PASTA COOKING TECHNIQUES

Setting aside the most extravagant experiments by famous chefs, there are thus cooking techniques that have become part of the official ways of talking about and praising pasta.

BOILING

Also in this case, throwing pasta in boiling water is not enough: there are variables associated to shapes. To explode myths and dispel doubts on the right moment to add salt to water, the tip is to add it and then put the lid on the pan: water will take about 20% less time to reach the boil.

Moreover, the boiling strength will change depending on the pasta shape used each time; for example, Fusilli can endure strong boiling, Paccheri instead needs a slower and gentler rehydration.

DOUBLE COOKING

In this case pasta undergoes a first quick cooking for half its cooking time, it is drained and laid on a baking sheet adding a dribble of oil, then it is left to cool down in a blast chiller. It is advisable to keep it in the refrigerator at 0-3°C. When necessary, it is heated up in boiling water for 30-60 seconds.

EXPRESS COOKING

Express cooking is a technique recommended for lovers of “al dente” pasta. More specifically, the method consists in stirring pasta all through the given cooking time, draining it one minute before the end of the cooking time and completing cooking in a frying pan together with the sauce. The recommendation is to keep part of the cooking water that may be necessary to better bind the sauce.

PASSIVE COOKING

Passive cooking is a method that prevents the release of starch and gluten. The procedure consists in throwing pasta in boiling water, cooking pasta for about 2-4 minutes, then turning off the fire, putting the lid on and leaving pasta in the water for the time specified on the box.

SOAKING COOKING

It is a rehydration method where pasta is left in water at room temperature for a couple of hours, then it is cooked for about 4 minutes.

RISOTTO-STYLE COOKING

In risotto-style cooking, pasta is prepared directly in the sauce and liquids are added gradually whilst stirring as if it were risotto: the result is an increasingly stronger flavour and a more balanced combination of ingredients.

In this case, shapes with moderate thickness should be used to enable a more even cooking. A practical example is that of risotto-style Spaghetti with clams, prepared using a large sauté pan, pouring the raw spaghetti directly into the pan with the shell fish so that it can cook directly in the clam water. This technique will just need the addition of a bit of fumet to complete the rehydration of pasta.

Would you like to be updated about the gourmet world news? Sign up.