Like many others, it will be difficult for you to resist pasta. From meatballs to macaroni and cheese to salads, the options can be too mouthwatering to ignore. But sometimes, even simple dishes fail to get the right flavor due to a few cooking slip-ups here and there. Don’t worry about it anymore. You can turn it into the most delicious treat with spices, proteins, and others. Here are some of the main steps that can make a massive difference to your favorite pasta recipes, making them as tasty as a restaurant-style. So, let’s follow.
Choice of Vessel
Some home cooks manage with just about any pan and pot. From small pans to larger ones to Dutch ovens, the options are plenty. If you know what you want to make and the quantity, the decision becomes easy. However, most chefs use an extra deep pot for boiling purposes, especially if they need to cook spaghetti. It allows the long and slender noodles to soak easily. Are you worried about filling water in a large pot and cleaning it? Choosing a pot filler as your faucet can be the ultimate solution for this. You can run the tap to fill any size of vessel easily or wash and rinse it. The distance between its spout and sink tends to be quite generous, enabling you to complete your chore quickly.
Amount of Salt
Once you place the pot on flame and the water starts boiling, you have to add salt. A few cooks overlook this part and hurry to sprinkle it. But professionals suggest one should wait until the water reaches boiling point because salted water takes more time to boil. After this, you can put your pasta noodles. It is also the stage where you can make your dish flavorful. If you are thinking about the sodium content of the salt, it will be helpful to know that noodles will extract only flavor and not sodium. Hence, if you or your loved one has blood pressure or any other medical condition, you can relax.
As per the rule of thumb, you can add one tablespoon of salt to 16 cups of water. You need this quantity to cook about one pound of pasta. So, don’t forget to adjust your proportions.
Whether it is pasta or some other ingredient, cooking is all about patience. While it can be boring sometimes, you cannot afford to rush without risking the entire dish. So, it will be better to add pasta when the water is boiling and not before it. Although it may not make much sense initially, you may regret it when your pasta becomes too mushy. That’s why it is good to wait patiently. The boiling water will cook your ingredient quicker and help it to set.
Do you notice the formation of starch on the surface of your noodles? It happens when you add your pasta without waiting for a proper time. However, you can avoid this. The starch will not burst and appear on the surface, allowing noodles to soak water and become rehydrated. This process is critical for the overall structure of the pasta. It will come out as firm and soft as required without being over mushy.
Since water temperature goes down as soon as you add noodles to it, you would want to stir it a bit to prevent them from sticking to each other and the pot’s surface. It is another crucial consideration when it comes to cooking pasta. Why? The reason is, water will quickly gain its heat because it was boiled and take care of pasta’s structure. Still, some starch will release from the noodles in the water and cause it to become sticky.
If you want to make dry noodles, you will have to cook them for eight to ten minutes based on their quality. But it would be best to keep an eye on it from four minutes onward. Fresh pasta noodles, however, don’t take longer than two minutes to boil. If you wish to make it classic lasagna-style, you will put it in a casserole, which again cooks in the oven. Ensure that it doesn’t overcook. It has to be chewy, firm in the center, and slightly resistant to acquire the best form. However, when you use it in a salad, you will cook a little more to absorb the dressing.
If you take two ounces of dry pasta, it will measure about a 1/2 cup. Still, it can vary due to noodle shape and size. Once you cook it, the quantity will double up. So, you can imagine 1/2 cup of dried pasta to be at least one cup in its cooked state.
Some people may not give this cooking process its due attention. But if you want to use this versatile ingredient in your food, you have to be careful. You can cook, steam, and microwave it the way you wish. As soon as it gets the right texture, you can drain water and mix it with your favorite sauce. If you have a salad recipe in mind, you would first want to run cold water on it for one minute and continue to stir till it cools down. Since it is a longer-style noodle dish, you can select from lighter sauces, such as seafood sauce, tomato-based sauce, etc.
Pairing pasta with the proper sauce is an art and as critical as cooking it to the right texture and consistency. You cannot have the mouthful flavor out of a portion unless it has a balanced taste. You can use lighter sauces for lighter noodles and thicker sauces for big and thick noodles to simplify things. A lot of things suddenly become easy if you follow basic knowledge. As eating is more of an experience, your main goal is to improve it with everything you add or avoid. When you carry this little wisdom, your cooking and recipes don’t fail to impress and tickle the tastebuds. Everyone can feel lost in the heavenly flavors and aroma.