05: Pasta Al Dente 🍝

  
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📍 Introduction

Pasta cooked to perfection is heavenly. Having just the right amount of texture and bite is possible with a few easy steps. 

🧂 Ingredients & Equipment:

  • Dried pasta 

  • Colander or strainer 

✔️ Instructions: 

  1. Boil water in a large pot. Leave enough room to avoid overflow

  2. Season water & add pasta 

  3. Set a timer to 3 minutes less than indicated on the box

  4. Taste by using a slotted spoon and cooling the pasta with tap water. Al dente will feel chewy and firm.

  5. Drain. Serve with sauce/toppings. Enjoy! 

📝 Notes, Tips, Tricks

  • If you plan to cook the pasta further with a sauce, remove ~2-3 minutes earlier

  • A single serving is 2 oz or ½ cup dried. This is ~200 calories. For 4-6 people use one pound (a standard box or bag) worth ~1600 calories.  

  • If storing, toss with a little olive oil to reduce sticking. Reheat in microwave for ~1 min, or by blanching in hot water 

  • If mixing with a sauce, reserve ~ 1 cup of cooking water. It can be used to loosen the sauce without diluting flavor 

  • Remember - you can always cook pasta longer, but you can’t uncook it. If you need to cook it longer, add some liquid back in.

👆🏻 Variations & Additions:

  • Sauce: tomato/marinara, bolognese, cream, cheese, pesto, olive oil, butter, lemon 

  • Cheese: parmesan, ricotta salata, pecorino romano, feta, ricotta

  • Cooked vegetables: practically anything

  • Nuts: Pine nuts, chopped walnuts/almonds

  • Herbs/Aromatics: Garlic, basil, oregano, chives, thyme, parsley

  • Spices: Red pepper flakes, nutmeg, black pepper  

  • Crunch: Breadcrumbs or smashed croutons

  • Leftovers (e.g., chicken, sausage, beans, vegetables)

🎓 Further Studies: 

👉 Next Lesson: 06: How to Boil Vegetables