7 Secrets to Making Perfect Al Dente Pasta Every Time

Pasta is one of the most popular foods in the world and yet, it can be frustratingly difficult to get it right.

The best thing about al dente pasta is what chefs refer to as “the mouth feel”… that delectable combination of textures and tastes that is so satisfying. It’s that key moment when you get a luscious bite of pasta with just the right amount of rich, succulent sauce. Mmmm. Nothing better, right? But get it wrong and even the best pasta dish is ruined! It sticks, it clumps, sometimes it’s underdone, sometimes it’s mushy. The sauce seems too dry or it slides off entirely and pools in the bowl. It’s maddening!

But fear not, pasta lovers! After extensive research, I have narrowed down all the various techniques out there to just seven essential steps – 7 insider secrets – to perfect pasta. Follow these 7 insider secrets and your pasta will be al dente and delicious every time.

Secret #1 LOTS of WATER!

Start with a large volume of cold water in a big pot. At least 4 quarts per pound of pasta. The pasta needs room to “swim” in the water. Without enough water, the pasta stays in place. As it cooks, pasta releases starch, a glue-like substance, and if it’s touching another piece, it literally bonds itself to the other piece. This is where those hard, fused ends come from! If using a pot and strainer combo, add extra water so the pasta is completely covered and has plenty of room to move around. NEVER break the strands. If they don’t fit, use a bigger pot. Continue reading “7 Secrets to Making Perfect Al Dente Pasta Every Time”