Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Who doesn’t love a holiday that revolves around just food and family, no extra distractions. Well, unless you count football…
I know the Travis family had some good eats at Grandma’s!
The rest of the weekend was spent with some more great food. Friday night in was spent making homemade pasta with the family. Yep, homemade – Dad’s new fun specialty.
Paired with some great wine, this was one fantastic dinner to follow up that Thanksgiving turkey!
But since homemade pasta can be a bit ambitious for a weeknight, the good old blue box (AKA Barilla) is pretty good. And if you talk to the pros, there are some right and wrong ways to cook the boxed stuff too. For example, they say to NOT add oil to your pasta because it can prevent the sauce from sticking. So put that old wive’s tale to rest.
And in preparation for an upcoming post (stay tuned!) I wanted to share some great tips for cooking pasta from The Taste of Food. Here are eight chef secrets to correctly preparing pasta.
1. Use plenty of water – If there is too little water then the pasta will stick together and be difficult to stir. All pasta pieces need to be separated in order to have as much sauce as possible cling to it.
2. Only add the pasta after a hard boil has been achieved – This will also keep the pasta from sticking and also cook faster.
3. Use salt in the water – When serving many people, don’t be afraid of using up to 1 Tbs of salt. This will add flavor and help the water reach a slightly higher temperature when boiling (one of the amazing salt properties).
4. Never add oil to the water – This will keep the sauce from properly clinging to and coating the pasta pieces.
5. When you remove the pasta from the pot retain a cup of the water for later use.
6. When pouring the pasta into a colander do not shake it dry – The pasta needs to retain a lot of moisture because it is hot and the remaining water is evaporating quickly.
7. Never run water over the top of it to rinse it – This will rinse the starch off of the pasta and will prevent the sauce from sticking to it correctly.
8. Dump it back into the pot quickly and mix with the sauce immediately – this will stop the evaporation process.