Has someone criticized you on how you make spaghetti and meatballs? Don’t worry, it has happened to everyone. To help you out, we put together some helpful tips on cooking the perfect pasta meal. And if you don’t want to experience the hassle, you can always visit an Italian restaurant nearby. Enjoy:
What not to do?
Before we share with you the secret recipe for perfect pasta, here is a list of top 3 things not to do when making it. Some of them are done on a regular basis across the entire globe and that is why good pasta is rare to find. Voila:
• Using a small pan – You are in a hurry, the dishes aren’t washed and the only thing you can find is an XXS sized pan? Do not use it! Pasta needs its space to develop into a delicious meal! Wash the largest pan you can find and start making you dinner.
• Putting oil into the water – Olive oil, pasta, and tomato sauce – the emblem of Italy! And mixing those three together. Hmm, what a dish! However, most of us mix them the wrong way because olive oil shouldn’t be added into the water before or while the pasta is cooking.
• Rinsing cooked pasta – Would you rinse an already made tea with cold water? NO! So don’t rinse your pasta since with doing so all of the salt and spices that the pasta absorbed while cooking will disappear completely, never to return again! Instead, only dry your spaghetti or linguini and even keep a cup of the cooking water. It is amazing for intensifying the flavor of your sauce.
Read all the don’t’s? Want some more tips? As you wish… Here are the steps of cooking the perfect pasta for your friends, family, and lovers:
Step Uno – Pan & Water
This step is the easiest one: Take a large sized pot and add cold water in it. Remember that besides space, pasta also needs a good amount of water to cook the right way. For instance, for 1 pound of delicious pasta, you need 6 to 8 quartz sized pan, filled 4/5 with water. This way, the pasta won’t get sticky or half cooked.
Step Duo – Salt
Pasta isn’t the same without salt and common advice you’ll be hearing from cooks is to add as much of it as possible. However, nutritionists started suggesting the dangers of too much salt in our organisms. Table salt is also known as sodium chloride or NaCl. As with everything, using too many damages the nutrient balance in our organisms. Tomato and Parmesan are also rich with sodium so imagine what happens in our cells when we add a ton of salt to pasta which we later combine with salty tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese. It is ok if you cannot skip this step since salt makes the flavor perfect! But, try to add less than you usually do – for your body’s sake.
Step Tre – Boil and Splash
When the water boils, add your chosen type of pasta with a splash (just to make things more dramatic). Some types of pasta are made faster than others like vermicelli, but all of them must be stirred while cooking. This prevents them from sticking together and not absorbing the right amount of flavors. So when to know that your pasta is ready? Here is a timetable of appropriate cooking times for each type: https://www.bettycrocker.com/how-to/tipslibrary/charts-timetables-measuring/timetable-cooking-pasta
To make sure you don’t make any mistakes, taste test the pasta every 20 seconds the last 3 minutes of cooking. Also, when you put the pasta in the pan, the water will stop boiling. And after a certain time, it will start boiling along with the pasta. When this happens, remove the lid to prevent foam and hot water from overflowing.
Step Quatro – The Cherry on Top
Your ravioli started floating on the surface – the pasta is ready! But, you are not done yet as one of the key parts of making this meal perfect are the finishing touches or putting the cherry on top. In our case, the cherry tomato! After the pasta is fully cooked, dry it and put it again in the pan along with your ideal sauce. Mix everything together and remember that hot pasta absorbs more sauce and that cheese melts when heated. There you have it – your perfect meal and the hidden secrets of Italian restaurants!
About Ombretta Cucina + Vino
Ombretta Cucina + Vino is an Italian restaurant in Mississauga with rustic and modern decor located in the heart of Port Credit, Mississauga boasting a sizeable selection of apperitivos, wine, cocktails, and digestivos. Call us today at 905-271-2017 to reserve your table!