Pasta 101 – Helpful Tips

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12 Pasta Tips

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Manufacturers in Italy are bound by law to use durum wheat (grano duro) and no other. This hard grain is perfect for making firm, well-textured pasta. In other countries softer wheat is sometimes used, with predictably limp results.

How much pasta to cook?

500g or 1lb of pasta should feed four hungry people as a main course.

Adding Salt

Once water is boiling, put in at least a tablespoon of coarse sea salt per 500g (1lb) of pasta.

When to add pasta?

Add pasta when water is boiling vigorously and not before.

Al Dente Pasta

Test pasta often while boiling so you’ll know when it is al dente, or biteable.

Stir often.

Stir frequently and gently while water boils so that the pasta does not stick together.

After drained, add pasta almost immediately into sauce.

The idea is to get as much of the sauce clinging to the pasta as possible. Drain boiled pasta and place into sauce. Toss together as quickly as possible.

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Pasta tastes best served immediately.

Have guests waiting at table during last minute of tossing.

Pairing sauce with pasta…

As a general rule long thin pasta goes best with thinner, smoother sauces and tubular, round or ribbon-shaped pasta goes better with chunkier sauces.

Easy Pasta Dish

Aglio e olio, garlic and oil, is the simplest and quickest of all pasta dishes. For each person sauté one crushed garlic clove in olive oil. Mix with freshly drained pasta and serve.

Another Easy Pasta Dish

Another easy pasta dish is to mix freshly drained pasta with pesto. Mmm…delicious.

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picture by SACLA

Find Basil Pesto, Pesto Rosso, Pesto Rappini, Rose Harissa Pesto and more at Herma’s!

Grated Cheese

Fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano is the best cheese to grate over pasta. Scrumptious on most dishes except those involving shellfish.

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Find fresh, Italian Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino at Herma’s!