- Don't boil pasta in a covered pot, as it will quickly overflow. Instead, leave your wooden spoon in the pot to prevent spillovers.
- Fresh pasta needs less water than dried pasta. To cook fresh pasta, have a large saucepan of rapidly boiling water ready. Make sure you have enough boiling water for the pasta to cook in. Add a little oil to the water, so the pasta doesn’t stick together. Add pasta to the pan, ensure the water stays boiling and stir slowly for 10 seconds to separate the pasta. Boil pasta for 2-4 minutes depending on the type you’re using.
- Untangle spaghetti before serving. If you have allowed your spaghetti to cool for too long and it becomes tangled, toss it back into the hot water and stir with a large spoon. Then, drain and rinse the pasta in cold water immediately.
- "Al dente" means “to the tooth”. When it’s cooked, pasta should be soft but still firm when you bite it. The easiest way to tell whether pasta is al dente is to remove a piece from the saucepan and test it between your teeth. The pasta should have some texture when you bite into it, but it should not be dry and hard in the middle.
- For perfect pasta, do not boil the noodles! Instead, boil the water and then turn off the fire and add the pasta. Cover, and stir the pasta every five minutes for twenty minutes.
- Avoid rinsing your pasta after it's cooked. This is a terrible myth that has propagated across the cooking world. That wonderful coating of starch that's sitting on your heated pasta will keep the delicious sauce from sticking to it.
- Get the pasta sauce on the pasta immediately after you drain it. The noodles cool down fast and start sticking to each other without a sauce or oil to keep them apart.
- When the water starts boiling, lower the flame so that the bubbles are small. A big, rolling boil will break more delicate pasta such as ravioli or tortellini.
- Heat the cooked pasta and sauce together for a minute before serving. It's an important step to insure that the pasta really "grabs" the sauce. Try adding liquid from the cooked pasta to sauce for added flavour and smoother texture.
- Stir immediately after putting in your pasta to prevent it from sticking to the pot.
- Adding oil to your pasta water is a normal way to prevent it from sticking, but did you know that oil prevents the sauce from adhering to the pasta?