Cook the Perfect Pasta
Pasta originated in China 40 centuries ago, but we most often associate pasta today with Italy. Even Italian law recognizes pasta as under its domain, prescribing that pasta must be made from pure durum wheat semolina flour and that its quality must be certified.
Pasta is simple and quick to cook, but some simple tips can help ensure that your pasta comes out perfect. Fresh pasta will cook more quickly than dried pasta. Different shapes and sizes of pasta will cook in different amounts of time. But there are some common things you should do no matter what type of pasta you are preparing.
First, start with a large, uncovered pot of boiling water. Your pot must be large enough to accommodate the water, the pasta, and allow for expansion of the pasta. Your goal should be to have enough water to allow the pasta to move freely in the pot while boiling.
The keys to keeping your pasta from sticking are to use enough water and to keep the pasta moving. You should stir your pasta occasionally when cooking. Also keep the water rapidly boiling. The movement of the water keeps the pasta pieces apart.
How do you know when pasta is done? The term “al dente” means, firm “to the tooth,” and is considered the ideal way to serve pasta. Thus the best way to tell if your pasta is done is to taste it. Cook it for the minimum time recommended and continue to test your pasta every couple of minutes until it is done to your liking. Pasta cooked “al dente” will be slightly chewy with a very small white dot of uncooked core at the center. For more tender pasta, wait until there is no white uncooked core showing.
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