From being a key ingredient of your favorite lasagna to extending its way into the delicious world of cheesy dreams and exotic cuisines, pasta has transformed itself in many ways. There are a number of ways you can cook pasta and a number of pasta varieties from which you can pick your favorite. However, the basic steps of cooking pasta are more or less the same for every cooking purpose:
Use a large boiling pot:
Pasta requires boiling before cooking. Using a small, narrow-mouthed and closed boiling vessel is only going to make the constituents overflow. In order to avoid mishandling, accidents and lots of mess, use a large and tall boiling pot. Do not place the lid on the pot as it will accelerate the overflow.
Boil water first, adds pasta later:
Many people make the mistake of adding pasta in normal water followed by boiling it on the stove. Doing so will leave you with a gooey and overly cooked mess of noodles which will be barely edible. To avoid such situations, it is recommended that you boil the water first. Once the water is boiled, you can add the pasta and bring it to boil as well. In this way, the crisp and texture of pasta will be maintained.
Use a lot of water:
Instead of getting frugal in the use of boiling water, use a lot of it. All of your pasta should be completely immersed in water and shall be found floating in it. The use of scarce boiling water will result in the development of stickiness in pasta.
Boil different pasta varieties separately:
Boiling of different pasta varieties which have different shapes and sizes is a terrible idea. Doing so will result in the undercooking of some pasta and overcooking of the rest. Different pasta varieties have different boiling temperatures and times which shall be followed.
Add salt to boiling water:
Addition of salt to the boiling water will enhance the flavor of the pasta. The addition of oil in water is debatable. However, people add oil in boiling water report no side-effects of it on the texture of pasta.
Boiled pasta does not need rinsing:
One of the most widespread myths about cooking pasta is that boiled pasta needs to be rinsed after boiling. But in reality, doing so can greatly affect the texture and smoothness of pasta. The natural coating of starch on boiled pasta is important to maintain taste and texture of dishes such as lasagna.
Save the cooking liquid:
Saving about 2 cups of cooking liquid offers you a backup plan in case any part of saucing the pasta goes wrong. It is actually one of those magic tricks used by professional chefs which allow them to make a uniform pasta dish. The cooking liquid enhances the stickiness of sauce on the pasta surface because of its starch constituents. You can also use it to thin out the sauce if it is too thick to be used.
Sauce it up immediately:
Do not leave boiled pasta for cooling down as it can lead to sticking. Sauce the pasta or add other ingredients immediately after boiling.