutes. This will help prevent sticking.
When the cooking process is done, you should taste your pasta. It should have an al dente bite if you cooked it properly. If the pasta is undercooked it will have a chalky and stiff center, but if it is overcooked, the noodles are going to be soggy and limp.
What You Should Never Do When Cooking Pasta
When cooking pasta, if you want to make sure it reaches that al dente cooked level, make sure to avoid doing the following things:
- Never add oil
- Don’t wait for the pasta to completely cool to add the sauce
- Don’t rinse the pasta unless you are making a cold dish
Now you have the knowledge to make perfectly al dente pasta every time. You will find that once you get the hang of what to do, it is actually easy to achieve this cooked perfection each time you make pasta.