Pasta is a great dish to serve in parties or small gatherings. It is fairly easy to make, and doesn’t require much time to cook. It does however, require to be eaten just right after it gets cooked in order for you to achieve a truly great gastronomic experience.
But what do you do if you have to keep your pasta warm for later?
If you don’t know how to keep pasta warm, don’t fret. Because for this article, I will be teaching of you a couple of things that you should know about in order to cook great pasta that you can save for later. Read on to find out how.
How To Cook Al Dente Pasta
Before we get into how you could keep your pasta warm, I think we should first dive into how to make pasta the right way. To create al dente pasta, here is what you should do:
Use A Pot With Lots Of Room
When cooking pasta, you should use a pot with enough room for all your pasta to freely swirl around the pot. I recommend going with an eight or 12-quart pot just to be sure.
Use Lots Of Water
Using a lot of water is essential when cooking pasta because it ensures that every piece of pasta will be submerged in water. Don’t worry about the added cooking time when you use a lot of water, what’s important here is covering every bit of pasta with water for even cooking.
Season The Water With Salt. A Lot Of It
Just like any starch food, pasta will taste a whole lot better with salt. Don’t be afraid to add a lot more salt than usual, a little more than average is great for cooking any type of pasta.
Boil The Water Before Adding The Pasta
One common mistake home cooks often commit is putting in the pasta even when the water hasn’t come to a boil yet. If you want to end up with evenly cooked al dente pasta, you must put your uncooked pasta in the pot only when the water has come to a boil.
Stir Your Pasta Constantly
To keep your pasta from sticking to each other, you must constantly stir it as the water boils. Doing so will keep your pasta from sticking to each other.
Test The Pasta
Check the pasta packaging for the cook times, but don't assume that time is gospel. About two minutes till go time, start checking the pasta's doneness. Using a slotted spoon (or your utensil of choice), fish out a single strand of pasta, let it cool, then bite into it.
In general, you want pasta that's springy and chewy (but not like a stick of hardened gum). Everyone has different opinions on pasta, though. Italian chef Mario Batali prefers his pasta cooked just past the point of raw, a.k.a. "toothsome."
No matter your preference, it’s better to err on the side of al dente, as overcooked pasta will break down and become carby mush.
Save Some Pasta Water
Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, take two seconds to do this little step that most home cooks skip:
Before you drain the water, save a single cup. This starchy water can work wonders in sauces, binding the sauce and pasta together, and breaking down thicker sauces so they're less likely to clump at the bottom of your bowl.
Keeping Pasta Warm and Loose
What You Will Need:
- Olive Oil
- Insulated Bag
What You Should Do:
- Dump the spaghetti into a colander, but leave a small amount of hot water in the bottom of the pot.
- Rinse the pasta in the colander with cool water to halt the cooking process. This prevents the spaghetti from overcooking.
- Place the spaghetti back inside the pot. Then, pour a small amount of olive oil into the pot. The amount of oil needed depends on the amount of spaghetti inside the pot.
- Use tongs or your hands to coat the spaghetti with the oil. Add more oil to the pot, if needed, until all of the pasta is coated.
- Place the pot back on the stove. Turn the stove to its absolute lowest setting.
- Cover the pot. Stir every 5 to 10 minutes to keep the spaghetti evenly coated with water and oil. The spaghetti absorbs the moisture and it then finishes cooking. The lid on the pot prevents the pasta from drying out.
- Place the covered pot inside of a insulated bag if transporting the pasta. The bag prevents the pasta from cooling and the moisture inside the pot keeps the spaghetti from sticking.
A Quick Recap
Pasta is a great dish that you can easily cook in just a couple of minutes. However, when not set properly, leaving your pasta in some container in your counter after it cooks can leave you with clumped pieces of pasta that is not that pleasing to eat.
Fortunately, you can use a little olive oil to keep your pasta from sticking to each other and a nice insulated bag to keep it completely warm even after a couple of minutes or even an hour after cooking.
If you liked this article, and would like to know more about cooking, please leave us your feedback in the comment box below. Until next time, enjoy!