I cooked pasta tonight for my families dinner, and cooked it "al dente" then cooked it in the sauce. Surprise surprise it was overdone. So I looked it up and apparently it needs to be "molto al dente". So now I'm just wondering how will I be able to tell if my pasta is "molto al dente" and what is the definition of "molto al dente"?

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    taste, taste again; and try again; and if possible take notes for the next time.
    – Max
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 12:46
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    If the packet suggests 12 minutes, start tasting at 10 minutes. When it's nearly done but still a little chewy, then you can drain it and add it to the sauce. Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 19:30
  • Since pasta keeps cooking even after you strain it, by its own heat, you also need to take into account the time it sits in the dish waiting to be eaten. That's the reason why it must be eaten right away. Pasta can't wait! :)
    – Pino Pinto
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 16:26

2 Answers 2


How to see if your pasta is "al dente":

If your pasta cooks about in 10 minutes (for example), when you put pasta into the boiling water take one pasta after 8 minute (about 20% before the time of cook), bite it and observe the pasta: the external is more yellow than the internal that is white. When the internal white disappears the pasta has cooked "normale", when the internal white is small the pasta is "al dente".

Greetings from Italy

Everybody know cooking, not everybody speak english very well


Generally on the pasta bag is indicated the cooking time for "al dente" and "normale". It depends on the type of pasta, since different types need different cooking times. "al dente" means that the pasta should feel quite hard under yout teeth. For instance, for spaghetti with 12 minutes normal cooking time, "al dente" means about 10 min, "molto al dente" is around 8-9 min. So, just as a rule of thumb, take the normal cooking time indicated on the box, and consider about 20% less for "al dente", and 30% for "molto al dente".

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    Or to think of it another way, if you are aiming for "al dente" at the end and it says that will be 10 minutes, you need to factor in the 2 minutes (or whatever) it will be in the sauce into the cooking time, so you would only need to cook for 8 minutes initially.
    – Vicky
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 10:29

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