If there is still a slight resistance then the pasta is done. It is as the Italians say al dente. There is some "bite" left in it. Your pasta is then ready to serve with the sauce of your choice. When you are almost done cooking dinner you turn the macaroni off to add the cheese sauce to it and notice that the pasta is too gummy. Do you make another batch of pasta or do you go without the pasta? You probably don t have time to make another batch of pasta so your meal will not be complete this time. Cooking pasta does take some special attention in order to avoid any gummy or pasty pasta dinners. When cooking pasta put your water on the stove and bring to a boil. Salt your boiling water right before you add your pasta. As soon as you add your pasta stir immediately.
Some of the hollow or tubular pastas are elbow macaroni (most often used for macaroni and cheese or macaroni salad. Elbow macaroni usually comes in two sizes. The large size is great for casseroles and the smaller sizes are good used in soup such as minestrone or vegetable. Large width tubular pastas are ziti which again comes in several sizes penne rigatoni and cannelloni. Cannelloni are usually about 3 inches long and are served stuffed with a cheese or meat filling and topped with a marinara or meat sauce. The twisted pastas include Fusilli Bucati Gemeli Rotelli (Wagon Wheels). The twisted pastas are good for heavy sauces. Their shape will help to retain the sauce whereas with the smooth thin pastas the heavy sauces will just run off back into the plate. Fusilli are also nice for seafood pasta salads.
There is so much variety in pasta that if served with different types of sauces or used in salads soups or even puddings you can enjoy it several times a week without making the same dish twice. Pasta can be used for breakfast casseroles luncheon salads and dinner entrees and even for dessert. Try your hand experiment and see what you can come up with. According to a recent pasta survey taken among Italian chefs and experts - these are the 7 most common mistakes most people make when cooking pasta... 1. Not using a large enough cooking pot This is probably the most common "pasta cooking" mistake. The very minimum that the experts recommend is four quarts of water for one pound of pasta. But Italian chefs and pasta experts use more than that; between five and six quarts of water for each pound of pasta.