Recipes & Articles
How to cook fresh pasta?
Since we are asked this question regularly, we thought it would be good to answer it…
Here are, in simple language, some things that are good to know.
A PAN OF BOILING WATER
First and foremost, make sure you have a large enough pot in which to boil your water. The average is 1 liter of water for one serving of 150 grams of pasta.
The amount of water is important to prevent pasta from sticking together, since pasta naturally swells during cooking. Better too much water than not enough.
ADDING SALT: WHY, HOW MUCH AND WHEN?
Yes, salt is used to keep the pasta from getting too sticky during cooking. But adding salt is mainly for taste, as salt is known to intensify flavors; and since all pasta absorbs salt from the cooking water, it becomes evenly salty, compared to salting it on your plate.
b) How much salt?
The Italian “rule” is to add a tablespoon of salt (about 8-10 grams) for every liter of water.
c) When to add the salt?
Adding salt is done after the water is boiling and not before, to avoid oxidizing your pan.
ADDING PASTA: A LITTLE AT A TIME
Once the water is boiling, add the pasta, but be careful not to “pour” it all at once, as this cools the water, temporarily stopping the boil. It is therefore recommended to add the pasta in small quantities at a time, in order to keep the water at a constant boil.
COOKING TIME: GOOD TO KNOW
- Cooking time begins the moment you put the pasta in the boiling water.
- Stuffed pasta requires more cooking time than an unstuffed one.
- The more voluminous the pasta, or thick, the longer it should be cooked.
- Dry pasta takes longer to cook than fresh pasta.
- When we talk about “al dente”, we mean that the cooked pasta is a little tough when you bite into it.
Here is the average cooking time, by type of pasta:
Short or long fresh pasta, not stuffed
Expect 3 to 5 minutes cooking time, start monitoring cooking from 3 minutes.
Short pasta include penne, rigatoni, fusilli, campanelle, etc.
Long pasta include spaghetti, fettucini, papardelle, linguini, etc.
Fresh short stuffed pasta
Plan for 5 to 8 minutes cooking time, start checking from 5 minutes)
This type of pasta includes tortellini, ravioli, medaglioni, agnolotti, etc.
Large, fresh, stuffed pasta
For fresh pata, plan for 30-45 minutes at 325 °F; and for frozen pasta, 45-60 minutes of cooking time.
This pasta includes cannelloni, manicotti, fazzoletti, etc.,
It should be baked, covered with your favorite sauce.
And if you like, add mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese on top for a “gratin”.
Simply put, as soon as the gnocchi float to the surface of your pan, they’re ready! You just have to drain them (do not rinse). But in terms of timing, these mini pasta balls made with potatoes, eggs and water (sometimes with wheat semolina) take about 3 minutes to cook.
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