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In order to flavor the twisted pastas for salads it is good to toss the pasta with the dressing just after draining. If you do this while the pasta is still warm they will absorb the flavor of the dressing and taste better. In addition to the twisted pastas there are shells which come in several sizes. The larger of the shells are great for stuffing with cheese or meat. They then can be served with marinara Bolognese or seafood sauce. The stuffed shells can also be arranged in a casserole covered with sauce and some mozzarella cheese and then baked. This type of dish is also great to make ahead freeze and the cook when needed. To cook a frozen pasta casserole place the whole thing while still frozen in a cold oven. Once the casserole is in the oven you can then turn the oven on to 350 degrees and let it cook.
The sauce for lasagna can vary from marinara (tomato) to Bolognese mushroom vegetarian or seafood. There will usually be a layer of pasta a layer of ricotta cheese a layer of sauce and a layer of mozzarella. Sometimes the pasta and cheese is layered without the sauce and the sauce is added at serving time. The narrowest of the flat pasta is linguini; linguini is long narrow pasta (about " wide) which can be served with any number of sauces. A favorite that is served with linguini are clams in either a white wine sauce or a spicy red sauce. The next size up is fettuccini which is usually served with an Alfredo sauce (cream or bchamel) made with butter heavy cream and parmesan. It is utterly delicious easy and simple to make and loaded with calories.
Specifically well salted boiling water. How much water depends on how much pasta you are cooking. Plenty of water is best but even if you are limited to a small pan do not fret all your pasta needs is salted boiling water. In a perfect world a large oversized pot would be best. But if you are cooking lets say a pound of pasta for a group to enjoy even an eight cup/two quart pan will do just fine. Yes eight cups or two quarts of water will do the trick for a pound of pasta. Bring the water to the highest boil you can and leave it at that temperature. Add enough salt (I recommend sea salt for both flavor and mineral content) so that you can just taste it in the water. Too much salt is as bad as too little salt. Once the water is boiling fiercely add the pasta and stir it briskly in the pan until it comes to a boil once again. Here is an old professional pasta cooking trick for when you are cooking any type of spaghetti or long pasta. Break the pasta in half before dropping it into the pan. Not only will it fit perfectly but it will cook evenly. You are not waiting for the pasta to cook and bend itself into the pan which can take over a minute. Your pasta will have the same perfect Al Dente (firm slightly hard slightly crunchy) texture all the way through. In addition it is Much Easier to eat. It also takes on sauces much better than foot long plus pasta. Most pasta packages recommend that you cook the pasta for a certain number of minutes.