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How to cook pasta the Italian way

Detailed instructions for cooking pasta in the pictures, with additional explanations and useful tips.

Cook the pasta like the Italians!

I believe that there are a large number of people who have doubts when it comes to cooking pasta. I am no exception! Until a few years ago, I often changed the “rules” – whether to rinse the paste, whether to add oil to keep it from sticking or not … Of course, all this depending on current knowledge and influences, but all in all, I didn’t understand why all this!

Italy and its cuisine! She taught me everything and everything, and among other things, how to cook pasta: it must be al dente, and that has become a gastronomic shrine in our house (after all, as with the Italians)! “Al dente” means you feel a slight resistance under your teeth when you bite the paste, it is still firm.

So, forget about cooking pasta and with a little habit, learn to love it just as elastic, chewy and perfectly coated with creamy sauces, without drowning in them. In addition, you will do a service to your body that will, in the process of digestion, cope better with this paste than the one cooked.

How to “properly” cook pasta

I chose a long type of pasta, thicker spaghetti (spaghettoni), but the procedure is identical to any type. When cooking a short paste, the process is a shade easier, because it is immediately covered with water, you do not have to lower it by hand.

It would be good to have a high cooking pan for cooking long pasta, but from what I have shown here, you will see that it is not necessary.

Measure the paste: 85g-100g per person. The rule is that it should be 85g, however, Italians usually do not eat pasta as a main dish. It is often followed by meat, fish or a vegetarian dish. So, depending on how you combine it, adjust the amount to your needs.

Put water to heat: at least one liter per 100g of pasta. If the cooking pan is bigger, feel free to put more. In case you have an electric kettle, this is a great opportunity to use it. 🙂

When the water boils, add coarse salt *: about 15-20g. I know it sounds like a lot, but in the end most of it will stay in the water you spill, and the pasta will be really tasteless if it’s not salty enough.

*Do not salt the water until it boils, as this will slow down the process itself. An additional reason is that the water must boil strongly the moment you add the paste, and the salt accelerates it for a short time, if you add it just before adding the paste.

Prepare a paste for soaking in water

If you use a short one, just insert it and stir. The rainbow needs to be inserted in a slightly different way, in order to distribute it evenly and thus avoid sticking.

Take it in your hand and align it so that it stands straight on a flat surface. Take it somewhere in the middle with one hand and place the other on top. Embrace her with your fingers. Make such a movement with your hands as if you were twisting or squeezing something and you will see that the paste looks like in the picture.

Let it fall into the water. If you didn’t do it perfectly and some straws fell out, don’t pay attention, just put them back in the cooking pan.

Cover the cooking pan for 15-30 seconds until the water boils. When inserted, the paste has cooled it down a bit and therefore the re-boiling should be accelerated.

Put the pasta in the cooking pan. I use these grippers, but you can also do it with an ordinary fork. Reduce the heat a bit, for me it’s 8 out of 9.

Cook it for as many minutes as it says on the package. I usually set the alarm for a minute less than it says and then test if it is to my liking.

Stir it occasionally to avoid sticking the paste, and thus uneven cooking.

Take one cup of cooking water and strain the paste. This cooking water is very important, because it allows the pasta to blend finely with the sauce and the dish itself to be creamier.

The paste should not be rinsed or poured with oil. If you are preparing a cold salad or a cold side dish, then rinse it briefly with cold water to cool it and prevent further cooking. Some of the short types are usually used for salads, and it is very important that they stay al dente during cooking. Drizzle it with olive oil or mix with other ingredients.