I've cooked my fair share of pasta over the years, and while living and working in Italy I learned a thing or two about cooking perfect pasta. It's simple, with this foolproof method and no more overcooked mushy pasta.
- In a large pot, bring 5-6 quarts of water (per pound of pasta) to a boil.
- Add a handful of sea salt, about two tablespoons.
- Turn on a timer for one minute less than the amount of time on the package.
- Add the pasta to boiling water.
- Bring the water back to a boil and occasionally stir to separate the pasta, I use long tongs like these.
- After a couple of minutes, cover the pot and remove it from the heat for the remainder of the cooking time.
- When the timer alarm sounds, check pasta for doneness. If you want the pasta cooked a bit more, cover the pot and check again after another minute.
- When done, drain but don’t rinse, the starch helps the sauce to stick to the pasta. I only rinse if using the pasta in a cold dish.
- Add your sauce. And done!
More Pasta Tips:
Drizzle olive over the leftover pasta and stir to coat before storing in the refrigerator; this keeps the pasta from sticking together.
Store any leftover sauce separate from the noodles, so upon reheating the noodles won’t overcook.
Try these simple pasta sauce recipes any night of the week. Spaghetti alla Puttanesca Recipe (Pasta with Olives) or a classic Easy Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe.
How to Freeze pasta
I cook a lot of pasta dishes and recently started making batches of pasta and freezing spaghetti, fettucini, and penne pasta for easy and quick weeknight dinners.
Freezing leftover pasta is also great for using in a cold pasta salad.
Step One: Cook Your Pasta Al Dente
Cook the pasta to Al Dente so when you reheat it won’t be overcooked. Pasta is considered “Al Dente “when the cooked pasta is firm when bitten. The dried pasta package will have cook time for Al Dente doneness.
Drain the pasta, don’t rinse and pour a coating of olive oil over the pasta and set aside to cool.
Here are some tips to make perfect pasta every time.
Step Two: Transfer to Freezer
Now that the pasta is cooled, portion out and place in a freezer bag removing and pressing out as much air as possible.
When you’re ready to use, defrost the pasta in the refrigerator.
Boil a pot of water and transfer the thawed pasta in the boiling water to reheat, it should be hot after about 1-2 minutes. Overcooked pasta will be mushy so take care to not overcook. You can also reheat the pasta in the microwave.
How long will cooked pasta last in the freezer?
The cooked pasta will last 2-3 months.