Perfect Italian pasta doesn’t stick together, it’s not soggy or lukewarm and you definitely shouldn’t add oil to it! Here are our ten tips for cooking pasta just like mamma makes it!
1) Your pasta pan should be as large as possible and ideally nice and tall rather than wide.
2) The pasta should always be cooked in LOTS of water! We suggest at least one litre for every portion of pasta (portion size is up to you but in most of our recipes we use 90g as an average portion size).
3) The water should be well salted. Coarse sea salt is best. Of course try not to exaggerate with the salt, we think about one flat tablespoon of salt per litre of water should be fine.
4) Never add oil to the water. This will just make the pasta slippery and greasy so that the lovely sauce you make won’t cling to it!
5) If possible use ‘bronze die cut pasta’ from the birth place of Italian pasta, Gragnano near Naples. Not only does it taste better and retain all of its goodness when cooked, but it absorbs the sauce with which it is served better too.
6) Don’t put the pasta into the water until it’s boiling really well. The pasta will lower the temperature of the water and it will take longer to heat up again once you have added it.
7) Once in the pan the pasta needs a delicate stir – otherwise it will definitely all stick together.
8) Keep an eye on the cooking time. Set a timer for the amount of time suggested on the packet but TEST the pasta too towards the end, it should be al dente but not hard.
9) When the pasta is ready it should be drained in a large colander and dressed with sauce immediately!! It must be served hot.
10) Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese – Parmigiano Reggiano only! Remember no cheese on Italian pasta with any kind of fish!
Buon appetito! We hope your pasta is perfect every time! Let us know if you have any insider tips we missed from our list…
You might also be interested in: Mediterranean Diet: a healthier choice?