Preparing a mouthwatering plate of pasta does require a few steps. So, for your pasta to attain a smooth, silky and wonderful texture, avoid committing these cardinal pasta-cooking sins. Trust us, if you follow these steps you'll be rewarded with a delicious dish that is worth every creamy bite.
1. DON'T: Use a small pot
As your pasta won't have much water to use up. Pasta needs plenty of water and room to cook evenly and release its starch. So adding your pasta together in a tiny pot will most likely mean that you'll end up with half of your pasta cooked, that's all stuck together. Fill a large stockpot with 5 quarts of water per pound of pasta and be sure that it comes to a boil before you add the pasta to the pan.
2. DO: Salt Your pasta
You most likely use salt to season your meals regularly. So why not use salt to season your pasta too? Adding salt to the water will give your pasta a chance to absorb some of it, enhancing its flavor. For every 5 quarts of water, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt.
3. DON'T: Add oil to your pasta
While adding oil may keep your pasta from sticking together, it tends to work a little too well. The problem with this is that pasta needs to be a little sticky for the sauce to cling to it. If coated in oil, the sauce will slide right off.
4. DON'T: Follow the time on the package instructions
That number should be used as a rough guideline, not something you should follow blindly. If you like your pasta al dente, it will likely be ready several minutes sooner than what's written on the label. So, if you're unsure about the time, taste the pasta and see if it is to your liking a couple of minutes before what is marked on the package instructions.
5. DON'T: Toss the liquid down the drain
As the pasta releases starch into the water while it cooks, the water become thicker and stickier. So, just before you drain the pasta, reserve a cup of water pouring a little bit into the sauce when you add your pasta. It will make the sauce thicker and creamier and it will help the sauce cling to the pasta.
6. DON'T: Rinse your pasta after you've drained it
Running cooked pasta under water will remove all the sticky starch, which means that your sauce will not stick to the pasta as it should. To stop your pasta from clumping up together, drain it and immediately throw it into the sauce.