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Potatoes, Rice, Pasta, etc.Pasta 'A' to 'L' pg 1 >  How to Cook Perfect Pasta



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How to cook perfect pasta

Boil 4 to 6 quarts of water for one pound of dry pasta. (You can divide this recipe depending on how much pasta you are cooking.)

2. Add the pasta with a stir and return the water to a boil.

3. Stir the pasta occasionally during cooking.

4. Follow the package directions for cooking times. If the pasta is to be used as part of a dish that requires further cooking, undercook the pasta by 1/3 of the cooking time specified on the package.

5. Taste the pasta to determine if it is done. Perfectly cooked pasta should be "al dente," or firm to the bite, yet cooked through.

6. Drain pasta immediately and follow the rest of the recipe.

The only time you should rinse pasta after draining is when you are going to use it in a cold dish, or when you are not going to sauce and serve it immediately. In those cases, rinse the pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process, and drain well.


When pairing pasta with a sauce, remember that:

• Thin, delicate pastas, like angel hair or thin spaghetti, are better served with light, thin sauces.

• Thicker pasta shapes, like fettuccine, work well with heavier sauces.

• Pasta shapes with holes or ridges, like mostaccioli or radiatore, are perfect for chunkier sauces.

Courtesy of the National Pasta Association

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