Al Dente: How to Cook Perfect Pasta
If you want to impress your friends with a garlic spaghetti treat, remember to throw in the word 'al dente'. It means a texture that’s is not too chewy but not too soft, firm but not too hard. Cooking pasta to al dente quality requires constant attention. Don’t put the pasta on to boil and walk away without checking on it! Here are some quick and easy tips that you can use next time you are making a pasta dish:
Add a Handful of Salt
Many people make the mistake of adding oil to the boiling water. This causes the pasta to become slippery and lose its stickiness. Instead of oil, add salt to improve its flavor without compromising the texture.
Lift and Separate
Use a pasta scoop with splayed tongs to lift and separate the noodle strands every few minutes. This is to prevent the strands from sticking together or sticking to the pot.
Check the Noodles Every Now and Then
Most pasta cooks in 8 to 10 minutes. Just tasting it often can prevent it from becoming overcooked. Try taking a piece out, cutting it in half, and taking a bite. If there is still a little bit of crunch to it, wait for a minute or two before draining it in the colander.
To Rinse or Not to Rinse?
The rule of the thumb is to avoid rinsing the pasta except when it is meant to be a cold pasta salad. Rinsing would rinse away the starch and prevent the sauce from being absorbed.
Save a few cups of pasta water. You can use this starchy water later when adjusting the consistency of your sauce!
Al Dente: All about Cooking Pasta
Al dente is the holy grail of pasta cooking: what every chef strives to achieve. There are over five hundred different types of pasta around the world, so make sure you follow package instructions so you can cook your dish to perfection.