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How To Cook Perfect Pasta


[UltraVid id=311 ]pastas one of those great staple foods that probably everyone has in their pantry everyone’s made it there’s versions of it in almost every culture everyone’s cooked a bad batch of pasta that’s overcooked and mushy or clumped together and a big wad of pasta but here’s some tips to make it come out great every time when you’re cooking pasta first things first you want to start with a big pot of boiling water if you have a wider bottom it will heat up a little bit quicker but the biggest thing you want to worry about is just making sure you have enough water in the pot so that the pasta can move around freely and that will help it from clumping up water will come to a boil faster if you cover the pot with a lid some people want to salt the water while it’s cold thinking that it will help the water boil quicker studies show that doesn’t make a huge difference unless you’re adding a crazy amount of salt to the water so it doesn’t really matter if you add your salt to the water before it’s spoiling or afterwards the biggest point was just make sure that you salt it if you don’t all the water then the pasta is going to taste really bland and just not right we’re going to use two tablespoons of salt for this amount of water don’t be afraid to really heavily saw your water the old folklore is you’ve wanted to taste the salty like the sea it seems like a lot but most of its going to go out with the water and only a minimal amount is going to actually get into the pasta when you add your pasta you want to get it submerged in the water as quickly as possible and you also want to get it moving as quickly as possible the first minute or two is the most crucial part to make sure that it’s not going to stick together so you just want to make sure that you’re getting all the pasta moving and throughout the cooking process you’re going to want to do this every few minutes until it’s done it may seem tedious and annoying but it’s better to do it at this point they have a big clump of pasta at the end before you drain your pasta reserve yourself a cup or two of his starchy cooking water we’re going to add this to our sauce later it’s going to give it a nice silky texture without thinning it out too much because of all that starch in there really the only way to tell when your pastas done this it tastes it the pasta goes in you want to set a timer for about two minutes before the pasta should be done according to the box that’s a great time to start checking the pasta to see where you’re at and what we’re looking for here is for the pasta to be al dente al dente this means to the tooth which means it still has a little bit of bite in the pasta it’s not completely soft when you bite down taking it out when it’s al dente and still has that texture to it will keep it from overcooking once you add to the sauce and it cools down enough for you eat it so you want to drain your pasta and do not rinse your pasta unless you’re using it for a cold pasta salad if you rinse the pasta at this stage it’s just going to take off all of that extra starch that helps make your sauce really silky and delicious the longer it sits like this the more it’ll stick together so immediately after draining you want to put into whatever sauce you in have if you’re not sure which sauce to pair with your pasta a lot of it comes down to personal preference a good rule of thumb for a long thin noodle like spaghetti angel hair linguine is to pair it with a lighter oil-based or a light cream sauce here’s an example of a quick and easy sauce you can make wire pastas cooking all you really need is olive oil some crushed garlic a few handfuls of fresh chopped tomatoes season those with a little bit of salt and pepper that’s going to help the tomatoes release more of their juices cook those down a little bit then pour in some white wine and let that reduce to a nice syrupy sauce and then at this point you can throw your pasta and because of the heat of the sauce in the pan the pasta seemed to keep cooking for another minute or two it’s going to soak up all that sauce as well so it’s really going to flavor the noodle in the last minute or two of cooking at the last minute you can add some cheese fresh basil and a little bit of that pasta water to kind of finish off the sauce and give it a nice silky creamy texture and that’s it a fresh sauce like this can take a really basic ingredient like spaghetti and turn into a really elegant meal quickly easily and cheaply so twist pasta like fusilli rotini Gemelli those are great for lighter smooth sauces like a pesto because the sauce can really clean and get into every nook and cranny of the pasta so at this point became just kind of loosen up the pasta bit with some of that pasta water put a few dollops of the pesto sauce as needed on there and then at that point you can stir it around see how much you need add more pesto if you’re crazy like us and really want a lot in there and you can add a little bit more cheese and pasta water just to finish off the sauce and make it nice and smooth you can really see in the end just how much of that sauce really soaks up into the pasta and you’ll get a great bite of pesto with every bite for a rich meaty sauce something like a ragu or a bolognaise a tube pasta like a Ritter I carry 10 8 all of those are really great for hanging on to a rich meaty sauce so add your noodles to the pan add some pasta water to loosen them up and then you can spin in whatever sauce you’re using stir the pasta to keep it cooking and distribute the sauce really well in the dish and then at this point you can add more sauce if you want and then just to finish off the sauce you can add some pasta water and some cheese and then just stir to incorporate it and melt the cheese in the sauce that’s really gonna solidify your dish and make everything kind of come together tubes are great because it leaves enough room for some meat and some of those bigger chunkier ingredients to get inside all those are really great for pairing with a big heavy meat sauce another less traditional way to cook pasta is the one pot method and that really just means cooking the pasta in the ingredients for the sauce instead of doing them separately it’s a little bit less traditional but if you need to get dinner on the table and you don’t want a lot of mass this is a great solution for that here’s an easy one that’ll give you a great result people won’t be able to tell it’s a one-pot so first you want to heat up some olive oil get it pretty nice and hot throw in some chicken some one-pot meals there everything in at the same time you know that works but also then some things are overcooked some things are undercooked this recipe does everything in stages but it ends up with such a great result that no one will be able to know that it was a one-pot we’re going to brown our protein first with some salt and pepper on a high heat get a lot of caramelization on the outside and then take it out and put it back in at the very end it’s going to give your chicken a lot more flavor it’s also going to flavor everything else you add to the pot afterwards add a little bit more oil if you need it then you can add your onions and brown those off a little bit and then you can add mushrooms and garlic and at this point any dry seasonings you want to add you can add them now we use thyme paprika salt and pepper we want to do that before we add the liquid so we can toast the spices slightly that’s going to help release more flavor before we add a liquid we’re going to add some chicken broth and cream bring that to a boil and then we can pasta shorter or smaller pasta is great for a one-pot just because it’s easy to stir from the get-go you have so many ingredients in there and there’s not as much liquid as you’d normally use you want to stir every minute or two just to ensure that all the pastas cooking evenly and that nothing sticking it should take about the same time as cooking a normal water sometimes it takes a little bit longer especially if your liquid isn’t a total boil when you start but again the best way to check it is by tasting it so about a few minutes before all the liquid is dissolved you want to taste your pasta make sure that it’s pretty much all dente and at this point we’re gonna add some fresh spinach to it let that wilt down and add our chicken back into finish cooking and get coated and all that nice sauce as always adding some Parmesan cheese will help thicken everything up that’ll help finish off the sauce that bring it all together one pots are great because not only are they mess free you have a ton of flavor built into them because you’re boiling the pasta and this really rich flavorful broth you’re building a ton of flavor really quickly no one will be able to tell it’s a one pot pasta pasta is one of those foods that you can never get sick of it’s so versatile it’s cheap it’s filling it’s a comfort food if you do it right it can be part of a nutritious diet and there’s so many different ways to make it you’ll never get bored of it and once you get the fundamentals down you’ll only elevate your dish every time like no one will ever be upset if you put a bowl of pasta in front of their face that’s true that’s very accurate like I wish people like to be that way that they love pasta

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