Italians have long criticized Americans for the way we cook our pasta. Traditionally, the pasta in the states has been mushy and not cooked to a perfect al dente. If you frequent any restaurant (and, in most homes) in Italy, for the most part, their pasta is cooked perfectly. Never too soggy or tasteless.
My Italian friends have insure me that there are three things all people must do to get pasta right.
- Salt in the water. By adding salt to the water you do two things: increase the point at which the water boils (giving you hotter water), and helps the pasta not to stick together while cooking.
- 100g per person. Most people don’t know the right amount of pasta to serve each person, or, how much they want themselves. The perfect amount (no matter how hungry you are, or how much you can eat) is 100g per person. The average pasta box is about 500g. Distribute the pasta accordingly.
- Time on the box. This is critical. Almost all Italian pasta companies put a suggested cook-time on the box. Follow the suggested time. Set a timer. Don’t over cook.
All things considered. Every time, when I cook pasta, I never color outside the guidelines above.
Question of the day. How does your mom/grandma cook their pasta? (Please leave your answers in the comments section below.)
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