The Italian way to cook Pasta
Some think that cooking pasta is about one of the simplest things one can do in the kitchen. If you can boil water, you can cook pasta.
However, in Italy, it’s more than just the act of boiling water. It is a question of timing , size of your pot , addition of salt , and more timing.
While some Americans tend to overcook their pasta so that it loses its flavor and develops a gummy consistency, Italians prefer their pasta perfectly al dente . It should have a bite to it, making it all the more satisfying and flavorful. Here we show you how to cook pasta the Italian way .
The Right Pot
You’re home alone and you’re craving trofie al pesto. You think you can use a small saucepan to boil your water because you’re only making a single serving. Mistake . You need 5-6 quarts of water for 1 pound of pasta, and so even if you are ‘da sola’ you still need your large pot for one small serving. If you don’t use enough water, the starches don’t have enough room to dilute, and your pasta will become gummy.
Your pasta water should taste like the sea. Yes, the salty sea. It calls for kosher salt, the big fat kind, not table salt, and you need at least 2 tablespoons per pound of pasta. Wait until the water is boiling to add your salt, as it will slow down the boiling process if you add it too early. This imperative ingredient will bring out the flavor of your pasta.
Add your pasta only when the water is violently boiling. Give it a gentle stir so that the pasta doesn’t clump together.
You want your pasta al dente. Start testing it about 3 minutes before the cook-time on the package.
Use a cup-size ladle to ladle out a cup of starchy pasta water which you will want later to subjectively add to your sauce to moisten everything up.
Drain the pasta or remove it from the boiling water 2 minutes earlier than the package says (trust us), as indeed it is still cooking.
Never rinse your pasta. Why would you do that?
Finish with your sauce and enjoy pasta as the Italians do- al dente!