While it might seem like pasta is easy to cook, achieving perfection in the craft is a challenging feat. Nonetheless, even without the need to be a trained chef, you will be able to cook any pasta dish like a pro, as long as you keep in mind the things that are mentioned below. With these hacks, it might be difficult to tell whether you cooked the pasta or if you ordered it from one of the best Italian restaurants in Manhattan.
Use the Right Pot
A good starting point is using the right pot. If you really want to get serious when cooking pasta, you should invest in a pot with an appropriate design. The pot should be large enough. It should have a lid and a built-in colander. The minimum capacity should be around 4 to 5 inches, which will be large enough even when you are mixing pasta, which will mostly depend on how much pasta you intend to cook.
Salt your Water
As salty as the sea- that is how your pasta water should be! This is one of the most popular pasta cooking hacks that you should know. Adding salt when the water is boiling before throwing in the pasta is one of the easiest ways to make it more flavorful. Make sure to do it before you add the pasta so that the pasta will be able to absorb the saltiness.
Keep it Simple
There is beauty in simplicity, even when it comes to pasta. In Scarpetta, an Italian restaurant in NYC, their spaghetti is so simple it only has three basic ingredients: pasta, tomato and basil. This is proof that less can be more when it comes to taste. It is all a matter of technique and presentation.
Do Not Overcook
Italians are known for loving their pasta al dente, which literally translates to “to the tooth” in English. It should not be too mushy once it is cooked. Refer to the box and follow the manufacturer’s cooking instructions. It is important to take note of the fact that pasta still continues to cook a bit after it is drained.
Know the Art of Mantecatura
To cook pasta like a true-blue Italian chef, you have to learn a technique known as mantecatura or mantecare. Simply put, this refers to the way the pasta is mixed with the sauce before it is served. Once the pasta is cooked, reserve approximately one cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and toss it in the pan with the sauce. Give it a mix and add a little pasta water. This will help the starch to emulsify and will enhance the flavor of the pasta. This this will taste better, in comparison to adding the sauce later on only when the pasta is on the table and ready to be eaten.
Cooking pasta is a lot easier with these tips! You can prepare a mouthwatering dish without being a trained Italian chef!