Want to cook pasta like an Italian? Read on!
We often hear people say that when it comes to authentic Italian pasta, fresh is best. The truth is, most Italians use dried pasta. Out of the box. Surprised? Don’t be! The quality of a good dried pasta is excellent, and many times is preferable to fresh due to the firmness of texture. If you were wondering how you could make a pasta meal like a true Italian, we have some answers for you.
Your best bet is to keep things simple. You can spend too much time looking at the endless pasta selections available. Instead, focus on preparation. There are three simple things to remember: don’t overcook it, don’t add too much sauce, and don’t serve too much. Here are some tips:
Cook the pasta with plenty of water. If you are cooking a pound of pasta, use at least 5 quarts of boiling water. Add a tablespoon or two of salt to the pot and stir the noodles in all at once.
1. Cook the pasta al dente, which means “to the tooth.” The pasta should have a slightly chewy texture, with most of the noodle cooked through except for the very middle, which has a firmer texture, and is almost completely cooked. Another way to test is to cut the noodle in half while cooking. If you see that most of the pasta is cooked with the exception of a small white spot in the middle, you’re probably done. Don’t worry about being perfect, just notice the texture while you are tasting it and pull the noodles off of the heat when you think it’s right. Drain it immediately and transfer it to a warm serving bowl. Some cooks add some hot water from the boiling pot to the serving bowl while cooking the pasta to get it warmed up. Before they add the pasta, they empty the bowl.
2. Sauce should be served lightly. There should be enough to coat every noodle, but try to avoid large swamps of sauce on the plate. The sauce is supposed to compliment the pasta. If you use too much, you lose the quality of the pasta you just took so much care to cook. Some cooks will make the pasta and pull it off the burner a minute or two before it is finished and add it to the heated sauce on the stove to finish cooking. This is called “pasta saltata in padella” and is a great way to infuse the flavor of the sauce into the pasta.
Most dried pastas from Italy are quite excellent, as they are produced under government regulations and are made with semolina (durum hard winter wheat flour.) The best pasta, however, comes from family-owned pasta makers who produce artisan pastas. They use traditional bronze dies in the extrusion process, which provided a rough surface for the sauce to cling to. They are also dried slowly, which allows the flavors and aromas to develop more.
Glorioso’s Artisan Pastas follow this tradition. They are made with bronze dies for better texture and are dried slowly to maintain that fresh aroma and flavor. You end up with a fresh, flavorful pasta that has perfect firmness and holds the sauce better than other mass produced pastas.
Glorioso’s has a complete selection of artisan pastas available:
Rainbow Angel Hair
Garlic Angel Hair
Roasted Red Pepper Fettucine
Roasted Garlic & Parsley Linguine
Garlic Basil Spaghetti
Lemon Pepper Linguine
Sun Dried Tomato Basil Linguine
Take a stroll through our pasta section to pick out your next delicious meal!