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Cooking pasta is as easy as boiling water, right?! As it turns out, there's a bit more to it than what your mom or grandmother might have told you. If you're wondering, "Why does pasta in restaurants always taste better than what I make at home?" Read on for easy tricks to make restaurant-quality pasta in your kitchen.
How Much Water Should I Use? - Use at least 1 gallon of water per pound of pasta.
Use a large pasta or stock pot so there's plenty of room for the water to circulate around the pasta. The rule is to use twice the amount of water as pasta, minimum. More water is better. The starchier water becomes, the harder it is for the pasta to absorb water.
Don’t add oil to the water, it does nothing to help pasta from sticking together. Oil doesn’t even touch the pasta because it floats on top of the water. To help prevent pasta from sticking together, give it a gentle stir once or twice within the first two minutes of boiling. This is when the pasta begins to release starches.
Should I put salt in the pasta water? Yes!
Professional chefs salt the water until it is salty to taste, like sea water. For the home chef, feel free to adjust that to your own taste preferences. The longer pasta takes to cook, the less salt you should use. Remember, not all of the salt used is absorbed by the pasta.
For regular pasta, cooking for 8-12 minutes, use:
What does Al Dente mean?
Follow package directions for cooking times. Taste test your pasta once it has reached the minimum cooking time (be careful to let it cool off a bit first.) Al dente pasta should be firm in the center, but definitely not crunchy.
Try it on a new pasta recipe! Browse all Pasta Recipes.
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