Thursday, June 23, 2011
PS: On pasta
I love pasta, particularly spaghetti. It truly is one of the great pleasures in life, especially the high quality store dried one providing a quick fix of comfort and carb-high whenever needed (more on home made pasta later).
Therefore, pasta has to be handled with the highest degree of attention to detail, the utmost care and thoughtfulness. It’s easy to do it right (and right obviously depends in your own tastes and preferences - just because the whole world dictates that pasta has to be al dente, if you hate it, boil your pasta for an hour if you must!), so there is no reason to ever deprive you of the enjoyment of the perfectly boiled pasta by following some simple guidelines.
First, the pot has to be large enough (otherwise, there is too much starch in the water, making the pasta soggy).
Second, the water has to bubblingly boil when you toss in the pasta and continue to do so during the whole process (otherwise it will end up soggy as well).
Third, it is best to try a bite every 2-3 minutes to monitor the pasta’s progress. It doesn’t matter what the instructions on the box say - the pasta has to please your taste. Always remove the pasta from the water as soon as you feel it is nearly done - as it will continue cooking even once strained. My personal preference is the al dente, when there is still a little need to chew my food and the pasta is still strong enough to proudly carry the sauce.