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In almost every case if it is written in English you will be told to cook the pasta way beyond its Al Dente phase. Why? Because most Americans are used to pre-cooked pasta at restaurants prepared hours in advance (gag!) and placed in a refrigerator to be reheated with your chosen sauce when you order. Or they are accustomed to (Oh my God no) canned pasta products. So while you can use the cooking time as a guide the key to perfect pasta is to drain it the minute it begins to fold easily and still has a bit of crunchiness to it. The only way you can achieve this is to keep an eye on it. Stir it regularly as it boils and test it with a fork or spoon. Remember once you drain it the pasta will keep cooking on its own. By the time you add it to your sauce or accompaniment over a moderate heat in a pan it continues to cook as well. This technique is called In Patella or In The Pan in Italian. Thick macaroni products (ziti farfalle rotini) will take slightly longer to cook than spaghetti varieties. The thinner the spaghetti variety the Less time it will take to cook al dente. Angel hair pasta can take less than two minutes to cook if your going to finish it properly In Patella where it will continue to cook or soften. And Never Ever Ever rinse pasta. You will destroy its flavor make it soft and destroy the ultimate pasta experience. So remember Never Ever Ever rinse pasta. Another excellent professional pasta cooking tip is to save a cup or so of the cooking water before draining in the event that your pasta needs more moisture when you add it to your sauce or accompaniment. Adding fresh water will destroy the pastas flavor as if you have rinsed it. So just in case keep a cup of the cooking water handy.
Carbohydrates though recently made out to be villains are actually necessary to keep your body and mind running smoothly. When carbohydrates are broken down they provide a major source of glucose. Glucose is the primary source of energy for your body and the only source of energy for your brain. Many people who have tried to stick to very low-carb diets have suffered from low energy and bad moods. I know I would be in a bad mood if I never got to eat my favorite pastas! Consuming too many carbohydrates can be fattening but pasta itself is not fattening; cooked pasta has only about 200 calories per cup. Where you really get into trouble is with your pasta sauce. Pasta sauces that contain high calorie fatty meats creams cheese and other fattening ingredients can really make a pasta dish fattening.
7. Rinsing the pasta after cooking 51 per cent of Americans say they rinse their pasta immediately after cooking. This ruins good pasta. When pasta reaches the al dente stage it means thereare just the right amount of starches on the surface to absorb the sauce you will serve with it which is where pasta gets its entire flavor. If you rinse you take away these important starches. There are two exceptions. First - if you re cooking for a pasta salad the pasta does need to be rinsed because you don t want the pasta to be sticky if it s being used in a salad. After rinsing with boiling water then rinse again with cold water to stop the cooking process. The second exception is if you have cooked your pasta in too small a pan and the water is cloudy and starchy. In that case it may be worth rinsing the pasta with boiling water to remove these starches.