With over 500 different types of pasta available, it is one of the most popular foods in the world today. It is incredibly versatile and can be served in a ton of different ways. A few packets of dried pasta kept in the cupboard can be the basis for a wide range of easy-to-produce meals. Silky and satisfying, this traditional Italian food has been embraced right around the world, from the USA’s love of macaroni and cheese to chilli loaded spaghetti dishes in Asia. You can buy pasta dried and in packets from the supermarket. Many supermarkets and specialty stores also sell fresh, dry and frozen pasta. After this how to cook a delicious meal?
Step 1: use a big pot and plenty of water.
To cook 1 pound of pasta, it is recommended that you use 4 quarts of water. That means you will need a 6-quart pot. (In addition to the water, the pasta needs to fit in as well.) If you cook a lot of pasta it is worth investing in a big pot – it’s also really useful for other dishes, especially for making soups. The more the better – pasta only sticks when cooked in too little water.
Step 2: add salt to the water when it comes to the boil.
Salt makes pasta taste better, and won’t appreciably increase the sodium level of your recipes. Use 1 teaspoon per gallon of water. At that level, 2 ounces of uncooked pasta (1 cup cooked), the FDA serving size, absorbs about 20 mg of sodium which is about 1% of the recommended daily sodium intake.
Step 3: put the pasta into water and stir the noodles
The water will boil faster, which will cook the pasta faster and keep it from absorbing too much liquid. After the water starts to boil again, stir the pasta to keep it separated. (In the case of stuffed pasta, use a gentle hand.)Start timing when the water returns to a boil. Most pasta cook in 8-12 minutes to avoid fresh pasta overcook. Really the only way to tell if the pasta is correctly cooked is to taste it. It should be ‘al dente’ – firm, yet tender, with a tiny core in the middle.
Step 4: Drain the pasta and cover with your favorite sauce
Now drain the pasta into a colander placed into your kitchen sink. Lift the colander and shake off excess water. Use the pasta in the recipe. Toss it into simmering sauce, mix it with a cold sauce, add to salads or use in frittatas.
The sauce has most of the flavor, and the pasta delivers it to your mouth in the right proportion of carbs to saucy goodness. Here’s how it works: Wide, flat noodles and large, tubular shapes favor thick sauces or sauces that contain large chunks of meat, tomato or vegetables. That’s because they grab and hold onto the sauce until it reaches your waiting taste buds. Shorter noodles are also better for thick sauces.
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