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Old 07-28-2007, 06:40 PM   #11
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I agree with all above, you must have enough water and use it bronto- or add butter to separate, pasta cools quickly after drained.

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Old 07-28-2007, 06:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Cooking Cop

I cook it in the standard large steel pot that has the strainer that goes inside. (Sorry if I am not using the correct term, still learning here!)

Maybe I am just putting too much in at one time.
It sounds like you are probably using the right pot. How much water would you say it could hold and how full are you filling it? Take your best guess.

How much pasta are you trying to cook at once?

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Old 07-28-2007, 06:56 PM   #13
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It depends on how large that "standard steel pot" actually is. Does it have any measurements marked on the side? Those pasta pots usually do.

And you know, regardless of pot size/water, etc., you may just be cooking the pasta too long. Keep in mind that even after you drain it the pasta keeps on cooking for a minute or two due to residual heat.

Do you "taste test" the pasta a minute or two before it's "supposed" to be done? If not, you might want to start doing that. When it tastes "cooked", but still has a little texture "bite" to it, is the time to remove it from the heat & drain it. What do you have to lose except the possibility of pasta that might be a little bit chewy if you calculated wrong. Still better than "glommy" - lol!!! And remember, it will still "cook" a little bit when tossed/heated with the sauce.

Just experiment. Pasta is cheap & fun to experiment with. I do it all the time.
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Old 07-28-2007, 07:08 PM   #14
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The Barilla will stick while its still hot if you dont use it right away but once it cools and then in fridge it separates easily I also sometimes will add just a bit of olive oil if Im not using it right away.But I think you hafto to know when its al dente if not you will have problems.I think alot of people tend to over cook pasta.If you are going to cook it later in a pan with sauce I usually go ahead and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process then add to pan with what ever else and reheat.
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Old 07-28-2007, 09:21 PM   #15
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To add to the good advice here... After you place your pasta in rapidly boiling water (if it's spaghetti, I break it in half), place a lid on the pot until the water returns to a boil. I, then, remove the lid, and cook til al dente. About halfway through cooking time, I give the pasta a stir. If you are using fresh pasta, the cooking time is much shorter - only a few minutes. I go by taste.
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:25 PM   #16
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put a couple of tablespoons of butter or olive oil in the pasta pot & return the cooked pasta from the colander back into the pot.

My experience with pasta is you should not add butter or olive oil to your pasta as the sauce slids off of your pasta. The starch helps you sauce to stick onto your noodles.
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:23 PM   #17
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A lot of times this is caused by not using enough water at a high enough boil. The more water the better. Then I drain and put it back into the (still hot) pot. I don't drain completely, I leave it rather hot and wet and quite firm. Then I sauce it imediately back on the still-hot burner (stove is electric, for gas you may want to keep it on a low flame). Mom used to rinse and oil, but I've not found that to be necessary. I only rinse and oil if I'm making a salad from it. I use Barilla almost exclusively now ... mostly because I find it re-heats better (maintains its texure better than other brands, and I usually coook for the two of us to have at least one more meal). BUT in some places, especially in some of the places I've lived with where the water was particularly hard, and in the south, Creamettes can be the brand to try. Experiment. To me the two things that happen to clump the pasta is not enough boiling water to begin with, and waiting until your pasta is 100% done the way you want it, and draining TOO thoroughly. Leave it a little wet (or do like on the TV shows and reserve some of the hot water to add back into the dish when you sauce it) and put it right back on the stove while you sauce it. As the bit of extra hot water evaporates, it will loosen the pasta, help the sauce actually cook inot the pasta, and finish cooking the pasta.
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:22 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by krichardson
put a couple of tablespoons of butter or olive oil in the pasta pot & return the cooked pasta from the colander back into the pot.

My experience with pasta is you should not add butter or olive oil to your pasta as the sauce slids off of your pasta. The starch helps you sauce to stick onto your noodles.
Yes this is what I learned also.... to not use oils or butters. I just stir in some of the sauce as a lubricant instead. Works for me!!
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:32 AM   #19
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1. the cooking vessel isn't large enough for the amount being boiled.

2. the pasta is not being stirred enough in the early stages of cooking.

3. the pasta is being overcooked, until it's a starchy mess.

4. the pasta has sat to long before being tossed with a sauce.

5. make rice, if it's more of a mystery than heretofore explained.
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:12 AM   #20
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Never add oil to pasta water. Italians never do because it makes the pasta slippery and unable to "hold" the sauce. Italians are big on "holding sauce." The starch that is released during cooking adds to the absorbancy of the sauce. Many of us put a little of the pasta water back into the pot so the starch will form a base for the sauce. If pasta is sticking it is probably because the water isn't boiling rapidly enough. I've seen this happen when my friends cook pasta. For some reason or other they seem to feel the need to turn the heat down to a simmer. Pasta has to have enough water and enough of a rolling boil to move around freely in the pot. Immediately after draining the water, add the sauce to the pot and keep it on the low heat for a minute or two to absorb the sauce. Perfect pasta every time. Follow the directions on the package as to how long to cook it. I use Barilla which is imported from Italy or one of the other imported pastas. Italian made pasta is made wth a different flour than we can get here in the U.S. and it makes a much better pasta.

If you're going to make a cold pasta salad then forget putting the pot back on the heat. Rinse the pasta in cold water to release the rest of the starch and add 1 Tbsp. of oil to keep it from sticking.

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