Top 4 Most Common Mistakes When Cooking Pasta
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Published by TOP4 Team
Pasta is an easy-to-prepare and super satisfying meal, especially on weeknights when there's limited time to cook. Although knowing how to cook pasta is pretty common, you might be making mistakes without even realising it. Here are the top 4 most common mistakes that you probably make when cooking pasta, plus what you should do instead:
1. Not boiling enough water
Pasta needs a lot of water to cook perfectly. For instance, if you want to cook a half pound of pasta, you’ll need to start with no less than 2.5 quarts of water. It prevents the pasta from getting sticky and also adds a little more room for the starch to spread out.
2. Adding salt to the water
It’s common to add salt to the water when cooking pasta, however, the pasta may absorb some of it, bumping up the sodium content of the dish. Since you mostly top it off with tomato sauce and maybe a tablespoon of parmesan cheese, you might want to avoid adding salt when cooking pasta. If your sauce is flavourful, you won’t miss it and you’ll cut the sodium.
3. Not using a timer
If you want to have the perfectly cooked pasta, always use a timer. Most pasta noodles come with an approximate cooking time printed at the back of the packaging, but it’s always better to check the texture gradually to ensure it’s not overcooked.
The perfect pasta has an al dente texture, which means it is slightly uncooked at the centre. It should not be too soft or too uncooked. Not only is al dente a better texture, it also gives the dish a lower glycemic index (the measure of how quickly blood sugar levels rise after eating).
4. Rinsing when you don’t need to
Rinsing the pasta after cooking may depend on when you are going to serve the food. If you are going to use it right away, you can skip the rinsing process. But if you don’t plan on serving it immediately or serving it cold, rinsing is probably a good idea. Rinsing may help cool the pasta and wash away some of the loose starch; this prevents it from getting sticky as it cools.
Pasta is the quickest dish you can serve for last-minute dining. However, cooking pasta can be a bit tricky as the texture is the most important element when it comes to making it. If you follow the tips mentioned above, you’ll end up with the best pasta you have ever cooked. Want more cooking tips? Find out more.