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Old 12-02-2018, 12:01 PM   #1
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Pasta issues

Seeking Pasta help. Ok, I'm actually a seasoned cook to a degree. However, lately I've been having problems with pasta. Maybe I'm rushing or losing grip with some basics. My kids won't eat it with sauce so aim to use butter and/or olive oil and then of course they have to have salt. I bring the water to a rolling boil, salt it and then I cook the pasta for the allotted time. I drain it, no water, put it back in the hot pan and put butter and/or olive oil. I leave it in the pan, with no cover on it as it is done and I'm getting ready to serve it. Then it just seems that minutes go by (maybe my kids take there time coming down to eat) and just merely minutes go by and the pasta starts turning dry almost stale like. I've had a few incidents in the recent past where my daughter was like...I don't like your pasta.


How can something so easy become so hard. I did start looking this up. I read something about making sure that when you put salt in the pot before cooking the pasta, that is is a GOOD amount 1-2 tablespoons. could it be that simple, that I'm not salting the water enough during cooking? Does anyone notice anything wrong with my explanation of how I cook pasta.
Its ok if you want to make my head chef title lower now that I'm admitting I'm having issues with pasta. old age maybe? lol lol j/k. : )

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Old 12-02-2018, 12:16 PM   #2
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The salt has nothing to do with it. That's just for flavor. After you drain the pasta and add the fat (butter or oil), toss it completely so all the pasta is coated. Add some of the pasta cooking water and toss it thoroughly. The water and fat will make a sauce-like coating. Then cover the pot to keep moisture in. If the kids complain, tell them to come to dinner right away when they're called.
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:58 PM   #3
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I usually place the strainer with the just cooked pasta directly over the hot pot of water the pasta was cooked in. Sometimes it'll sit there on the pot for over an hour and the pasta is still warm and al dente, never turns dry.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:26 PM   #4
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I never drain the pasta anymore..I always just take it out using a set of tongs or a spider strainer..this way I get to save the pasta water..I always make the sauce a bit runnier than one would eat it..the pasta will continue to absorb the liquid while it sits..just add a spoonful of pasta water every couple of minutes to keep it moist..
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:38 PM   #5
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Give your flour a sniff, to see if it is fresh, not starting to go rancid. Just a thought.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:55 AM   #6
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You are talking dry pasta? Not fresh pasta? Correct?

I boil mine until al dente. Reserve about 1/2- 1/3rd cup pasta water. Drain quickly (no need to remove all the water) and right back into the pot I cooked it in. And back onto the turned off stove top burner.
I add olive oil and butter and some salt and pepper and toss with tongs.
I then COVER it.
I check it often adding pasta water as needed. I keep it loose and warm. The residual heat from the pasta pan and burner does a fine job until you are ready to plate it.
The burner must be off. I have an electric range.

Pasta water is a must IMO.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legend_018 View Post
Seeking Pasta help. Ok, I'm actually a seasoned cook to a degree. However, lately I've been having problems with pasta. Maybe I'm rushing or losing grip with some basics. My kids won't eat it with sauce so aim to use butter and/or olive oil and then of course they have to have salt. I bring the water to a rolling boil, salt it and then I cook the pasta for the allotted time. I drain it, no water, put it back in the hot pan and put butter and/or olive oil. I leave it in the pan, with no cover on it as it is done and I'm getting ready to serve it. Then it just seems that minutes go by (maybe my kids take there time coming down to eat) and just merely minutes go by and the pasta starts turning dry almost stale like. I've had a few incidents in the recent past where my daughter was like...I don't like your pasta.


How can something so easy become so hard. I did start looking this up. I read something about making sure that when you put salt in the pot before cooking the pasta, that is is a GOOD amount 1-2 tablespoons. could it be that simple, that I'm not salting the water enough during cooking? Does anyone notice anything wrong with my explanation of how I cook pasta.
Its ok if you want to make my head chef title lower now that I'm admitting I'm having issues with pasta. old age maybe? lol lol j/k. : )
Here where we live, I always have to cook pasta longer than the package calls for. Living at 4200 feet elevation (and previously even 1000 feet higher in Denver), water boils at about 8 degrees less than at sea level. That means that things like pasta and rice don't cook as fast as shown in the instructions, so I just have to add more time and test for doneness. I generally scoop out a cup of water for finishing before I drain the pasta.

In my opinion, pasta should be finished or sauced and served promptly for best results, but I'm the first to admit that I am NOT a pasta expert.
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Old 12-04-2018, 02:56 PM   #8
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In my opinion, pasta should be finished or sauced and served promptly for best results, but I'm the first to admit that I am NOT a pasta expert.
I feel the same way.
One of the dishes I most frequently get asked to make is a pasta dish with garlic, oil, fresh tomatoes, basil and Mozzarella cheese. I usually bring everything separate then do the mixing just as we are about to sit down to eat. Ive made it ahead of time in the past, but find it to dry out, or become pasty.

Sometimes, when the decide to take on the dish themselves, they always make it in advance, and suffer from the same problems. Maybe Im just a picky eater, but they seam not to notice the sub-par qualities when doing it that way.

Ive also had similar results when making another pasta dish ( bowties with garlic, oil, spinach and feta cheese). If made in advance, dries out pretty quick.

Both dishes don't have a ' sauce' , but just enough garlic/ oil to flavor and coat the pasta.

They always tell me they prefer when I make it because it always tastes better. its not the ingredients , or even ability. Its just the technique in not allowing it to absorb and dry out.

Another great simple dish is pasta with garlic, oil , parmesan cheese and roasted Brussel sprouts ( with some oregano sprinkled in). Probably has similar issues with the above, but Ive never brought it anywhere. Just figured Id throw that recipe out there.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:07 PM   #9
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Could try having a bottle of olive oil on the table for people to drizzle a little extra on their portion. Or tell them it's time to eat a few minutes before it's actually done, to get them to the table at the right time
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:54 PM   #10
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Ya gotta do the math.

I should explain.

If the world experiences anything like my son has gone through, there will be entire generations (going forward) of adults in therapy, terrified of the number 5.

My wife": If you don't get down here by the time I count to 5.

Oooone,
Twoooooo,
Threeeee...
Fooooour..."





So, in conclusion, math fixes everthing.
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