You’d think boiling pasta in water would be simple – but there are quite a few do’s and don’t’s to the process. Giada has the scoop!
Boil water, add the pasta, take it out. That simple, right?
Funny enough, sometimes the simplest things in cooking can be the most tricky. Although boiling pasta can seem like a no-brainer, there are a lot of misconceptions and myths about the entire process. Thankfully, it really is incredibly easy and simple – once you have your facts straight, of course! Here are all of Giada’s do’s and don’t’s for boiling pasta.
Giada’s Do’s and Don’t’s For Cooking Pasta
DO use a tall pot for long pasta. Have you ever gotten that problem of all of your spaghetti sticking together? That’s because it doesn’t have room to swim! You need to use a sufficiently tall pot to cook long pasta in so that it has the space to properly cook. However, for short pasta, a shorter pot works!
DO salt your pasta water! This is such an important step, as it’s really your only opportunity to season store-bought pasta. Because the pasta only cooks for about 8-10 minutes, it needs a pretty salty environment to cook in – and any bonafide Italian chef will be able to tell whether or not you skipped this step! Remember, before salt makes food taste “salty,” it simply brings out the flavor that’s already there. For 6 cups of water, Giada recommends about 3 tablespoons of kosher salt.
DON’T use oil in your pasta water. Many people believe this step is necessary so that the pasta won’t stick (see step #1!) but in actuality, doing this creates a slick barrier between the pasta and whatever sauce you plan to toss it with… which is bad! We want our sauces to stick to the starchy pasta, or else you could be left with a pile of pasta and a pool of sauce underneath.
DO add your long pasta in whole – don’t break it! If you think your pasta won’t fit in the pot you’re cooking it in, just give it a minute and gently push it in with your pasta spoon. If you’re using a shorter pot, you can still make it work – just stir it frequently to help prevent the pasta from sticking.
DO save your pasta water. You’ll notice in many of Giada’s recipes, she calls for reserved pasta water – that’s because the starches help to create a creamy sauce, and since it’s already seasoned, it helps add flavor. Our preferred method is to simply grab the pasta straight out of the pot with a pasta spider or pasta fork as opposed to draining it into a strainer or colander. This way, you don’t forget to reserve the pasta water, and it’s much safer than pouring a pot of boiling water into the sink!
DON’T rinse your pasta! Remember those starches we talked about? Rinsing will rid them of those. Go straight from the pot to the pan with your sauce and you’ll be golden!
Feb 24, 2017 | Total time: minutes
Apr 28, 2019 | Total time: minutes
Oct 23, 2017 | Total time: minutes
Dec 7, 2016 | Total time: minutes
Oct 13, 2017 | Total time: minutes
Nov 1, 2016 | Total time: minutes