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Old 06-18-2021, 03:46 AM   #1
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The basics of pasta

Good morning everyone! I'm a beginner in this field (I'm not talking about pasta but cooking in general) and I have already had some doubts. When I cook pasta (the main plate I eat) I don't know exactly when I have to put the salt. And what's more, I don't even know how much salt I can drop there. Anyway, I usually put an half of tablespoon of salt in my pot when I'm alone, when the water begin to boil, then I wait two/three minutes to put pasta. I don't think this metod is so wrong after all, but if I can improve the taste of my food by simply change something, this would be a great step ahead! Thank you in advance.

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Old 06-18-2021, 07:52 AM   #2
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Good morning everyone! I'm a beginner in this field (I'm not talking about pasta but cooking in general) and I have already had some doubts. When I cook pasta (the main plate I eat) I don't know exactly when I have to put the salt. And what's more, I don't even know how much salt I can drop there. Anyway, I usually put an half of tablespoon of salt in my pot when I'm alone, when the water begin to boil, then I wait two/three minutes to put pasta. I don't think this metod is so wrong after all, but if I can improve the taste of my food by simply change something, this would be a great step ahead! Thank you in advance.
In the U.S., it's comon to cook the pasta, and whatever sauce to be used with it, seperatley. I had freids who cooked the pasta, made the sauce, combined them into a large casserole dish, and baked the resultant pasta like you would a lasagna. If I am making a tomato based sauce, I like to get the sauce cooked, and flavored, with veggies, and meat added until I am satisfied with the flavor, then add an extra cup of water, making it soupy. I then add the uncooked pasta to the pot, and let it absorb the extra water as it hydrates. The sauce is also thickened by the starches released into the sauce. The pasta is rich in flavor, and the sauce adheres to it beautifully. The sauce is thickened just right for me.

If you like your spaghetti on the drier side, cook the pasta in salted, boiling water, just as you are now doing, make your sauce, combine, and bake at 325' F. for 20 minutes, uncovered. Top with your favorite cheese.

If making a stuffed pasta, such as Manicotti, cook the noodles for 5 minutes to make them a little pliable. Use a cookie press dilled with your filling, and pust into the shell. Place into a suitable pot, cover with the remaining sauce, and bake for ten minutes more. Homemade ravioli is made by cutting the filled pillows, after removing as much air as possible, and cooking in salted boiling water for about seven minutes, the immersing in sauce to heat for another 5 minutes or so.

These are some of my favorite ways to cook pasta dishes. There are many different methods. I'm certain that others will give you their favorite methods also None of them are wrong, and just depend on your own preferances.

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Old 06-18-2021, 07:57 AM   #3
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Just toss some salt into the water as you bring it to a boil. The water should taste like mild seawater.

Once it gets to a rolling boil, add the pasta. Don’t wait 2-3 minutes. Put it in right away.
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Old 06-18-2021, 08:59 AM   #4
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One other thing to be aware of is the cook time of your pasta. Fresh, hand made Ravioli does not spend anywhere near the time in the water as dried Fettuccine. The quicker it cooks, the more salt you'll need (unless of course you add salt to your pasta dough).
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Old 06-18-2021, 11:37 AM   #5
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Just toss some salt into the water as you bring it to a boil. The water should taste like mild seawater.

Once it gets to a rolling boil, add the pasta. Don’t wait 2-3 minutes. Put it in right away.
I agree.

The only time I would cut back on the salt is if I will likely be using some of the pasta water to thicken the sauce and someone eating the pasta is on a low salt diet.
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Old 06-19-2021, 04:45 PM   #6
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Greatest thanks, I'll try to use these methods even if i must say that I'm still cooking spaghetti. Anyway thank you again.
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Old 06-19-2021, 04:47 PM   #7
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Just toss some salt into the water as you bring it to a boil. The water should taste like mild seawater.

