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When and How to Eat Pasta

First off, the when to eat pasta question is a trick of sorts because quite honestly there isn’t a wrong time to eat pasta.  You can eat it any day of the week, for any meal or any occasion is a great time to indulge in a simple noodle dish or a hearty helping of your favorite fettucine. There is never a bad time for a pasta dish.

 

Next, the how to eat pasta requires a little more education.  Here are a few simple tips for choosing and cooking your pasta dish.

 

  • Decide between fresh or dried pasta:  Making your own pasta is a little time consuming but provides great kitchen oriented exercise and is a true labor of love for those you are serving.  Although you need to plan ahead for time, the process is fairly simple.  For our favorite homemade pasta recipe click here.  Dried pasta is the readier available option and while it takes longer to actually cook than fresh pasta, the prep simply involves opening the packaging and boiling some water. 

 

  • Choosing a Shape: There are many different types of pasta shape, and some are purely about preference, while others hold certain sauces better than others. While there are hundreds of different shapes, some of the more common shapes include gnocchi, fusilli, spaghetti, penne, farfalle, fettuccine and macaroni.

 

  • Cooking your pasta: If using fresh pasta, it really only needs to be boiled for a few minutes.  Once all the noodles are floating it should be ready to be drained.  For dried pasta, read the label accompanying the package. This will tell you the amount of time the pasta should be cooked which will vary depending on the brand and shape and if the pasta has a filling. Standard cooking times:

 

    • Dried pasta: About 8 to 10 minutes.
    • Fresh pasta: About 2 to 3 minutes.
    • Filled pasta: About 12 minutes.
    • Lasagna or cannelloni: About 25 to 45 minutes.

 

Use a large pot to cook your pasta to allow movement.  Too cramped of a space will result in uneven cooking.  Make sure water is at a full rolling boil before adding pasta.  Plan for about 3 ounces dried pasta per serving. Add the pasta. If it is long, such as spaghetti or linguine, drop one end into the boiling water, then gradually push down the rest of the pasta as it softens through cooking.  Cook until al dente, meaning it has a slight resistance when bitten.  The fastest way to make an Italian cry is to serve mushy pasta.  Remove your pot of pasta from heat and drain.  You are now ready to add the sauce of your choice or simply top with a little olive oil and parmesan.  Bon appetit!

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  • When and How to Eat Pasta

    First off, the when to eat pasta question is a trick of sorts because quite honestly there isn’t a wrong time to eat pasta.  Any day of the week for any meal or any occasion is a great time to indulge...

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