How to Cook Pasta

General Cooking Instructions

  1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
  2. Do not break the pasta
  3. Cook the pasta until very al dente, which is about 2-3 minutes earlier than what the package reads for cooking time.
  4. Remove the pasta with a slotted spoon, Chinese spider, or tongs – depending on the shape of the pasta – and add to your pan of sauce and cook for the additional 2 minutes, stirring so the pasta is coated.  You can add a ladle of hot pasta water to adjust the consistency and taste of the sauce. 
  5. Turn off the heat and add the grated cheese and any fresh herbs called for in the recipe.
  6. Serve HOT!

Pasta and Noodles 101

Salting Your Pasta/Noodle Water:  My general rule for salting pasta water is to add 1 to 1 ½ tablespoon of kosher salt to 6 quarts of water in a large pot. If you use iodized salt, use less.

Cooking Rice Noodles: Rice noodles are more delicate than the wheat pasta that I ate as a small child, but I love them!   To cook rice noodles, bring 3-4 quarts of water to a boil in a  6-8 quarter pan over high heat.  I rinse the rice noodles first in a bowl of cold water and then add them to the pot.  Add the rice noodles and stir to separate.  Cook until barely tender to the bite for about 2- 3 minutes.  Drain and use immediately.