Have you ever wondered how to make fresh Italian pasta the right way? With these 7 secret tips you can create the best Italian pasta recipes at home.
- Salt the cooking water
When boiling pasta, don’t be afraid to oversalt to the cooking water. There is nothing worse than flavourless pasta, and making your cooking water as salty as a the ocean will combat this.
- Stir the pasta constantly
Stirring the pasta while cooking is important for ensuring it doesn’t stick together or to the bottom of the pan – especially if you’re cooking long pasta like spaghetti and tagliatelle.
- Undercook the pasta by 2 minutes
Italians like their pasta al dente, which means “to the tooth”. To achieve this, drain your pasta just before your preferred al dente, or before the packet instructions indicate.
- Don’t rinse the pasta
If you rinse pasta after cooking, you rinse off the starch (aka the glue that holds it together).
- Reserve cooking water
Before you drain your pasta, ladle out a quarter cup of water for each serving. You will add it back in when combining the pasta and the sauce.
- Combine pasta and sauce the right way
There is an art to integrating the two main components – the pasta and the sauce. With this method you must cook the pasta and the sauce together – not just layer the sauce on top – which will ensure everything tastes its best.
While the pasta is still cooking, combine the sauce ingredients and add a splash of the hot pasta cooking water you reserved, and let it all melt together. The Italians call this “la mantecatura”.
- Toss the pasta for 30 seconds
To finish, you should vigorously toss the pasta for at least 30 seconds to work in the gluten. This will create a silky emulsion, and is known by the Italians as ‘spadellare’ (literal translation: “sauce panning”).