Soggy pasta always ruins a spaghetti dinner? What’s dubbed as the best way to have your pasta is for it to be slightly chewy or al dente. Here’s a guide in cooking spaghetti noodles al dente.
- Check the instructions
Pasta that you buy in groceries have come a long way. Some are made in such a way that they’d come out al dente as long as you check the instructions on the package. Most of the other steps in cooking them are also indicated there – quantity, water, and time.
- How much
500 g of pasta is good for four people. Though a bunch of dry noodles with the diameter of a US quarter is supposed to be equal to 1 cup.
- A good sized pan
You’d want a pan large enough to have enough space so that pasta will not stick together or to the pan as soon as it starts cooking.
- Enough water
500 grams of pasta usually needs 4 liters. But check the packaging for your dry noodles. They might vary.
- Adding salt and oil
For the above-mentioned 500 grams and 4 liters, 2 tablespoons of salt is needed. Salt ensures that the pasta will cook evenly. A word of warning though, salt raises the water’s boiling point so better add it once the water boils and not before.
Adding oil to the boiling water will prevent the pasta from sticking. Also, you can toss the pasta once in a while with a pair of tongs or chopsticks.
Depending on the amount, this could range from 6-7 minutes for small servings and 9-10 minutes for large amounts. However, just check the package for the recommended time. Remember just add the pasta once the water starts to boil. No need to cover the pan or the water might overflow.
- Check for al dente
You can check for al dente once it the recommended time has lapsed. To check, you can get a piece of spaghetti then bite it. It should be slightly chewy with a small white dot in the middle. Some might recommend throwing a piece on the wall, if it sticks, it’s done.
- Shock treatment
If you plan to cook the sauce a bit later, it’s best to drain your noodles and shock them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Remember, the heat in the heap will continue cooking the noodles to a soggy bunch.
Voila, al dente pasta for you to enjoy.