How To Cook Pasta
by Tarla Dalal
Added to 125 cookbooks
This recipe has been viewed 402190 times
The secret of cooking pasta is to use plenty of water. Cooked pasta should be 'al dente' or "firm to the bite". Undercooked pasta is undesirable and has a taste of raw flour, whereas overcooked pasta will be soft and sticky. Generally speaking, fresh pasta will take about 2 to 5 minutes to cook. Fresh pasta does not increase much in volume whilst cooking as it does not absorb much water.
- Boil plenty of water in a large pan with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water by adding a few strands or one sheet of pasta at a time.
- Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally and gently until the pasta is tender. Cooking times may vary with the size and the thickness of the pasta. Very small pasta (like macaroni, fusilli, conchiglie, penne) may cook in 5 to 7 minutes.
- Larger shapes (like spaghetti, fettuccine, dried lasagne sheets) may require 10 to 12 minutes.
- Immediately drain the cooked pasta into a sieve or a colander. Transfer to a bowl of cold water to refresh it. Drain again and keep aside.
- If the pasta is not to be used immediately, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to it and toss it.
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