Tips & How-to

5 simple tips chefs use to cook the perfect bowl of pasta

Are you cooking it the wrong way?
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Pasta is one of the easiest dishes to cook, right? But it’s actually easy to get it totally wrong.

WATCH: Fast Ed’s creamy pumpkin, almond and three-cheese pasta

We’ve uncovered the five simple tricks chefs use to cook the perfect bowl of pasta, so you can get it right every time.

past cooking tips
(Credit: Getty) (Credit: Getty)

Pasta cooking tips

Stick to these golden rules of and you can’t go wrong.

1. Add salt to the pot of boiling water

Adding salt to the pot of boiling water is a transformative step that can elevate your pasta dish from ordinary to extraordinary. As the pasta cooks, it absorbs the salted water, enhancing its flavour from the inside out. So, don’t be shy with the salt – it’s the foundation of a truly delicious pasta experience.

2. Don’t add any oil

Many people believe adding oil with the pasta in the water helps separate the pasta, but all it does is make the noodles slippery, and prevents the sauce from mixing properly later on.

3. Stir with tongs or a spoon

To keep the pasta from clumping together, stir the pasta with a pair of tongs (or a spoon) as soon as you add it to the water. 

This simple act separates the noodles and ensures they cook evenly. Continue stirring occasionally during cooking to keep your pasta from sticking together.

4. Reserve some pasta water

When you drain the pasta, resist the urge to rid the pot of every last drop of water. Instead, save a cup of the precious pasta cooking water before draining. This starchy, salted liquid acts as a secret weapon for your pasta sauce, adding body and helping the sauce adhere to the pasta strands.

5. Don’t rinse pasta with water

Resist the temptation to rinse your cooked pasta under running water. Rinsing strips away the natural starches that have been released during cooking. These starches are essential for achieving a lusciously creamy and flavourful sauce. 

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