Dried Pasta Article - Allrecipes.com
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Pasta

Neutral by nature, dried pasta provides the perfect foil for flavorful sauces.

Coming in numerous shapes and sizes, dried pasta is one of the world's great convenience foods.


Pasta Preparation

Start with a large, deep pot full of water--about 6 quarts per pound of pasta. Bring the water to a vigorous boil and then salt the water generously--if you don't salt it well, the pasta won't taste properly seasoned. Add pasta slowly, without breaking it, and stir carefully to separate. Cook until the pasta is tender and just slightly firm to the bite--a toothsome "al dente."

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Whys and What Fors

Salt the boiling water to infuse flavor. Adding salt before the water reaches a boil could discolor some pots. Use lots of water so the pasta can expand, separate, and cook evenly. Don't add oil to the water because it can interfere with how well the sauce sticks to the pasta. Rinsing the pasta when it's done can also wash away surface starches that help grab the sauce.

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The Pasta Is Prelude

Made from a paste (hence, “pasta”) of wheat flour and water, dried pastas were first developed in China and have been with us for millennia. In earlier eras, pasta making was invaluable because it provided a relatively indestructible food source capable of lengthy storage.

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Comments
Dec. 22, 2009 11:00 am
Thank you for the helpful article! I'm still learning about cooking and I had no idea that salting the water helped sauce stick to the pasta later. I thought it was purely for flavor only. They say you learn something new everyday!
 
David 
Sep. 15, 2010 10:26 am
Salt makes it stick? Rubbish! First, don't add salt until AFTER the water is boiling. Otherwise, you'll ruin the finish of a stainless pot. Want the sauce to stick? Save 1/4 cup (for 1 lb. pasta)of the water once the pasta is cooked. Drain the pasta, return it to the hot pot, add a little Parmsean cheese to the pasta, then your sauce, then mix in the water. It's the starches in the water that makes it stick
 
Sep. 28, 2010 5:38 pm
Draining your pasta just before it's done and finishing cooking it IN the sauce for a minute or two will help the sauce stick because the pasta will absorb some of the water from the sauce as it's cooking therefore making the sauce slightly thicker and making it stick (instead of what most people do, plop on some sauce ontop of barely drained noodles). Take it from an ITALIAN
 
Jan. 20, 2011 2:29 pm
Some of the best pasta I have ever eaten comes from a company called Rossi Pasta Natural Gourmet Pasta. It is made in Marietta, Ohio. It comes in many different flavors and varieties, such as Roasted Red Bell Pepper Fettuccini, Tomato Basil Garlic Fettuccini, Parsley Garlic Fettuccini, Italian Spice Linguine to name a few. They also make a pasta with red wine which gives the dried pasta a lavendar color. Check out their website, you won't be disappointed.
 
shinjiangnicole 
Jan. 24, 2011 1:48 am
It only says oil will "interfere with how well the sauce sticks to the pasta".
 
 
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