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A common mistake when cooking pasta is that it is cooked and then refreshed under running water. This bad habit washes away the starch that clings to the pasta as it cooks and it is this starch that helps the sauce cling to the pasta and stops it from sinking and running all over your plate. As fresh pasta only takes a few minutes to cook there is no reason to ever need to cook it ahead of time.

The correct way to cook pasta is as follows:

  • Firstly, never add oil to the cooking water, it is a waste of oil and unnecessary if the following points are observed.

  • Use as large a pot as possible with plenty of boiling water - this water should be rapidly boiling and slightly salted. This is important step number one to stop the pasta from sticking together - with plenty of water used, once the pasta is put into it, it will come back to the boil very quickly.

  • Add the pasta in small quantities. How much pasta to use will eventually come from experience but a guideline is that the water should come back to a rapid boil within two minutes.

  • When you add the pasta to the boling water, gently stir it until the water comes back to the rapid boil. This is important step number two to stop the pasta from sticking together.

  • To test if the pasta is cooked, remove a piece and gently squeeze it, when the pasta is cooked it will break easily (the actual cooking time will depend on the thickness of the pasta so test after four minutes and every minute thereafter).

  • Remove the pasta from the water and allow to drain in a colander or similar and once drained toss in the sauce.

  • If more pasta is immediately required to be cooked, either remove the pasta with tongs or similar, or place a colander over another pot, pour and re-use the water.

With these simple rules followed you should never again have a problem with pasta cooking . . . buon appetito!


Food and Cooking Tips
from professional
Chef Tallyrand


Born and raised in Plymouth, Tallyrand started his initial training as a chef at Plymouth College of Further Education. It was here that he was to learn his love, his passion for food and the culinary arts. From here he headed to Germany to complete his apprenticeship as Commis de Gardemanger.

Germany gave him his first taste of cooking for the rich and famous, as half way through his first year, along with the Sous Chef and a Chef de Partie, he was whisked off to Cologne to help prepare meals for a political conference, where amongst other dignitaries they cooked for Mr Brehznev, the then powerful Russian leader. This was to prove to be just one of the many celebrities he was to cook for or get to know over the years . . .

If you would like to find out more why not visit Tallyrand's own web site www.tallyrand.info (link in main menu)

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com