Can there be anything more simple than cooking up a pot of pasta? The only thing you have to do is boil water, right? Well, yes, that’s certainly the basic outline. But there are a few other tricks and helpful hints that will help make your cooking run a little smoother and your pasta taste a little better.
This post is specifically about cooking classic dried durum wheat pasta. While they have many things in common, the instructions for cooking whole grain, rice, quinoa and other alternative kinds of pastas are slightly different. We’ll cover those in another post.
Consider the Sauce
Here’s the most important thing to know about cooking pasta: have the sauce ready to go before you throw your pasta into the water. You want your pot of water coming to a boil just as your pan of sauce ready to go — just keep the sauce warm on a burner right next to the pot. (Or, in the case of uncooked sauces, in a bowl next to the stove.)
The Best Pot for Cooking Pasta
Choose a pot that’s large enough so that the water can boil rapidly without spilling over and so that the pasta has plenty of room. It’s also helpful to have a designated pasta pot so that you can just eyeball how much water to put in it and avoid measuring it manually every time. Some people prefer a high-sided pot for spaghetti and other long, thin pasta shapes so that as much of the pasta as possible is submerged in the water and can immediately begin to cook and soften, allowing the pasta to submerge as quickly as possible.
How Much Water To Use?
The classic way to prepare pasta is to cook it in lots of very salty boiling water. The usual portions are 4 to 6 quarts of water and 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt for every pound of pasta. There is some debate as to wether you need all that water, and indeed I tend to use a little less — about 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt per pound of pasta. I suggest cooking pasta with the standard proportions first and then adjust as you like
How to Cook Pasta
MAKESone pound of pasta, enough for 4 to 6 people
- 1 pound dry pasta
- 4 to 6 quarts water
- 1 to 2 tablespoon salt
- Sauce of choice
- 6-quart or larger pot
- Long-handled spoon or tongs
- Colander, sieve, or skimmer/spider
Prepare the sauce: Prepare or heat up your sauce. When your sauce is just about ready, turn it down to low to keep it warm.
Bring the water to a boil: Fill a pot with water and add salt. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil.
Add the pasta: Add the pasta to the boiling water and stir to keep it from sticking.
Bring the water back to the boil: Bring the pasta back to the boil (you can cover the pot to hasten this process but keep an eye on it as the trapped foam from the pasta can cause it to overflow.)
Begin timing the pasta: Begin timing your pasta when it comes back to the boil. (If you used a lid, remove it and cook the pasta uncovered.)
Check the pasta for doneness: About 2 minutes earlier than the package instructions say, start testing your pasta. Carefully remove a piece of pasta with a sieve or fork and place it on your cutting board. Using the knife, cut it in half and check for doneness. Taste a piece. Continue to cook for another minute if needed.
Remove the pasta from the water: When the pasta has cooked to your liking, turn off the heat. Using a tongs, sieve, or skimmer, lift the pasta out of the water, pausing for a few seconds to drain off most of the water. Transfer the pasta to the pan with the sauce. You will probably have to do this in batches to get all of the pasta out of the water. Alternatively, place a colander in the sink while the pasta is cooking. When the pasta is done, reserve a cup of cooking water (if needed), drain the pasta and dump it into the sauce.
Toss and serve. Toss the pasta with the sauce until it is well coated and has finished cooking. Serve and enjoy!
SMALL RECIPE NOTE :
Padcook Team wish you A good Taste