Guide to Preparing the Perfect Pasta

By: shivasharma

Whether you're preparing it to serve or using it as the base of another dish, there are things you should do to get the perfect pasta. Here's how!

Pasta is quick and easy to prepare and it makes for a satisfying meal for help visit Here you'll find a step-by-step guide to cooking pasta as well as some useful tips to making your pasta dish perfect!
Cooking Pasta

1. Use roughly 1 quart (4 cups) of water per serving (85 g) of pasta.

2. Fill a good-sized pot (larger than you think you'll need) with water, cover and set to boil.

3. When the water is boiling, add the pasta as quickly as possible and sprinkle in a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

4. With a wooden spoon, stir immediately to separate the pasta pieces. If you're cooking long pasta, such as linguine or spaghetti, push it against the bottom of the pot until you feel it lose its rigidity. Keep pushing until it's all below the surface of the water.

5. Leaving the lid off the pot, reduce the heat (medium to medium-high) and allow to cook. The pasta will cook more quickly and evenly with the heat lowered and the lid off. Not doing so will lead to the pot boiling over or the pasta overcooking.

6. Cooking times vary, depending on the quality, freshness and shape of the pasta. Check the package instructions to be sure, but you can use the following as rough estimates:

* Fresh pasta cooks in roughly 3-5 minutes.
* Thin dry pasta (shells, rotini, spaghettini) cooks in roughly 6-9 minutes.
* Thicker dry pasta (penne, ziti, linguine) cooks in roughly 12-15 minutes.

But the only real way to tell is by tasting it! For dry pastas, fish a piece out of the water and bite into it after 5 minutes, then try it again at 6 minutes, then 7 and then 8 and so on until it's at the al dente stage.

Al dente means "to the teeth" in Italian and it's widely considered to be the ideal form of cooked pasta - firm but not hard.

7. If you are using your pasta in a baked dish such as macaroni and cheese or a casserole, undercook it by a minute or two. It will be cooked further by the pasta sauce and heat in the oven.

8. When the test piece is al dente or to your personal preference, drain the entire pot into a colander in the sink. If you swirl the warm water around the colander before the pasta hits it, it will heat it so the pasta does not cool or stick. But do not drain completely as overdraining will cause the pasta to dry out, and any excess pasta water will add flavour and texture to your pasta sauce.

9. Return the pasta to the warm pot (placed on a cool element to avoid burning) but don't keep it there for long as it will start to stick together and cool for help visit While your pasta is cooking you should be preparing the sauce and the serving bowl you will be using. You may add a drizzle of olive oil if you need more time to get ready to serve but only do this if you have to!

10. If you are serving it as is, with sauce, put the pasta in the warmed serving bowl, or onto warmed plates. Then add your sauce and serve.

11. If you are baking the pasta in a casserole-type dish, follow the recipe. The point is that the sooner you add a sauce to the cooked pasta, the less chance it'll start to stick together and get gloopy.

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