7 Ways You’re Cooking Your Pasta the Wrong Way

Cooking pasta is easy—just dump heaps of hard noodles into boiling water and wait until they are soft, right? Wrong! Surprisingly, there are many common ways people are ruining their pasta dishes, and we referred to a number of chefs to debunk them all.

1. You do not salt the water
You need to add salt into the water in order for the pasta to have its own taste once it is combined with the sauce. But if the person you are cooking for is in low-sodium diet, you can skip salting the pasta and let each person sprinkle some salt on their own plate. Ideally, however, you should salt the water as soon as it starts to tremble before putting in the noodles.

2. You are putting oil in the water
According to most chefs we’ve asked, oil isn’t necessary when cooking the pasta. Even if you completely drain the water out, the pasta is still left with a coat of oil, preventing the sauce from sticking to it later on.

3. You rinse the pasta
People rinse their pasta with cold water in order to stop the cooking. However, when you do the rinsing, you are also washing the starch off the pasta. Like putting oil in boiling water, rinsing off the starch will only make the sauce to slip and slide off the pasta, also causing the flavors to not combine very well.

4. You mix a bit of pasta water with the sauce
If you think the sauce needs more thinning, then go mix in a bit of pasta water. But remember that the drained pasta will still retain a bit of water on it, which should be enough to dilute the sauce.

5. You freeze and defrost the leftover pasta
Fresh pasta freezes well, but do not thaw it to cook it. You can cook it directly even if it’s still frozen; you won’t really notice the difference. But if you thaw it after it is frozen, might as well throw it away. The water crystals will cause the dough to get soggy when cooked.

6. Leaving the pasta in the colander for too long
Once the pasta is done cooking, you should add them to the sauce immediately after draining. The longer it is left in the colander, the more it will stick together and the more likely that the sauce won’t get evenly distributed on the pasta.

7. You’re not stirring the pasta as soon as it gets into the water
The first two to three minutes of cooking is the most crucial part to ensure that the pasta won’t stick together. So, completely submerge your hard pasta into the boiling water as quickly as you can and get stirring right away.

Correctly cooked pasta can serve as a beautiful base to many different dishes. Hopefully, these tips will help you make your next pasta recipe an unforgettable meal… for good reasons.

Cooking Tips

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