Cooking pasta 'al dente'

Cooking pasta 'al dente'

By Naomi Crisante

on 05th Feb 2014 10:36



It is so easy to ruin a great pasta dish if you don’t take care to cook the pasta well. To cook pasta ‘al dente’ (which means ‘to the tooth’ in Italian) means that it needs to retain a little bit of resistance and chew and not be overcooked so that is soft and loses its texture. Always bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil first – it should be as ‘salty as the sea’ – then add the pasta and stir occasionally until it comes back to the boil to avoid it sticking together. Be guided by the cooking time on the pack but as it gets close, remove a piece of pasta and bite into it. It should be tender but with a tiny white core in the centre that resists your bite. Then drain immediately, toss with your sauce of choice and serve straight away as the pasta will continue to cook in the residual heat. It’s a good idea to keep a little of the pasta water aside in case the pasta needs more moisture. If you are cooking pasta ahead of time for use later, undercook it a little, then quickly rinse in cold water and toss with a little olive oil to stop it from sticking together. You can then quickly reheat it by plunging it in boiling water. This method is acceptable but for our premium pastas, we do recommend cooking and serving immediately. Buon Appetito!


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