In the Kitchen – Cooking Perfect Pasta

A few tips …

Cook pasta in a large pot with lots of salted water. Pasta needs lots of water and room to keep it from sticking and clumping together. Make sure the water is at a full, rigorous boil before adding the pasta. Keep the heat on high so it returns to a boil quickly. Give the pasta a stir or two or three while it cooks.

Don’t forget the salt. It adds flavor and your pasta dish will be dull and flat without it. Plan about 1 tablespoon of salt per quart of water.


With one special exception , never add olive oil to the cooking water. Olive oil will coat the pasta and prevent the sauce from sticking. In addition, never rinse the pasta or you’ll wash away the starch which helps the sauce stick.
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(Linguine with Roasted Asparagus & Walnuts)

Pasta should be cooked until it is al dente… and not a minute more! Al dente is Italian for to the tooth. The pasta should offer a little resistance but not crunch when you bite into it.

Before draining the pasta, reserve some of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot and add enough sauce to coat. If the pasta seems dry, add a bit more sauce or a little pasta water. Allow the pasta and sauce to combine by cooking on very low heat, covered, for about a minute.

Enjoy and buon appetito!

More Tips, Tricks & Tools

What’s your favorite pasta dish? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive a new story and recipe every week.

Want more? Click here for lots more to read, see & cook! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2012

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