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Pasta Tips

Pasta Tips

Pasta Tips

Pasta Tips

Dried pasta is the perfect store cupboard ingredient. With a few different varieties and some simple sauce recipes – or a few jars of our pasta sauces – you’re never far away from a delicious, easily prepared meal. Cooking and serving pasta is straightforward. Here are some simple tips to help you get the best from this most versatile ingredient, and below is a selection of our pasta and some sauces that we think suit them best…

 

Use a large pan to cook the pasta

Pasta needs plenty of room to move around in the pan so it cooks evenly, so choose a big pan – perhaps the largest you have – and bring the water to a rolling boil before salting it generously and adding the pasta.

 

Always follow the pack instructions

Follow the cooking time on the pack, but also test the pasta towards the end of cooking time to make sure it’s perfectly al dente. If adding the pasta to a sauce, cook for a minute less than the instructions, as it will continue to cook in the pan of sauce.

 

Don’t add any oil to the water

Some people suggest that adding oil prevents the pasta from sticking together, but in fact all it will do is prevent the sauce from clinging to the pasta!

 

Don’t drain the pasta through a colander

Rather than draining the pasta through a colander or sieve, use tongs or a spider to remove the pasta from the water. In this way you can work quickly at the hob (rather than running off to the sink and back) and you don’t lose that precious pasta cooking water.

 

Add the pasta to the sauce, not the other way around

Lift the pasta from the water and add to the pan of warmed sauce, adding a little cooking water too to loosen the sauce. The starch in the water from the pasta will also help to thicken the sauce a little. Stir the pasta thoroughly through the sauce so that every strand or piece is well coated. Please, no just dolloping the sauce on top of the pasta!

 

Serve in bowls

All pasta is better – and easier to eat – served in a shallow bowl rather than a plate. Warm the bowls gently first and the pasta will stay warm throughout the meal…but if it’s delicious, it won’t last long anyway!

 

Cheese is good…but maybe not with fish!

Most dishes of pasta with meat or vegetable sauces benefit from a grating of cheese such as Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano, but hold back the cheese on fish and shellfish sauces.

 

Don’t throw away any leftovers

Granted, there may not be any, but if there are, they’re almost certainly going to be great in a frittata or other baked dish. Just add eggs (and lots of cheese if there’s no fish involved) and maybe some other ingredients, then bake.

 

Here is a selection of our pasta and some sauces that we think suit them best…

 

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