You might think pasta is a foolproof option, but these easy-to-implement tips could energize your weeknight dinner.
Many people make pasta for their meals, and you might think it’s an easy and safe option.
However, you’re probably making a lot of mistakes that might be easy to fix.
Here are nine tips for Taste.com.au to make sure you have restaurant-quality food at home…
1. Don’t overcook it
Fine-tuning the timing of pasta cooking can be tricky, but it can make all the difference in taste.
The pasta should have a slight firmness, but be chewy with an even color.
Be sure to check your pasta one minute before the end of the packet’s recommended cooking time and avoid overcooking it or it will become mushy.
2. Get the pasta to water ratio right
Pasta needs plenty of room to expand while cooking, so a large pot is essential.
This will prevent it from sticking together in boiling water.
You should also stir regularly to ensure even cooking and to avoid any lumps forming.
3. Do not add olive oil to pasta water
Many people think you should add olive oil to your water when cooking to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
However, you should avoid doing this as it will leave a film on the pasta after it has been drained.
This will prevent sauces from clinging to it.
4. Don’t waste pasta water after draining it
First, be sure to add salt to your pasta water when it comes to a boil.
After cooking, many people drain their pasta and pour the water down the sink, but this can actually help thin the sauce later if needed.
This will enhance the flavor without adding extra salt.
5. Don’t take away the flavor
Many people choose to rinse their pasta after cooking, but you should avoid this if you can.
This is because you will lose some of the flavor of the pasta and you will also lose some of the starch that helps bind the sauce to the pasta.
6. Don’t choose the wrong sauce for the type of pasta
Choosing the best sauce for your pasta can help spice up the meal.
Spaghetti obviously works well with bolognese and also pairs well with creamy sauces, as do linguine and fettuccine.
If you have short, tube-shaped pasta, you should consider using thick vegetable sauces.
The ribbon shape of Pappardelle or the ridges of rigatoni work well with a meat stew.
7. Don’t overdo the sauce
If you want pasta that would be Italian-approved, try aiming for pasta coated in sauce but not drowned in it.
The best way to not overdo it is to add the cooked, drained pasta to a large frying pan, then add the sauce slowly.
8. Don’t overheat the carbonara
Have you ever tried to make a carbonara and the sauce slightly resembles scrambled eggs?
You may have had too high a heat, which caused the eggs to overcook.
This can be tricky though, as you need enough heat to thicken the egg and melt the cheese.
Here’s a chef’s guide to nailing the dish.
9. Don’t Overcook Pasta for One Bake
Some people find that their pasta is too soft when they serve their pasta baked.
This can be avoided by undercooking your pasta for a few minutes, as it will continue to cook in the oven.
This article originally appeared on The sun and has been republished with permission