Wondering how to cook pasta? I learned to cook pasta from my mom. Maybe you did, too? But the rules of cooking pasta have changed a bit over the years. And if you were taught how to do it a long time ago, or even a few years ago, there’s a good chance that your method is outdated. Here’s what I’ve learned about making perfect pasta. And why I think it’s so much better than what we did in the past.

Steps Involved In Cooking Pasta

How To Cook Pasta
Source: How To Cook Pasta

Put water in a large pot

You’ll need a large pot to cook pasta. This can be any type of pot, but make sure it is big enough to hold the amount of pasta you plan to cook. You also need a lid for your pot so that water will not evaporate out of it during cooking. 

Put the pot of water on the stove and turn the heat on high

Next, put the pot of water on a burner. If you don’t have an electric stovetop, use a gas stove to bring the water to a boil. It’s important that your pot of water is already on the heat before you add in your pasta so it doesn’t cool down too much when you add in the noodles. Start off with medium-high heat and gradually turn it down as needed until the pasta reaches its desired texture (to keep things simple, I like my noodles al dente). Don’t forget about this step: if there’s no hot water when it comes time for you to cook your food, there’s no way around it—even if that means starting over from scratch!

Once the water comes to a boil, add enough salt so it’s salty like the sea

Don’t add salt until the water is boiling! Otherwise, your pasta will taste too salty. Also make sure not to add too much salt because then it’ll be really salty and you won’t be able to eat it at all. Just wait till they’re really boiling good before you throw in some salt!

Add pasta when water is boiling hard

Add pasta to the boiling water in small batches and stir immediately. Do not add too much at once, as it will cool down the water more quickly. Add pasta in order of how it is listed on the box (first being first and so on).

Stir occasionally until pasta is al dente

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This is the most important step in cooking pasta. Stirring helps to keep the pasta from sticking together and also keeps it from sticking to the bottom of the pot, as well as your spoon or spatula. When you are done cooking and draining your pasta, do not rinse with cold water unless it’s necessary (see below).

Strain, saving some of the starchy cooking water

Strain the finished pasta in a colander, saving some of the starchy cooking water if you’d like to make a sauce. You can also use your hand-cranked pasta machine to turn out sheets of tagliatelle or ravioli.

The key is not to overcook

There are two things to avoid when cooking pasta: overcooking it, and cooking too much at once.

Overcooking makes the noodles mushy, which is not only unpleasant to eat but also increases their glycemic index (a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar). That’s because the starch swells up and breaks down into more simple sugars. It also becomes harder for your body to digest.

It’s easy to overdo it if you’re preparing a big batch of pasta for a family meal or entertaining guests—it can be hard to stop adding water as soon as your sauce is done simmering! But if you find yourself with leftovers, don’t despair: Just toss them in some olive oil before storing them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days (or freeze them for longer storage).

Final Words

Congratulations! Now you know how to cook pasta. All you need to do is just follow the steps above. Please, ensure that you avoid overcooking and cooking too much at a time. 

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