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Most manufacturers will put the recommended cooking time on the package. Pasta should always be cooked al dente which literally means to the tooth. You should be able to bite easily into pasta; it should not be hard or dry nor should it be mushy. If using the pasta for casseroles or lasagna the pasta may be slightly undercooked as more cooking will take place in the oven and the added sauce will be absorbed by the pasta and help to soften it also. Fresh pastas should be cooked in the same manner as the dried pastas but the cooking time will be considerably shorter. Fresh pasta usually cooks in one or two minutes. Always test the pasta by taking out a piece running it under cold water and tasting it to be sure it is the way you like it. Take your time and learn a little about each of the types of pasta. Start with one and try different sauces and meat variations with it. Once you have become familiar with one type (this can include different thicknesses) then move on and try another.
When you walk down the pasta aisle in the market how do you choose which pasta to buy and which to use for what purpose? There are flat pastas round pastas hollow pastas and twisted pastas. There is pasta that is made to look like rice (Italian orzo) and pasta that resembles gnocchi (potato dumplings). There are shells and tubes and then there is pasta that is made into shapes to fit the season. Do you want to serve your pasta with tomato sauce Alfredo Sauce (cream sauce) primavera (with lightly grilled spring vegetables? Do you want stuffed pasta and if so what do you stuff it with? Do you want pasta that is made from semolina ordinary flour or gluten free such as corn or rice pasta? Do you want squid ink pasta spinach pasta or tomato pasta or just plain pasta? The more you learn about pasta the more there is to know and the more bewildered you can get. The best quality pasta is made from semolina (hard durum wheat) and eggs with maybe a little salt and some olive oil thrown in.
You will use this in every pasta sauce you make. Tomato Puree. You need to have at least two cans of tomato puree for every pasta dish you want to create. Garlic. You can t have spaghetti sauce without having garlic. Herbs. You need a combination of Oregano Basil and other Italian seasonings in order to accomplish the real Italian taste. Parmesan cheese. You need to top your dish with parmesan to give it the best flavor. You can also enjoy a white sauce over your pasta or a basic recipe that contains diced tomatoes garlic onion salt and pepper. You can create a dish that is unbelievable every time. Many people who are trying to lose weight wonder is pasta healthy or fattening? Pasta like many foods high in carbohydrates often gets a bad reputation for being fattening; however this does not have to be true.