Why am I cooking myself wrong
Cooking pasta: these 7 mistakes we all make!
We bet that when you read the headline you first thought: What should you go wrong with cooking pasta? After all, pasta with sauce is what anyone can do if a) they can't cook or b) they don't have time to conjure up something more elaborate.
In fact, when you cook pasta, things can go wrong. And by that I don't just mean that you misjudge the crowd. True to the motto: 3 things I always overdo: hope, thoughts and noodles.
There are also a few pitfalls when it comes to cooking time, water and salt. Those who avoid them can look forward to perfect pasta dishes.
Here are the 7 most common pasta making mistakes and how to avoid them.
Mistake # 1 Cooking the wrong amount of pasta
I don't know how you are doing. But I cook either way too much or way too little pasta - both of which are pretty frustrating if you ask me. There is even a rule of thumb that you can follow when cooking pasta: 125 g uncooked noodles as a main course (with pasta dishes), 60 g as a side dish.
Unfortunately, weighing is not so easy, especially with spaghetti. My tip: use one Spaghetti measure. This is a small kitchen helper with which you can determine the correct amount of spaghetti according to portions or people.
There is a cheap spaghetti measure here at Amazon *
Mistake # 2 Too small a pot, too little water
If you make mistake 1 and cook too much pasta, you are mostly guilty of mistake 2: a saucepan that is too small and, accordingly, too little water. The result: the noodles stick together or become mushy because there is too much starch in the water.
Pasta professionals recommend boiling 100 g of pasta in 1 liter of water. For noodles for four people (at 125 g per person) this means: 5 liters of water! Therefore, when cooking pasta, make sure that you use a sufficiently large saucepan and remember that the pasta water bubbles up while cooking. So you shouldn't fill the pot up to the top with water, otherwise it will boil over quickly.
Savings tip: A high-quality 6.5 liter saucepan from WMF is available at Amazon for just € 43 instead of € 130 *
Mistake # 3 Too little salt in the pasta water
Hand on heart: how much salt do you put in the cooking water for your pasta? A pinch? Two prizes? Three? All of that is not enough. Chefs recommend 10 g salt per 100 g of pasta to add to the pasta water. That's a heaped teaspoon.
For pasta for 4 people, that means more than 4 teaspoons of salt. That sounds like a lot, but that's right. Because if the cooking water tastes like the sea, it ensures that the pasta has more flavor after cooking.
Tip: Put the salt in the water before the pasta, then it can dissolve and later penetrate the pasta well.
Read also: Spaghetti sauces: 5 ingenious recipes from Italian to vegan to sweet
Mistake # 4 Oil in pasta water
Too little salt, but a good dash of oil, is how many people cook their pasta. The oil is supposed to prevent the noodles from sticking together while cooking. Unfortunately, this only works moderately, especially if the pot is too small or the pasta is cooked in too little water.
In addition, oil has a negative property in pasta dishes: It ensures that the sauce no longer sticks to the pasta. So the food tastes bland overall.
Recipe tip in the video: Quick tagliatelle with salmon
Mistake # 5 Cooking pasta too long
Is there anything more depressing than pasta that is too soft? Hardly likely. Nevertheless, many of us end up with mushy pasta that doesn't even need teeth. So that you can enjoy a perfect pasta dish at the end, it is important that you stick to the cooking time on the package.
Also make sure that the timing is good so that the pasta does not finish before the sauce. And: Try the pasta at the end of the cooking time: it should still have a light bite, i.e. be al dente.
Reading tip: Pasta like a Pro: It's so easy to make your own pasta
Mistake # 6 Turning off pasta after cooking
Where did the belief come from that one should deter pasta after cooking with cold water? In the case of vegetables that should not lose their color or eggs, which can then be peeled better, quenching them with cold water makes sense. It makes absolutely no sense with pasta.
On the contrary: The pasta loses its stickiness when you wash it off. But this is important so that the sauce adheres nicely to it.
Also exciting: Storing bread: almost everyone makes these mistakes!
Mistake # 7 Leaving cooked pasta to stand for too long
Who does not know it: you have miscalculated the timing and the noodles are ready before the sauce is. So you leave the pasta in the sieve or in the pot after draining. When the sauce is ready, the rude awakening comes: instead of perfect al dente pasta, there is only a pasta ball. Everything sticks together. The reason: the starch becomes sticky after pouring off.
Better: Do not put the pasta on until the pasta sauce is almost ready and do not pour off all of the cooking water. Better to catch some of it and add it to the sauce with the noodles immediately after cooking.
The starchy cooking water gives the sauce a nice, creamy consistency. And by mixing the pasta and sauce before serving, you ensure extra flavor and the perfect pasta-sauce ratio. With this in mind: Bon appetit!
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