Food Don't Make This Mistake When Cooking Pasta

02:41  12 january  2018
02:41  12 january  2018 Source:   Southern Living

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But as simple as it is to cook pasta , you might be making common mistakes without even knowing it. Here are the five most common mistakes that are made when cooking pasta , plus our best tips on how to avoid them!

This is one of the most common mistakes . When cooking pasta , always reach for your largest pot and fill it with 5 to 6 quarts of water. Using a larger pot will keep you from having to break up the pasta to fit.

a close up of a plate of food© Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

We’ve all been there. It’s a weeknight, the kids have soccer practice and piano lessons (on different sides of town, of course), and there’s an overflowing laundry basket calling your name. In between it all, you just want to whip up a deliciously quick bowl of pasta for an easy family meal. You go to strain the pot, and you’re stuck with a steamy pile of sticky, stuck-together pasta. What went wrong?

Believe it or not, there’s more to making pasta than just dumping dry noodles into hot water. It involves a bit of patience, too. When it comes to waiting for a pot to boil, hurried (read: hangry) home cooks often don’t have any. The biggest mistake you can make when cooking pasta, though, is trying to cheat the system to save a few seconds.

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We spoke with a panel of professional Italian and Italian-American chefs to learn the common mistakes amateur home cooks make when cooking pasta . Under-salting the pasta water is a big no-no: "It should be well-seasoned, like a soup."

Avoid these mistakes when cooking pasta to ensure a perfect meal. 1. Don ' t put oil in the water. If you've picked up this habit, it's time to drop it. The only thing this does is make your pasta oily, which will prevent sauce from sticking to the pasta .

For some, this means using a smaller pot. It seems like common sense, right? The smaller the pot, the less water you need, and the less water, the quicker it will boil. While that may be true, less water also means the ratio of water to noodles may be off. A large pile of pasta added to a small pot of water will cause the water’s temperature to drop quicker than a larger pot of boiling water. This will leave your noodles sitting in warm, non-boiling water for too long. The result? Clumpy, sticky pasta.

Others may bypass the smaller pot tactic all together and outright impatiently plop that pasta into non-boiling water. We’ve all gone pasta rogue a time or two, too. We’re not here to judge. But, we are here to remind you that saving those few minutes will leave your pasta victim to the same warm water issues as small pot offenders.

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Before whipping up a bowl for your next shindig, be sure you're not making any of these pasta salad mistakes . 1. Not using the right size and shape of pasta . The best time to do this is right out of the gate when you're cooking the pasta .

The first mistake people make when cooking pasta is the size of their pot. Pasta needs a lot of space to move around in while it cooks . If it doesn’ t have this space, then there’s a good chance that the pasta will stick together or to the sides of the pan, with disastrous consequences.

Whip up perfect pasta every time by following these proven rules (and adding a bit of patience into your routine):

  1. Start with a generous pot of rapidly boiling water, at least 4 quarts of water for every pound of noodles
  2. Once the water comes to a boil, season it with two tablespoons of kosher salt to enhance any pasta’s subtle flavor
  3. Add pasta and cook uncovered at a constant boil
  4. Stir often during the first few minutes of cooking
  5. Follow package cooking time, but always taste before draining to test texture
  6. Drain well in a colander

Related video: How to Make No Cook Tomato Sauce

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