Once it gets to a rolling boil, add the pasta. Don’t wait 2-3 minutes. Put it in right away.
Thank you, this was something I was undecided of
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Old 06-20-2021, 11:56 AM   #8
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Just toss some salt into the water as you bring it to a boil. The water should taste like mild seawater.
I did a little research and according to the USGS, sea water contains about 3.5% of salt by weight. That works out to 1.12 ounces of salt for each quart of water (which is way too much).

I salt 4 quarts of pasta water using 3 to 5 Tablespoon of Diamond Crystal Kosher salt (depending on the pasta). Using the salt by weight formula, this works out to 0.8 to 1.4 percent (way less than seawater).

BTW… always weigh your salt if you can as different styles (and even brands) of salt can differ greatly in volume by weight (by as much as a factor of 2). A Tablespoon of regular table salt weighs almost twice as much as the salt I use.
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Old 06-20-2021, 12:11 PM   #9
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Or you could just run down to the shore and scoop up a bucket of water to cook in.

Just go out far enough you don't get the sand rolling around in it.

And make sure the surf is not too rough... because...

actually that's exactly what we used to do for corn, have a pic somewhere of my Mom trying to keep her skirts dry and tote a big corn bucket ... LOL - good memories
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Old 06-20-2021, 01:49 PM   #10
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I was an assistant Young Men's councilor at the church we went to in Soo
Ontario. Wed go camping at Pancake By. and use the Lake Superior water, it was so pristine, directly to cook with. Of course, as with all water, except for a few artesian spring I knew of, due to animals using the water, it had to be boiled before drinking directly. Only the water from my well tasted as good. Anytime I visited my daughter in Grand Rapids, MI, I had to bring several gallons of my well water to keep from disappointing them

I still love the flavor of cooking my pasta in the sauce, just like cooking lasagna noodles without pre-boiling them before assembling the lasagna. The noodles absorb flavor from the sauce, and thicken it to just the right thickness. Baked spaghetti is wonderful as well. If you haven't tried it, you need to. It's another great way to serve lots of spaghetti, linguini, or whatever pasta you want to a crowd. Also, try different shapes, such as farfalle, rotini,, mezzo penne, Cavatapi, rigatoni, shells, etc. Each adheres to the sauce a little differently, some with stronger pasta flavor..

The most important aspect of cooking any kind of pasta is to not over, or under cook it. Although seasoning as it's cooking is best, you can get away with seasoning after it's cooked. But if it's over- or under cooked, it just isn't right.

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Old 06-23-2021, 12:03 AM   #11
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Baked dishes such as lasagna aside, I like the pasta to be distinct, not colored by the sauce.

So the flavors and textures blend in my mouth rather than in the pot.

One of our favorites is pasta with grilled vegetables, maybe some sausage, and a big spoonful of homemade basil pesto.

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Old 06-23-2021, 09:32 AM   #12
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Salt slows down boiling, so it is best to add salt as water starts to boil, if add when water is at it's peak of bowling you are going to have a little volcano going in your pot. And as was mention before, water should taste like sea water. Make sure you have enough water so pasta doesn't stick.
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Old 06-23-2021, 03:29 PM   #13
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and if you have never tasted sea water and wonder just how salty it is, think this way...

first mouth full - Holy Cow that is REALLY salty!

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Old 06-24-2021, 04:39 PM   #14
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Thank you again, now I'm not giving enough importance to pasta itself but to the seasoning. Anyway, I'm tossing salt just after the pasta is boiling and then just after it I toss pasta. I must say that I'm going great even if yesterday my spaghetti weren't salty enough (but that wasn't a big problem since I added some salt after that, in the dish itself). Thanks.
Post #13 "first mouth full - Holy Cow that is REALLY salty"
Do not worry, I had the possibility to try when I was a child! :)
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Old 07-03-2021, 05:09 PM   #15
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Saw an amusing piece on pasta: an illustrated alphabet.

Rachel Roddy’s A-Z of pasta

Do you know your garganelli from your rigatoni? See if you’ve heard of these pasta varieties in this exclusive extract from Rachel’s forthcoming book, An A-Z of Pasta.

https://www.theguardian.com/food/202...e_iOSApp_Other
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