Cooking Pasta

Cooking Pasta will be even easier if you follow these tips.

  • Pasta should be cooked in fast (rapidly bubbling) boiling salted water in a large saucepan.
  • You should use 2-3 times the volume of water as the volume of pasta or noodles.
  • Some people add one Tbsp of olive oil to the water to stop pasta sticking to the pan while cooking. This is fine but be aware that if your cooked pasta has a light coating of olive oil the sauce will not cling to it. You need to decide between not sticking to the pan or not allowing the sauce to cling to the pasta.

Cooking time depends upon size and type of pasta.

  • Long pasta about 8-10 minutes.
  • Short cut pasta 6-12 minutes.
  • Small shaped pasta 2-6 minutes
  • All fresh pasta about 3 minutes.
  • You should always check for 'doneness' by taste: All pasta should be cooked Al Dente, which means firm but not too hard or soft.
  • You should never lose track of the fact that pasta continues to cook in its own heat after it is drained, therefore if it is too soft when drained it will become worse by the time you serve it.
  • The best way I've heard Al Dente described is: 'It should retain a slight resistance when biting into it, but should not have a hard center.'

Try to avoid trying to keep pasta warm, it deteriorates.

  • If the pasta is to be served with a cold dish (pasta salad, etc.) it should be run under cold water immediately after draining.
  • If it is to be served as part of a hot dish it should be mixed with the sauce immediately after draining.
  • Some noodles don't need to be boiled, just soaked in boiling water, especially the finer or fresh noodles. Refer to the pack when cooking.

Serving sizes depend upon whether your pasta dish is a starter or a main course.

  • For a starter use 1/3 of a cup (50-75 grams) per person.
  • For a main course 3/4 of a cup (100-175 grams) per person.

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