Cooking the perfect pasta dish
We have a rather unusual blog post for you this week: a pasta recipe. Why? Because it will enable you to test one of the best things about our Quooker hot water tap: the fact that it allows you to instantly fill up a pasta pan with 100 degree C water, rapidly expediting the time it takes to prepare your meal – particularly useful for when your stomach is rumbling! While it’s pretty easy to whip up a run-of-the-mill pasta dish, there are certain tips you can use to take your culinary skills to the next level, ensuring you and your dinner guests have a delicious pasta meal to feast upon!
1. Use a pan that is large enough to hold all the pasta – this point is especially important when cooking for more than one person. For best results, the pasta should be able to move freely about the pan during the cooking process, so use a high quality stainless steel pasta pan, ideally one that can hold at least 10 litres.
2. Add approximately 3 litres of water for every 500 grams of pasta. Once the water has boiled, lower the flame to avoid the pan boiling over once the pasta is added.
3. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of salt to the boiling water as this will help to give some richness to the flavour. Be careful though, too much salt can have a negative impact on the taste! Many people believe that a small amount of oil is recommended to stop the pasta from sticking together, but this is not essential if you have an adequate amount of water.
4. Carefully add the correct amount of pasta to the boiling water and stir gently. Fresh pasta tends to taste the best but it is also more expensive. However, you can still make a great tasting meal using a supermarket brand dried pasta. Fresh pasta normally takes around 2-3 minutes to cook while dried pasta takes approximately 10-12 – check the back of the packaging for more precise instructions. While it’s up to you whether to cook the pasta until it’s al dente (firm to the bite) or soft, be careful not to overcook the pasta because this can be detrimental to its taste and texture.
5. Drain the pasta from the pan but do not rinse it – you want to keep the layer of starch which helps the flavour and also allows the sauce to cling to it.
6. After draining, pour the pasta back into the pan and add the sauce. It’s also perfectly acceptable to warm a separate pan containing the sauce that you can add the pasta to once it’s cooked – the choice is yours. Toss the pasta thoroughly so that it mixes with the sauce and leave for several minutes on a low flame. It’s important to cook the sauce relatively lightly instead of allowing it to boil. Remember, the sauce is there to compliment the pasta, not consume it – so don’t be too generous with the amount of sauce you add!
7. Feel free to season the pasta with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, butter, olive oil, black pepper or whatever else you like. Some light seasoning will give your pasta a hint of something special when it hits the taste buds.
So, there you have it. Whether you prefer dried penne or fresh ravioli, and whether you like a fresh tomato sauce or a smooth creamy sauce, cooking pasta presents an unlimited array of delicious options. Whatever kind of dish you make, these rules will help you to bring the best out of your pasta meal. And our Quooker hot water tap will be a great asset in your cooking adventures.
(Photo by MaxStraeten)