Cooking pasta seems easy and there are plenty of tips on that subject. However, they’re not all really useful or effective. I compiled five pseudo good ideas not to apply when cooking dry pasta.
1. Add some oil
Sometimes you add a drizzle of oil to the boiling water so that your pasta does not stick? That’s a crime! So, stop it right now, there’s absolutely no point in doing that. Oil and water repel, besides, oil being lighter than water, it stays on the surface. Adding oil is therefore of no use.
2. Cooking pasta in an insufficient volume of water
Cook your pasta in a sufficient volume of water, otherwise you will end up with some kind of wallpaper glue and a pasta patty. Pasta contains starch. These starch molecules are released into the water. These starch molecules are deployed in contact with hot water. Water molecules cling to starch molecules, creating a kind of sticky substance. Cooking the pasta in a large volume of water dilutes this substance. In addition, the temperature of a large quantity of water does not decrease with a small amount of pasta. This constant high temperature ensures faster cooking.
3. Pour pasta into water and just wait.
Stir the pasta just after having poured it into the pot. This will allow the starch molecules to disperse in the water and prevent them from clinging and sticking in the pasta.
4. Adding salt before boiling resumes
We keep hearing it again and again: adding salt to the water increases the boiling point, which speeds up cooking. Actually, you must add about 360 g of salt to 1 litre of water to increase the boiling point by 6 degrees. The pasta will be cooked slightly faster, but the question is whether it will still be edible? That said, many Italians add 10 g of salt per litre of water. Why? Especially for the taste.
5. Cooking pasta “al overdente”
Good pasta is pasta which is cooked “al dente”. Cooking time on the packaging is indicative. Check for yourself by tasting your pasta. You still feel a slight resistance when biting in? In this case, they are “al dente”. However, here’s a tip: it is best to remove the pasta from the water before it is completely al dente. Pasta always continues to cook for a little while, without forgetting that you will add a hot sauce, which prolongs the cooking even more.