Posted on September 11, 2009. Filed under: pasta | Tags: |

Cooking Time : : 5 to 10 mins.
Preparation Time : : Nil.

Makes3 cups.

2 cups dried pasta (penne, spaghetti, fusilli, conchiglie, fettuccine, macaroni, dried lasagne sheets)
1 tablespoon oil for cooking
1 tablespoon oil for tossing
1 teaspoon salt
1. Boil plenty of water in a large pan with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of oil.
2. Add the pasta to the boiling water by adding a few strands or one sheet of pasta at a time.
3. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally and gently until the pasta is tender. Cooking times may vary with the size and thickness of the pasta.
4. Very small pasta (like macaroni, fusilli, cochiglie, penne) may cook in 5 minutes, while larger shapes (like spaghetti, fettuccine, dried lasagne sheets) may require 10 minutes.
5. Immediately drain the cooked pasta into a sieve or a colander. Transfer to a bowl of cold water to refresh it. Drain again and keep aside.
6. If the pasta is not be used immediately, add 1 tablespoon of oil to it and toss it.
Handy Tips :
The secret of cooking pasta is to use ample water.
Cooked pasta should be ‘al dente’ or “firm to the bite”.
Undercooked pasta is undesirable and has a taste of raw flour, whereas overcooked pasta will be soft and sticky.
Generally speaking, fresh pasta will take about 2 to 5 minutes to cook.
Fresh pasta does not increase much in volume whilst cooking, as it does not absorb much water.
The flour used should be of good quality.
Certain flours may require a little more oil to knead the dough than mentioned in the recipe.
When fresh herbs are to be used in the pasta dough, chop them finely.
If vegetable purees are used, the vegetables should not be discoloured whilst cooking and the puree should be strained before using.
The pasta dough should be firm and well kneaded.
Whilst rolling the pasta, care must be taken not to tear the pasta sheet.
Also, the pasta should be rolled out as thinly as possible to an almost translucent sheet.
While rolling the pasta, use cornflour instead of flour for dusting to prevent the pasta from sticking when it is cooked in boiling water.

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