Everyone eats pasta and it’s an essential skill to have, especially when you’re trying to impress a new friend with dinner
What size pot to use?
This depends on how much pasta you’ll be cooking. It should be large enough to hold the water so that it doesn’t boil over. The ratio of water/pasta is approx 1L water to 100g dried pasta.
To salt or not?
A bit of salt, ½ teaspoon to 1L water is ok. It helps the water boil evenly. Add salt to the boiling water otherwise, it takes longer for the salted water to boil.
How much pasta per serving?
This depends on the dish – is it a main, an appetizer? If cooking as a main, 100g dried pasta per person should do the trick!
Oil in water or not?
Some people advise having oil in the water to help keep the pasta separate. This is true but if you’re going to mix the pasta in a sauce, then that sauce won’t stick to the pasta because they’re so slippery from the oil. Stirring the pasta several times during the cooking process will prevent it from sticking to each other or to the pot!
To rinse or not?
By all means, rinse away the starch if you’ll be using your pasta as a salad because you don’t want a stodgy pasta salad.
If you’ll be having a sauce with your pasta, then rinsing will make it more difficult for the sauce to coat the pasta.
Cooking different types of pasta in one pot?
Absolutely not! Even if you follow the directions exactly and cook each pasta according to instructions, I guarantee that your pasta will have different degrees of hardness.
When to start the timer?
Start the timer after you add the pasta into the boiling water and when the water has come to a boil again.
How to test for doneness?
…with your teeth! The pasta should be chewy but tender and firm in the center. You can do this when there is still 2 minutes left to the cooking time.
Drain the pasta immediately when it is cooked. Letting it sit in the water will cook it further. Note that the pasta will still continue to cook even after you drain it so remove the heat source!