header ads

What do most amateur cooks do wrong while cooking a pasta dish?

These are the things I have seen most often.

Not enough water. Pasta should be boiled in far more water than most people use. It should not just be covered in water, it should be completely submerged and able to swim freely in the pot. So, basically, double up the amount of water you use.

Adding oil. Oil in the pasta water is an old superstition. It does nothing to enhance the flavor and does not prevent pasta from clumping. When you drain the pasta it just slicks it, making it impossible for the sauce to stick and be absorbed.

Overcooking pasta. Pasta should have a bite. Do you see that white, pasty core in the maccherone on the right? That means that pasta is underdone. The very moment that core disappears your pasta is al dente. Not a second of cooking more. When you get that amount of core your pasta probably needs between 60 and 120 seconds more (yes, when cooking pasta you calculate in seconds). Then if it’s al dente or even just barely under you drain it. Do not forget, cooking carries, especially if you continue to the stage a few steps below.

Using premade sauces. Pasta sauces can be the easiest thing on earth. You have zero time? While your pasta cooks heat up a pan (again, larger than you would normally use), add a tablespoon of good extravirgin olive oil per person, when it’s hot add one whole garlic clove (you don’t want to taste garlic and nothing else) and one anchovy per person. Stir until your anchovies melt, remove the garlic, add a hint of spice (not too much) and you have a sauce ready. Vegetarian? Forget anchovies, heat the pan and the oil, add the garlic (still in its casing, just barely cracked by smashing it with your hand), then add a handful of very small and whole plum tomatoes per person, lid on. Shake the pan 2–3 times. After about 5 minutes, remove the lid, add a pinch of salt, and bash the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. A pinch of oregano or a couple basil leaves and the sauce is done.

Too many ingredients. Keep it simple. I said simpler. Really, 4–5 ingredients are the best.

Draining pasta too much. Drain it rapidly and immediately dump it in the pan. Reserve a bit of the pasta cooking water and use it to dilute the sauce, so that the two can mingle better. Sauté the pasta (hence why slightly undercooked is fine) for a minute or two, but do not allow it to get too dry.

But I think that the worst mistake you can ever make with pasta is… Letting it sit. Pasta is the kind of food that you should eat the moment you take it off the pan. No waiting time. The moment it cools it clumps, overcooks, becomes gummy, and becomes just plain horrible. When you cook pasta you need to be in a sort of flow: boil pasta, while pasta boils arrange a rapid sauce, drain, sauté in the sauce, serve, eat immediately. Ideally, the table should be set before you start cooking your pasta and the people you are going to eat with should be sitting at the table the moment you drain the pasta. Pasta is to be had piping hot the moment it leaves the pan or it gets ready for the bin.

Thanks for Reading

Image source Google

Post a Comment