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Tips for Perfectly Cooked Pasta

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by Giuliano Hazan
from Fine Cooking #118, pp. 85

If you’re making one of the tomato sauces from Fine Cooking #118, follow these tips for perfectly cooked pasta to go with it.

Featured recipes:

Raw Fresh Tomato Sauce   Cooked Fresh Tomato Sauce
Raw Fresh Tomato Sauce   Cooked Fresh Tomato Sauce

Use plenty of rapidly boiling water. You’ll need at least 6 €quarts for 1 €pound of pasta.

Generously salt the cooking water. Add about 2 Tbs. fine sea or table salt when the water boils. This might seem like a lot, but the water needs to be salty, and a big pinch won’t do it. If you don’t salt the water enough, the pasta will lack flavor.

Cook until just al dente. Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally. When the pasta is al dente-still a bit firm when you bite it but not hard in the center-drain it and toss it with sauce right away.

Never rinse pasta. Rinsing washes away the coating of starch that helps sauces cling to the pasta.

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