Simple and quick to make, pasta is one of the most popular and essential store cupboard staples. And although the proces of cooking pasta seems to be an easy one, there are a few principles you should know about in order to end up with perfectly prepared pasta that is neither too sticky nor too al dente. Follow these few basic principles, and soon you will know how to cook pasta like a pro.
1. Always boil pasta in a large pot with a lot of water in it. If the pot is too small or there isn’t enough water in it, the pasta will not have room to move around and will instead stick together. Also, the pasta will cook unevenly if it is no fully immersed in water.
2. Salt enhances the taste of pasta, and you must always remember to salt the water before you add the pasta. A rule of thumb is to add 1,5 tablespoons of salt per 0,5 kilograms of pasta. If you are in doubt whether you have added enough salt to the water, just taste it. It should taste a bit like ocean water.
3. Do not add the pasta before the water comes to a complete boil.
4. To ensure the pasta does not stick during boiling, make sure to stir it a couple of times.
5. Cooking time mentioned on the package may not be optimal. Taste the pasta 2-3 minutes before the end of the cooking time stated on the package to ensure it is perfectly cooked.
6. Avoid rinsing the pasta after boiling it. This takes away the starch which impacts the taste, making it more bland.
7. The secret to getting a delicious and creamy bechamel sauce is in the water. Or, specifically, in the starch. Keep some of the starchy water in which the pasta was boiled and add it to the ready-made bechamel sauce with cheese from Puck. This will ensure creaminess on another level.