How to Cook Pasta: a Short Guide to Italian Pasta
If you really love Italian food, you must be able to cook pasta properly.
Pasta has a very long and rich tradition in Italy and is the real protagonist of the culinary culture of the country, therefore it deserves a certain attention even abroad.
So, even if you think that cooking pasta is quite simple, there are some common mistakes that is better to avoid. So, let's see how to cook pasta properly.
- First of all, calculate the quantity of water necessary for cooking according considering the "1-10-100" rule: 1 liter of water per 10 g of salt per 100 g of pasta.
- Boil the water in a large pot and add the salt.
- Once the water is boiling you can add the pasta, paying attention to mix it immediately with a fork to prevent it from sticking, especially in case of long pasta shape. Do not cover the pan.
- Follow the cooking time indicated on the package. Yet, the best way to know if the pasta is cooked is tasting it! Also remember to drain the pasta one minute earlier than the time recommended on the package, when it is still al dente, since the pasta will keep on cooking in the pan with the sauce.
- If you are cooking homemade pasta, remember that it will be ready when the pasta starts to float on the water surface, according to an old tip frrom the authentic Italian tradition.
- Set aside a small amount of the cooking water that you will add in case your sauce is too dense.
- Finally, pan-fry it for one minute or until the sauce and the pasta get a homogeneous and creamy consistency.
Match sauces with the right pasta shape
In addition to this, it is recommended to choose the right type of pasta depending on the seasoning you are going to use.
- Linguine = They are suitable for creamy sauces such as pesto sauce, walnut sauce, fish sauce etc.
- Bucatini = They are perfect combined with very rich and spicy sauces such as tomato sauce with eggplant, peppers or bacon.
- Maccheroni/Rigatoni = They are perfect with rich sauces as beef or lamb ragout, spicy sauces with tomato sauce or with vegetable
- Farfalle = This type of pasta is ideal for delicate sauces with cream and ham or smoked salmon, shrimp, mushrooms etc.
- Spaghetti = They are suitable for simple sauces such as tomato sauce.
- Penne= This type of pasta is perfect with creamy sauces based on cream and vegetables or meat.