Pasta is one of the most enjoyable and comforting foods out there but a lot of people fail to enjoy this great meal because of the way they cook it. The truth is irrespective of whether you choose to add tomato sauce or creamy alfredo, pasta is a good meal to have and how easy it is to make.
Making pasta is however different from your regular noodles and making them the same way is probably why you end up with a soggy mess. Here are some of the top pasta offenses that are making your meal soggy and unpalatable and how to prevent them.
You’re Using A Small Pot
It is best to reach for the largest pot and fill it with 5 to 6 quarts of water when cooking your pasta. This will prevent you from having to break up the pasta to fit and also ensure that it doesn’t come out sticky. When you add pasta to a small amount of water, it lowers the temperature of the water as opposed to when you add it to a large amount of water. This will make the pasta sit at the bottom of the pot and start to clump and become mushy unless you stir.
A smaller pot means less water and higher amount of starch in the pot, which will cause it to come out sticky after you drain the water. Best bet is to go for the big pot irrespective of quantity.
Blindly Following Cooking Instructions
Cooking directions can be helpful but following your instincts can be better sometimes. Any box of pasta you buy will have directions on the back. Don’t stop cooking just because the wrapper it comes in says it should be cooked for 10 minutes. They are mostly accurate 50 percent of the time and when the cooking time is up, taste a noodle or two before draining the pot.
It’s best to keep cooking your pasta till its cook and still firm. You should keep tasting till you’re sure and try not to make it mushy.
Failing To Add Salt
The cooking instructions usual says boil in salted water. Failing to add salt maybe because you’re trying to eat healthy or because you’re simply lazy but it may be responsible for your slimy pasta. It is important that pasta water is salty and you don’t have to worry about your sodium levels as it won’t absorb most of the salt.
It will only roughen up the noodles so they don’t get slimy. 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt for every 5 to 6 quarts of cooking water will do.
You Forget To Stir
Once the water starts boiling, remember to stir ,instead of just pouring it in and waiting for it to get cookedm its best to stir your pasta to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the pot and sticking together like a gum.
Mix it together periodically to prevent sticking. Spread it around the pot ,to help it slowly sink into the water. Instead of stuffing your long noodles into the water all at once, allow it stand up in the pot and sink as they cook, then stir to help them cook evenly.
Tossing The Cooking Water
Once your pasta is cooked, retain some of the cooking water. The water is now starchy and contains a lot of the flavours which you can still use. A splash or two of cooking water is the perfect way to make a clumpy and dry sauce become luxurious and silky.
The water helps loosen up the sauce to coat up the noodles, just as the starch helps the sauce stick to the pasta better.