Want to cook perfect pasta every time? It's easy with these handy pasta tips. The sale of pasta is up as more people look for tasty budget recipes to cook at home. Pasta is so versatile and filling so it's no wonder cooks love to create their dinner menus around it. You can get perfect pasta every time by following these top 12 pasta cooking tips:
1. Purchase pasta made from 100% semolina. The label might also read durum-wheat semolina. Durum wheat pasta retains its shape when cooking and doesn't get sticky or soft.
2. Cook pasta just before serving.
3. Which pasta shapes do what?
* Long pastas - Long pasta is best with seafood recipes. Seafood pasta dishes tend to be oily -oil helps the long pasta move and not stick together.
* Small pasta - Small pasta shapes are more suited is best suited to meat and ricotta pasta sauces.
* Larger pastas - Larger shaped pasta such as rigatoni, conchiglie (shells), penne and fusilli are great if you want your pasta to physically hold more sauce.
4. Don't mix more than one pasta shape in the same dish.
5. Use a large enough pot so your pasta can cook without crowding.
Pasta needs lots of room to cook so a larger pot is better.
6. To cook pasta use lots of water, a spoonful of olive oil and a little salt. Use one quart of water for each 100g serving of pasta.
7. Bring the water to a boil before adding pasta. Bring back to a boil quickly by putting a lid on the pot. Once your water is boiling again after adding the pasta, add the 1 tbs of salt and cook it the remainder of the time uncovered. Putting your pasta into water that is not yet boiling releases starches which act like glue, making it stick together.
8. Stir your pasta about 3 times during cooking time. This also helps cut down on pasta sticking together.
9. Don't add oils to cooking water. This keeps sauces from sticking to the pasta.
10. Don't overcook your pasta.
Most pasta requires about 8-10 minutes to cook. Start timing your pasta once the water starts boiling again. The best test for doneness is the taste test. Simply take a piece of pasta from the pot and taste it to make sure it's soft.
11. The best pasta tip is to be attentive. Pasta can overcook quickly or stick to the bottom of your pan. Stay close at hand and keep an eye on it while cooking.
12. Don't rinse your pasta. This washes away starches and nutrients. DO rinse lasagna noodles (this keeps them from sticking together and tearing) or if using in cold pasta salads (coating of starch will be sticky when chilled)
Follow these easy pasta tips and enjoy perfect pasta every time.
Want to make your pasta healthier? Remember it's often the cheesy toppings and high carbohydrates that derail your healthy pasta dish. Focus on whole grain pastas, less cheese and add veggies to your pasta recipes.
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