Pasta comes in all shapes and sizes and can be made semolina flour, whole wheat flour, and a number of different kinds of flour. Though the term pasta is generic and is applied to the entire range of these kinds of noodles, whether if it is fresh or dried, handmade or not, the secret to cooking the perfect pasta is to make sure that it is “al dente”. The direct translation of “al dente” is ‘to the tooth’ and this means that the pasta should be cooked but still firm when bitten.
The old-fashioned Italian way
Boil a large pot of water making sure that the volume of water is at least double the amount of pasta. Pasta should be placed when the water is rapidly boiling water, which can take at least 15 minutes. In addition of salt and oil. The amount of oil that to add in per pound of pasta is a tablespoon. Adding a couple of heaping tablespoons of salt will make ideal pasta boiling water because it should be as salty as the sea. Different kinds of pasta have various cooking times, but as a general rule it only takes 12 minutes for ordinary store-bought pasta to be cooked in the point of perfection.
Note that the pot can only be covered while waiting for the water to boil. After you add in the pasta, the heat has to be lowered for the water to boil at slow simmer. During the cooking process, you might want to stir the pasta at least a couple of times to prevent them from sticking to each other. Test the pasta to see if it is done by taking out a piece, allow it to cool a bit, and then biting it. If the texture is firm and you do not see a white spot in the center of the remaining part, it is done. If not, then continue the cooking process.
After the pasta is cooked, drain out all the water by pour into a colander or a large strainer to remove the pasta water. Be careful while doing this step as the water is scalding hot and you might get suffer burns. Rinse the pasta under cool running water to stop the cooking process and to keep them separate from each other.
The new American way
Since the time the first Italian immigrants came to America, Italian food has been adopted and has become an integral part of American cuisine. The original recipes for pizza and pasta been changed over the years, thought the basic ingredients may still be the same, there are many variations to these dishes. The cooking process also has been modified to suit the needs of an American home.
Recently, there was a new kind of cookware that was created for pasta to be cooked in the microwave. Pasta Boat is a multi-functional container where pasta and water can be placed in and zapped. The water can then be drained out easily by tilting the container to the side and letting the water spill out to the drainage holes in the cover. The other side of the cover is to be opened for the running water to come in and rinse the noodles. The handles are unique, they can be used to measure out a serving of spaghetti or other similar long pasta noodles. This pasta cooking set also includes a rack so that the microwavable container can be used for steaming food. Enjoy creating delicious pasta dishes the old-fashioned way or buy using the latest in microwavable cookware.