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Old 09-01-2005, 01:09 PM   #1
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Whats the proper way to cook pasta?

I'm having a problem with the water from my pasta making my sauce runny. Its unatractive. It seams I cannot completly drain all the water out. My Pasta (angel hair) is also sticky if I don't rinse it. But if I rinse it, it becomes cold? Is it soposed be served warm? I dont' Know!


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Old 09-01-2005, 02:46 PM   #2
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My angel hair pasta sticks together after draining too, so I add just a bit of canolla oil to keep it separated after it's cooked.

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Old 09-01-2005, 02:50 PM   #3
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I would add the pasta to boiling salted water and cook for the prescribed time.

Drain and toss with some of the sauce immediately to prevent sticking.

You can also coat it with oil as amber says but that can prevent the sauce from sticking to the pasta.

I don't recommend rinsing.
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Old 09-01-2005, 03:09 PM   #4
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Also make sure you are cooking it in enough water. You need a LOT of water. Use your largest pot and fill it at least 3/4 of the way.

Like Andy said, don't rinse it.
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Old 09-01-2005, 03:13 PM   #5
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LOTS of salted water, as the others have said and make sure you stir it a few times while it cooks.

I don't recommend rinsing or oil. Unless you plan to make pasta salad.
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Old 09-01-2005, 04:10 PM   #6
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I just add a tablespoon of oil while it is cooking and goes great
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Old 09-01-2005, 05:02 PM   #7
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If it's clumped up as you drain it make sure you use plenty of salt (make it as salty as the Mediterranean Sea!) and that it has lots of room to boil in. Also be sure to give it several stirs as it cooks, though it's especially important when you first submerge into the boiling water.

It may be over-cooking that causes the clumpy pasta. Angel hair takes only a very short amount of time to cook. Cook it until it's just a tad bit under done (the infamous al dente "to the tooth", which means it's not a squishy mush but has a little bit of solidness [not crunch] in the center of the pasta as you sink your teeth into it). Pasta will continue to cook from the trapped steam and water if you don't drain it well which can just compound the clumping problem.

The other trick that was already mentioned is to sauce it immediately.

The only time you you should need to add a tiny dash of oil after its drained to prevent sticking is if you're not going to use it right away.

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Old 09-01-2005, 05:42 PM   #8
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all good advice. also, the Italians are very shape specific so light sauces go with angel hair, heavier ones with linguini etc, and while this may seem silly, it does make some sense. The heavier sauces go with shapes best able to hold them...penne, oricheti, fetuccini etc
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Old 09-01-2005, 06:16 PM   #9
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Also a good brand like De Cecco or Barilla they just dont stick especially the next day .
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Old 09-02-2005, 02:39 PM   #10
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The simple answer - for a pound of pasta (any kind of pasta):

1. Bring a gallon or more of water to a boil.
2. Add a handfull of salt if you wish to "season" the pasta as it cooks.
3. Add the pasta and stir for the first couple of minutes - and every 2-3 minutes after - to keep the pasta from sticking.
4. Drain the pasta (when done) and immediately toss with your sauce.

MYTH: Oil does not keep the pasta from sticking together. Oil floats on TOP of the water ... and when the cooking water is poured off - the oil goes off first. Oil only helps break down the surface tension of the water to prevent the water from boiling over.

TRUTH: The surface of the pasta has starch on it - starch causes the sticking .... if you don't use enough water to cook it, and/or you don't stir it enough when you add the pasta to the water, it will stick.

TRUTH: The amount of salt you add to the water doesn't have anything to do with how "sticky" the pasta will be.

GRANDMA KNOWS: The small amount of water sticking to the pasta when you drain it isn't you'r problem ... the starch actually works as a binder.

NEVER: drain and rinse your pasta in cold water unless you're going to use it for a cold salad.

Humm .... sounds like a summation of the other good advice you've already gotten.

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