Monday, August 13, 2007

tips for cooking pasta

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you know, there are tons of tips about how to cook pasta, here one of the tips, enjoy

To cook pasta properly, you need a really big saucepan full of boiling water. The pasta absorbs a lot of water when it cooks, so it needs a lot of it. Also, the more space the pasta has to move around in, the quicker it cooks and the less likely it is to stick together.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. When it's at a rolling boil, add a good teaspoon of salt — you need to add a lot of salt as this is what will help flavour the pasta.

You don't need to add any oil to the pasta water — it doesn't really make much difference to the pasta sticking together or not.

As soon as the pasta is in the water, stir it well to make sure it separates and doesn't stick together — this is the main tip for preventing it from sticking, and you should stir it a few times in the first few minutes of cooking.

Cook the pasta for the number of minutes stated on the packet — set a timer.

Check it a couple of minutes before you think it should be ready as sometimes ambient humidity plays a role in the pasta cooking more or less slowly.

If you're serving the pasta immediately, tip it into a colander set in the sink and as soon as all the pasta is in the colander, carefully pick the colander up and set it on top of the saucepan. This will catch some of the cooking water which you can use to thin the sauce if necessary later on. Transfer this water to a jug or large bowl.

Return the pasta to the pan it cooked in and add ladlefuls of sauce until it's coated as you like. If your sauce is a little thick at this stage, this is where you can add some of the cooking water to achieve the desired coating consistency. Tip pasta into a large serving bowl and top with remaining sauce.

If you're cooking the pasta to be served later, rinse under cold running water until cold. Add a little olive oil and toss pasta to coat it in the oil. When you reheat the pasta, plunge it into a large saucepan of boiling water and cook it until heated through — about 2 minutes before continuing as above.

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