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Pasta is the original fast food. Nothing cooks up quicker, goes further and is easier to make, since all we have to do is boil water. But to make your pasta really stand out, here are some super-easy tips:
- Hearty pastas team best with heavier sauces.
- Tubular macaroni types go best with chunky sauces.
- Delicate noodles pair with light sauces that won't weigh them down.
- Start pasta by boiling water. For a quicker boil, simply cover the pot. (Use about six quarts of water for up to one pound of pasta.) Salting the water just before adding the pasta enhances the flavor of the pasta and also helps it absorb sauce.
- Don't combine shapes in the same pot because cooking times may vary.
- To help keep your pot from boiling over, spray the inside edge of the pot with a bit of cooking spray.
- To determine doneness, we could throw it against the wall to see if it sticks, or simply taste it: perfectly cooked pasta should be "al dente." That's Italian for "to the tooth," which means that the pasta is still slightly chewy.
- When pasta is done cooking, rinse it only if you're not saucing and serving it immediately, otherwise the starch that clings to the strands (giving it good taste and texture) will be lost.
- Save a bit of the cooking water just in case your sauce needs to be thickened up a bit.
With these foolproof tips, our pasta can always be a perfect..."OOH IT'S SO GOOD!!"