The best way to cook spaghetti?

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The best way to cook spaghetti?

Post  Guest on Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:59 am

I'm going to cook some this week and have always found my own 'sweaty'. What am I doing wrong?

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Re: The best way to cook spaghetti?

Post  El Guapo on Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:07 pm

Now you're definitely on the right forum to get an answer to a question like this lol

Ok...

Here's how us italians do it:

First off the brand of pasta you use makes a huge difference. Avoid Napolina as it's awful. Look for Buitoni or De Cecco. Most supermarkets stock one or the other of these brands.

Boil some water in a big saucepan. About one pint of water per pasta serving. Depending on the amount of water you're using add salt. It's hard to say exactly how much salt to add to the water as I just kinda....know lol About a half handful salt usually does the trick for two pints of water.

Forget about boiling times on the packet and forget all this nonsense about getting the pasta al dente. Cook the pasta to the firmness you prefer. There is no right or wrong. Some people like it al dente, some prefer it a bit softer.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and allow the spaghetti strands to soften and completely slide into the water. Give them a helping hand with a wooden spoon if you need to. Its important to get all the spaghetti submerged asap to avoind uneven cooking and the sweatiness you're talking about. That's caused by the starch in the pasta which is what happens when it isnt properly cooked.

Give the pasta a good swirl with the spoon to seperate it all and then leave to simmer for 5 mins. Come back, give it another swirl and leave for another 5 mins. After this start tasting the pasta every minute or so until you get the firmness you like.

Drain the pasta and place back in the saucepan. Then...and this is the important bit, add two tablespoons of the sauce to the pasta and give it a good mix. Lightly coat all the pasta with sauce in the actual saucepan before plating up. This helps the pasta to seperate and for any excess starch to be absorbed by the sauce instead of sticking to the pasta.

Plate up, add extra sauce on top, grated cheese, crushed black pepper and enjoy. Smile

As a footnote Ea will tell you one of my pet hates is when people add the wrong sauce to the wrong type of pasta. In Italy we take our pasta eatng very seriously and the wrong suace with the wrong pasta can wreck relationships lol

Spaghetti should never be eaten with a bolognese sauce. Linguine or tagliatelle are usually eaten with bolognese as they are flatter. Spaghetti is best eaten with a thin tomato and basil based sauce or carbonara.

When I have time I might post a right pasta with right kind of sauce guide...lol


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Re: The best way to cook spaghetti?

Post  Guest on Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:36 pm

El Guapo wrote:Now you're definitely on the right forum to get an answer to a question like this lol

Ok...

Here's how us italians do it:

First off the brand of pasta you use makes a huge difference. Avoid Napolina as it's awful. Look for Buitoni or De Cecco. Most supermarkets stock one or the other of these brands.

Boil some water in a big saucepan. About one pint of water per pasta serving. Depending on the amount of water you're using add salt. It's hard to say exactly how much salt to add to the water as I just kinda....know lol About a half handful salt usually does the trick for two pints of water.

Forget about boiling times on the packet and forget all this nonsense about getting the pasta al dente. Cook the pasta to the firmness you prefer. There is no right or wrong. Some people like it al dente, some prefer it a bit softer.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and allow the spaghetti strands to soften and completely slide into the water. Give them a helping hand with a wooden spoon if you need to. Its important to get all the spaghetti submerged asap to avoind uneven cooking and the sweatiness you're talking about. That's caused by the starch in the pasta which is what happens when it isnt properly cooked.

Give the pasta a good swirl with the spoon to seperate it all and then leave to simmer for 5 mins. Come back, give it another swirl and leave for another 5 mins. After this start tasting the pasta every minute or so until you get the firmness you like.

Drain the pasta and place back in the saucepan. Then...and this is the important bit, add two tablespoons of the sauce to the pasta and give it a good mix. Lightly coat all the pasta with sauce in the actual saucepan before plating up. This helps the pasta to seperate and for any excess starch to be absorbed by the sauce instead of sticking to the pasta.

Plate up, add extra sauce on top, grated cheese, crushed black pepper and enjoy. Smile

As a footnote Ea will tell you one of my pet hates is when people add the wrong sauce to the wrong type of pasta. In Italy we take our pasta eatng very seriously and the wrong suace with the wrong pasta can wreck relationships lol

Spaghetti should never be eaten with a bolognese sauce. Linguine or tagliatelle are usually eaten with bolognese as they are flatter. Spaghetti is best eaten with a thin tomato and basil based sauce or carbonara.

When I have time I might post a right pasta with right kind of sauce guide...lol


This is fantastic, El, and you'd make a chef with clarity of expression and instruction! Thank you, and can't wait until Friday for my epicurean palate to taste fine spaggetti!

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Re: The best way to cook spaghetti?

Post  chelseaz on Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:15 am

I don't know whether you will agree with this or not El.I always add a splash of quality olive oil to the boiling water...this stops the pasta sticking together and to the pan.
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Re: The best way to cook spaghetti?

Post  Guest on Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:45 am

El, guess who wrote this:
"Spag is easy, just make sure the water is rapidly boiling when you put it in the pan" affraid affraid

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Re: The best way to cook spaghetti?

Post  El Guapo on Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:32 am

chelseaz wrote:I don't know whether you will agree with this or not El.I always add a splash of quality olive oil to the boiling water...this stops the pasta sticking together and to the pan.

Olive oil to the pan? eh? Noooooo we definitely don't do that in Italy lol

Give the pasta a stir. That should be enough to stop it sticking. If it sticks; buy better quality pasta.

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Re: The best way to cook spaghetti?

Post  El Guapo on Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:33 am

Shine wrote:El, guess who wrote this:
"Spag is easy, just make sure the water is rapidly boiling when you put it in the pan" affraid affraid

Took me a moment to realise what was wrong with that sentence lol

Give me a clue. Telly chef or forum user?

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Re: The best way to cook spaghetti?

Post  Canarya on Sat May 07, 2011 9:42 am

chelseaz wrote:I don't know whether you will agree with this or not El.I always add a splash of quality olive oil to the boiling water...this stops the pasta sticking together and to the pan.
Uncanny. That’s exactly what I do to avoid rice or pasta sticking. Do not use your precious virgin olive oil tho', use any bog standard veg oil – you’re gonna discard it anyawy (the oil& water mixture), remember?


Plenty of water (boiling!) helps too.

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