10 Tips For Perfectly Cooked Pasta


1) Use durum wheat semolina pasta

Avoid the really cheap stuff as this will become sticky & soggy during cooking.

2) Use a large pan with lots of water

This ensures the pasta has lots of space to move around and expand. This is very important.

3) Add some salt

Add around 1 tsp salt per litre of water. It’s much needed for flavour.

4) Forget about the splash of oil

Everyone does this because it stops the pasta sticking together - well actually is doesn’t, because it floats. It won’t make any difference.

5) Get the water boiling well before adding the pasta

This ensures the pasta cooks evenly and prevents overcooking to that 'soggy' state.

6) Stir every couple of minutes

To stop the pasta sticking together and to the bottom of the pan.

7) Aim for 'al dente’

Translated, this means ‘to the teeth’, so just cooked. Follow the instructions on the packet but generally white pasta will take 10 – 12 minutes but whole-wheat or brown pasta will take longer. When ready it will be soft but still have some bite. The way to test it is to eat it.

8) Drain immediately and don’t bother rinsing

You’ll wash off the starchy cooking water which helps the sauce to stick to it. Don't leave the pasta in the cooking water as it will overcook and go soggy. 

9) Serve immediately on warmed plates

There's no need to rinse pasta if serving hot, but rinse with cold water if you're using it in a cold pasta salad.

10) Rinse immediately in cold water for salads

So it will cool down and not overcook. Toss in a little oil to prevent sticking as well.