What is the secret method to cooking perfect pasta? This step-by-step video will guide you to the success and mastery of a perfect pasta – perfectly cooked, non-sticky, and in an amazing union between the sauce and the pasta, that perfect bite of the pasta, along with all the amazing flavors and textures that we can play with when we are cooking it.
How to Cook Perfect Pasta
COOKING TIME: 20 min
TOTAL TIME: 20 min
- 1 lb. Pasta
- 4 qt. Water (based on the amount of pasta)
- 2 1/2 tbsp. Salt (based on the amount of water)
First of all, choose the right pot. So that the pasta has enough room to cook evenly, and you are making sure that you are helping towards the issue of the pasta sticking together. It needs to fit enough water to follow the rule of 1 gallon, or 4 quarts of water approximately, per pound of pasta.
When adding the water to the pot is to be sure to start with cold water. Put the pot on the stove with water, and set high heat. Even though warm or hot water will boil faster, it may contain more dissolved minerals from your pipes, giving the water, and anything that you boiled in it, a slightly metallic flavor.
You salt your pasta water every single time you are cooking pasta, no matter what you are cooking your pasta with, you need the salt to penetrate that pasta that doesn’t have any salt in it. Measure 1 to 1.5 % salt to water ratio.
You should not add oil to your pasta water.
Cook the pasta. You must cook the final 1/3 of its cooking time in the sauce. If you finish cooking it in the water, and then you recook it in the sauce even just for a minute, the pasta will be overcooked and does not meet the right condition anymore to hold the sauce.
You need to “constantly” stir your pasta in the water at intervals of a couple of minutes. Every couple of minutes will do, because for each passing minute that the pasta is cooking in the water, the pasta is actually changing its texture and the physical separation between each piece of pasta through stirring is the only thing that is going to work.
No matter what pasta dish you are making, unless it is a pasta salad of some sort, you must cook the final third of the pasta cooking time in the sauce. At this point, the pasta has cooked 2/3 of its cooking time in the water and it is ready to be taken out of the water and transferred to the sauce.
Put the pasta in the pan that contains the sauce.
If you want to thicken or simply manage your pasta sauce thickness, add the pasta water to the sauce. As it contains starch it is a perfect way to help to thicken the sauce. Start by adding a little of the starchy water at intervals and start stirring and reducing until you reach your desired thickness.
Try a piece of pasta. Look at the cut section of the pasta, If you see that internal white color being too thick, you probably need a couple of more minutes. So add a drop of starchy pasta water, give it those couple of more minutes that you need to fully cook it, and check again.
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