Cooking pasta like a pro: 5 mistakes to avoid

Cooking pasta like a pro: 5 mistakes to avoid

While making a pasta dish might appear straightforward, is it truly as simple as it seems? Pasta, a cornerstone of Italian culinary heritage and the Mediterranean diet, is often considered the epitome of comfort food, easily accessible and budget-friendly. Let’s dive into some of the most common mistakes encountered during pasta preparation and learn how to steer clear of them to craft a first course that would impress even a seasoned chef.

  1. Choose the right pasta. Making the proper pasta choice is crucial to the dish’s success. Remembering that not all spaghetti is created equal is key. Different flours, extrusion techniques, and drying procedures are used to make different kinds of pasta. Pasta made with bronze dies, for instance, perfectly fits any sauce, and slow, low-temperature drying increases the pasta’s resistance to overcooking, which keeps it from falling apart during preparation. To make good pasta, you also need to select the kind that will work best with the sauce you want to use. Spiral pasta works well with traditional tomato sauce, ridged pasta retains sauce well, short pasta works well for ragù and other less uniform sauces, and long pasta matches well with fairly liquid and creamy sauces.
  2. The rules of water. One liter of water should be used to boil up to 100 grams of pasta, according to the guidelines. Unless you’re making a one-pot pasta recipe, in which case the trick is to “risottare” the pasta directly in the sauce by gradually adding a small amount of water, cooking pasta in too little water is a mistake. Thinking about rinsing the pasta once its out of the pot? Never run cold water over freshly drained pasta even while making a cold pasta salad. In this instance, to keep it from sticking, let it cool and then spray with oil.
  3. Cooking times. It’s important to follow the pasta package’s recommendations to get the perfect cooking. If it says to cook for 10 minutes, don’t cook it for more than that. Save part of the cooking water and, at most, drain it a little sooner. After that, add the conserved water little by little while tossing the pasta directly into the sauce and letting it blend.
  4. Salt measurement.The phrase “to taste” is completely incorrect when adding salt to water. Precisely 7 grams of salt are needed for every 100 grams of pasta; add the salt to the water as soon as it starts to boil, not prior to, as this would cause the boiling to sluggish, nor during the pasta’s cooking process. While you wait for the water to boil, cover the saucepan with a lid. Don’t cover it once the pasta is cooking
  5. Never, ever use oil. Oil is not required. To help “separate” long or egg-based pasta, some people add olive oil in the pot as tha pasta is cooking. It is completely unnecessary as it slightly changes the flavor. Just stir it often and keep the boiling temperature high from the start to avoid it from sticking together.