Perfectly cooked pasta is called "al dente," which in Italian means "to the tooth." Al dente pasta is cooked just enough to retain a firm texture while being fully pliable.
- That "flinging the pasta against the wall" method might be fun, but it's not so reliable. Overdone pasta sticks, too.
- If you don't relish tasting hot pasta, cut a piece in half. Then look at the cross-section of the pasta. If you can see a difference between the very center and the outer ring of the pasta, it's not done. If the pasta is one continuous shade and texture, it's done.
- Italians never rinse their pasta.
- Remove the pasta the moment you discover it to be "al dente" and eat it immediately.
- A delicious pasta dinner is easy with these simple recipes: Angel Hair Pasta With Lemon and Chicken, Broccoli Pesto Linguine and Angel Hair Pasta With Fresh Tomatoes.
- Boil the pasta according to the package's instructions.
- At the minimum cooking time indicated on the package, or even a minute before, remove a piece of pasta from the boiling water with a fork.
- When it has cooled enough to touch, taste it.
- If the pasta is mildly chewy but doesn't stick in your teeth, it is done.
- If the pasta seems a little hard or sticks to your teeth, cook it 1 minute longer and test it again.
- Avoid overcooking your pasta.