Hi guys! I am so excited for this post because I am Italian and there is nothing worse than undercooked or worse yet, overcooked pasta. Even though pasta seems very easy to cook to some people, there are a lot of ways that it can be messed up. That’s why I’m here to show you everything I know about cooking pasta perfectly and hopefully I’ll make my Nonna proud 🙂
Always Boil the Water First
I cannot stress this tip enough. Never….I repeat, NEVER fill a pot with water and throw the pasta in right away before it boils. This is only going to make the pasta super mushy and that’s not cute. I also want to remind you to start with cold water. If you start with hot water in the pot, you risk the outside of the pasta cooking before the inside and it’s just going to be a textural mess.
Always Salt the Water
I have had a lot of pasta in my 23 years of life and I’d say about half of that was extremely bland and there’s one reason for that. The person who cooked it did not salt the boiling water before adding the pasta. This is CRUCIAL if you want your pasta to have flavor. It simply isn’t enough to season the sauce that’s going on it. If you want to round out your pasta dish with flavor, you absolutely have to salt the water. And I’m not talking about a teaspoon of salt. No I’m talking about generously salting it. It’s the only way to ensure that your pasta dish will be worthy of an Italian dinner table.
Never Rinse Your Pasta
This is a big no-no. Not only are you washing away the flavor that the salted water gave your pasta, you are washing away the starch that helps the sauce stick to the pasta. By rinsing your pasta, you’re basically setting your pasta dish up to be bland. Make sure when you drain your pasta, you don’t rinse it or you’ll wash away all the properties that make pasta flavorful!
Stir Your Pasta
This is super important to do to make sure your pasta doesn’t stick together or to the bottom and sides of the pot. I recommend stirring your pasta every few minutes to make sure nothing is sticking. I’ve seen some people throw a little olive oil into the water to prevent sticking but I find that this actually prevents the sauce from sticking to the pasta later on. I prefer to just stir it. Hey, you’ll get a little wrist workout in the process 😉 Can’t have yummy pasta without a little elbow grease.
Cook Fresh Pasta Less
Fresh pasta isn’t hard and brittle like dried pasta so you don’t need to cook it as long. Dried pasta usually needs about 7-11 minutes to cook depending on the shape while it’s fresh counterpart only needs about 3-5 minutes depending on the shape. I usually stand over my fresh pasta so I don’t accidentally overcook it. It’s a lot easier to overcook fresh pasta.
Pasta it up!