This is how my mom taught me to cook pasta. She learned from her grandmother who learned from her mother in the old country. My great-great-grandmother's tradition passed down through the years.
I know every family has traditions and they all differ from each other. This is mine; my family's "right" way. 🇮🇹👍
Here are 2 of our 3 ingredients. All we need now is our boiling water! Note: this method is for dried pasta. Fresh pasta is a different method altogether.
This is my stock pot. It has a built in strainer. You can just use a big pot and a separate strainer if you don't have one like this 😊.
Fill the pot with plenty of water - the amount depends on the size of your pan. The rule of thumb is usually 2 quarts per pound of pasta. You can eyeball it by filling your pot just under 2/3 full.
This may sound like common sense but I've seen it done otherwise so...Put your largest burner on HIGH. We are aiming for a rolling boil. The quickest way to achieve this is on high heat.
Cover on. Wait for the bubbles! And remember the old adage - a watched pot never boils! So...Wash some dishes, sing a song, prep your salad, drink your wine...
...and before you know it, bingo!!! This is the rolling boil we want!!
At the first signs of a good boil add the salt. This is the ONLY chance we have to season our pasta so don't be stingy! I don't know the exact measurement because I usually eyeball. Maybe a handful.
PLEASE. I am begging you. DO NOT put oil in your water. Oil coats your pasta making it impossible for sauce to cling to it.
Adding oil is the worst thing to do. If you want to keep your pasta from sticking, STIR IT! Every few minutes should do 😄
After salting the water, allow to return to a full, rolling boil. Then add pasta, stirring once it's all in to keep it from clumping/sticking.
Once pasta is in and stirred, replace cover keeping it slightly ajar, to bring back to a full boil.
Stir occasionally (every 2 min or so) to keep pasta from sticking.
This is our happy place. This is what we want! Boil for 7-9 minutes for al dente.
"Al Dente" literally translated from Italian means "to the tooth". Perfect al dente pasta should have just a little bite to it. Pasta should never be mushy!
Use a slotted spoon to retrieve a few pieces, run them under cold water for a few seconds to cool, then test. Take a small bite. There should be no trace of white, uncooked pasta in the center.
Still crunchy? 2-3 more minutes should do the trick! Keep an eye on it and test again before straining.
When it's perfect, strain the pasta.
Your pasta is ready to be added to your favorite recipe - red sauce, Alfredo sauce, mac & cheese, pasta salad...the "pastabilities" are endless!!
I hope you find this guide useful and easy to follow. Please feel free to ask any question in the comment section. I always respond ☺. Thanks for watching! Now, go! Mangia!! 🍝🍷