lunedì 15 settembre 2008


A short lesson on cooking perfect spaghetti (and other pasta)

1 - When shopping for pasta, look for one with a buttery yellow color and no white or black spots (indicating improper milling, drying or storing).
2 - The average portion is 2 1/2 to 4oz; depending on the sauce, on the course for which pasta is being served and..... on how much hungry people are.
3 - Pasta must be cooked in abundant water, that allows even and quick submersion and quick return to boil. For 1lb of pasta, you should use 4qt of rapidly boiling water; a tall saucepan (deeper than wider) reduces evaporation, and is perfect for spaghetti.
4 - Salt the water; when it comes to a boil, add 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp of salt for 4qt of water.
5 - Gather spaghetti together in your hands, gently twist the ends in opposite directions, then drop them in the water, this will help you prevent pasta sticking.
6 - As the water returns to boil, during the first couple of minutes, stir pasta well and frequently, this also will help you prevent sticking.
7 - Cooking time is essential. Begin checking doneness a 3 minutes before the time suggested on the box; for "al dente", pasta should be translucent, with a tiny opaque dot in the center. Pasta goes from al dente to overcook easily, don't be afraid to drain your pasta too early because it continues cooking also after being drained.
8 - Before draining reserve a little of the cooking water to add to the sauce. The water contains starch which gives the sauce extra body and flavor and helps the pasta and the sauce bond. Put your pasta in the sauce skillet and stir well, toss with Prmesan (when suggested).
9 - When your pasta is ready, call your family and friends, serve it quickly while it's hot.


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