I’ve always wanted to know how the best Italian chefs cooked their pasta perfectly al dente. And finally, I get some tips from Palate Sensations’ Chef Charlotte D’Isodoro on correcting some common mistakes we all make when it comes to cooking pasta.
- Always add enough salt to the water you cook your pasta in. A savoury sauce can’t save bland pasta. How salty? It should taste about as salty as sea water.
- There is no need to add olive oil into the boiling water to cook the pasta. The pasta will not stick together if you stir it from time to time. Don’t be lazy.
- Never add cold water after straining to stop the cooking unless you’re preparing a pasta salad.
- Use the right plates when serving pasta. Best to use a deeper dish for spaghetti and fusilli so you can use the edge to scoop it out and top make sure it won’t cool too quickly.
- And most importantly, to get perfect, al dente pasta, the cooking time on the box indicates the TOTAL time the pasta will be cooking so remember to factor in straining and tossing in the pan for that perfect bite and texture.
Here’s a short video on how we stir-fried the cherry tomatoes in olive oil and garlic till soft, boiled the pasta before stirring it all in with chopped rocket for a nutty, salty flavour and topping everything off with salt, pepper and some generous shavings of fresh parmigiana cheese. Try it for a simple, comforting lunch. Good luck!