How To Cook Perfect Pasta

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Spaghetti Already...!

Spaghetti Already...!

Simple Guidelines For Cooking Perfect Pasta

 Allow the following quantities per person for a main course:
100 g spaghetti, macaroni, penne and farfalle
60 g  “fresh” egg pasta (tagliatelle)

For 100g pasta you will need:
1 litre water
1 dessertspoon salt
1 dessertspoon olive oil – basic olive oil is fine

For each additional 100g pasta you will need to add
250ml water
1 tsp salt

Large high sided saucepan (plus lid).
Large colander 
Here’s What You Do:
For speed, boil a kettle (or two if necessary) with the water required. Pour into a large saucepan and add the salt and olive oil. Cover with a lid until the water is boiling rapidly.

Spaghetti and Linguine
1. For purists, clasp it around the middle with both hands and twist in opposite directions (like wringing out a dish cloth), let go your grip as the spaghetti enters the water and the strands will fan out evenly. Otherwise the quick way is to snap the spaghetti in half (do it over the sink) and add to the boiling water.

2. Immediately replace the lid to quickly get the water bubbling again. It will take approx 45 seconds – (don’t worry that the spaghetti is poking out the sides of the lid). As the spaghetti softens, push it down between the gap and the lid until it is fully submerged.

3. Remove the lid as soon as the water is bubbling and give the spaghetti a really good stir. This is very important otherwise the ends will fuse together into a clump and become inedible).

4. Boil rapidly. For cooking times, follow the instructions on the packet as manufacturers vary, stirring the pan occasionally
For all other types of pasta, add to the rapidly boiling water and replace the lid for 30 seconds (to return the water to a fast boil). Remove the lid and stir the pasta to prevent clumping.

N.B:Cooking times vary between manufacturers so refer to instructions. Plus fresh pasta cooks in under half the time of dried.  Test pasta towards the end of cooking time. When it is ‘al dente’ ie firm to the bite, drain in a colander. 

Serve with the accompanying sauce. As a rule of thumb match the sauce to the pasta. Light, runny sauces work best with delicate pasta like capellini. Robust, chunky sauces are best with denser pasta such as fusilli and penne.

Storing Pasta: If you’re not eating the pasta immediately, run the colander under a cold tap to stop further cooking. Shake off the water until well drained, add a slug of olive oil and toss well to prevent the pasta from sticking. Place in an air tight container and refrigerate until ready to use. The pasta will keep for 3 days.

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