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Pasta - Fascinating Facts

Myths about cooking Pasta


Myth
Add olive oil to cooking water to prevent the pasta from sticking.

Truth

Lesser quality pastas tend to stick and clump.  It is possible that the process of adding olive oil to cooking water started in order to prevent pasta from sticking and clumping. 

A good quality pasta should not stick or clump. Using olive oil is purely a waste of good oil, because it is left in the cooking water anyway.  Also, a little bit of cooking water is usually reserved to help bind the sauce that is being used in the finished dish. By adding olive oil, the binding quality of the starches released in the water are offset by the slippery quality of the olive.



Myth

Throw pasta on the wall to see if it is ready.

Truth
The only thing that throwing pasta on a wall does is create a mess!  Cut the pasta with a knife or fork, or bit it.  Pasta, the authentic Italian way, should be slightly chewy with a very small white dot at the core.




Myth
All pasta is the same. 

Truth
Home chefs should never blame themselves for pasta that turns out sticky, clumpy or breaks during cooking – it’s the pasta!  Choose a good-quality pasta for a perfect meal experience every time.




Myth

Rinse pasta after cooking and draining.

Truth

When pasta cooks, its natural starches are released in the cooking water.  These starches complement the pasta meal because they help “bind” the sauce that is to be used, and allow the sauce to adhere better to the pasta.  For the best meal experience, do not rinse your pasta after cooking and draining.  The only exception to this rule is when preparing pasta salads.  In this case, use cold water to rinse to prevent your pasta from overcooking.

 



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