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Preparing Pasta

eating and eating pasta, spaghetti

1. Italy vs the rest of the world

Pasta is Italy’s staple food and Italians arrogate the knowledge of preparing it. Or you cook it ‘al dente’ or you are a barbarian. The pasta sanctuary is heavily guarded and agents roam the world to find bad examples to complain about. You better watch out!

prepare for your pasta

2. Al dente

Eat your spaghetti with pesto al dente

This is what Italians insist upon most: have you pasta al dente, to the teeth. An easier description is ‘not fully cooked’. How do you do that? Start by reading the cooking instructions. Never exceed the cooking time. When removed from the water, the pasta continues to cook. A matter of timing, a matter of trial and error. And no throwing it against the wall. Not even out of frustration.

Sampolo 246 - Cultori del Gusto
preparing to make pasta

3. Draining pasta

Don’t drain you pasta in a colander, or at least save some of the water. This is going to be the glue that makes the sauce stick to the pasta. Starch is excellent food thickener. And adding the right amount to cooked pasta, you obtain that creaminess without having to fall back on cream.

4. Rinse

Rinsing fresh boiled pasta stops the cooking process and cools your pasta down. Both are utterly useless: pasta is supposed to be warm and eaten straight away. 

don't do it! or are you preparing your Italian friends for a heart attack
overcooked pasta: error preparing

5. I'm sticking to you

If your pasta tends to stick while boiling, you either use too little water or don’t stir enough. Adding oil to the water does not work, since it coats the pasta and doesn’t allow it to blend with the sauce. 

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