Questions tagged [pasta]

Questions about the make, manufacture, preparation, and cooking of all types of pasta, including traditional durum wheat, whole wheat, and gluten-free.

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158
votes
11answers
125k views

Why add salt to the water when cooking pasta?

What is the effect of adding salt to the water when cooking pasta?
79
votes
30answers
365k views

How can I keep pasta from sticking to itself?

Whenever I boil pasta (specifically spaghetti), it always sticks to itself before I'm ready to use it. What can I do to avoid this without it becoming mushy (which happens if I keep it in the water)? ...
31
votes
6answers
150k views

What is the correct water to pasta ratio?

I have heard one should use a lot of water when cooking pasta; how much water should I use?
43
votes
7answers
18k views

Pasta: is simmering equivalent to roiling boil?

I recently got into a surprisingly heated argument with a friend about what level of boil you should cook your pasta at. He (an engineer) argued that the heat transfer would remain the same regardless ...
18
votes
13answers
194k views

What's the best way to tell that pasta is done (when boiling)?

I've tried a number of different ways to tell when spaghetti, capellini and other pasta types are done, but I'm curious if there are more specific rules of thumb. With regular spaghetti, I've tried ...
17
votes
1answer
49k views

How much water does pasta absorb when it is cooked?

How much water will dry semolina pasta absorb when it is properly cooked? For example, how much water would one pound of farfalle or spaghetti absorb? I am guessing the shape of the pasta doesn't ...
43
votes
7answers
18k views

Why are there so many different pasta shapes?

Do the different pasta shapes serve any purpose, or are they just for fun? Some difference appear to be cultural (lo mein vs spaghetti), but there are so many different syles of Italian pasta, is ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Can anybody help make homemade pasta foolproof?

I can't even count the number of times that I have followed recipes for pasta using a food processor, only to discover that no matter the care I took with the measurements, my dough was just a bit too ...
28
votes
9answers
114k views

What's the numbering system for spaghetti and does it matter?

When I lived in Italy some years ago I remember an Italian friend explaining the numbering system for spaghetti (perhaps also other long pasta). How spaghetti was sold in Italy with a number ...
18
votes
9answers
25k views

How should one go about reheating pasta?

Ok, so, I know the answer, "You shouldn't, because it's easy to make it fresh." But on occasion, I end up making too much pasta, not having enough sauce, etc. and the pasta gets stowed in a ...
14
votes
6answers
15k views

When cooking pasta in salted water how much of the salt is absorbed?

Most chefs recommend that you should add quite a bit of salt to boiling water which you cook pasta in (sometimes 1 teaspoon). For those watching their sodium intake, how much of this salt will ...
15
votes
1answer
990 views

What makes a pasta shape pair with a sauce?

Spaghetti goes well with tomato sauce with ground meat. Fettucini goes well with a creamy sauce. Why? What general principles about the characteristics of the pasta and the sauce make them work well ...
24
votes
10answers
45k views

Why add pasta water to pasta sauce?

I've noticed that many Italian chefs add to their pasta sauces some of the water they used to cook their pasta. What is the purpose of this?
6
votes
6answers
4k views

What ingredients can be added to pasta to give a different color? [closed]

I've experimented with fresh pasta, using the following ingredients to color it: Beetroot puree Carrot puree Cocoa powder The first two were successful, the cocoa poweder resulted in a very visually ...
3
votes
2answers
19k views

Types of potato for making gnocchi

I've made gnocchi with different types of potato with mixed result. Can anyone recommend a type that is particularly good for making gnocchi?
1
vote
3answers
779 views

How do you store cooked pasta without losing the bite?

When I cook pasta I usually drain all the water and keep about a cup of pasta water so I could loosen up a sticky pasta or bulk up a sauce. But spaghettini or capellini is too thin so it breaks up ...
62
votes
26answers
441k views

In a tomato sauce recipe, how can I cut the acidity?

It seems that every time I make a tomato sauce for pasta, the sauce is a little bit too acid for my taste. I've tried using sugar or sodium bicarbonate, but I'm not satisfied with the results.
29
votes
7answers
154k views

What does al dente really mean?

Initially I was told that al dente meant that the pasta was cooked but still firm, definitely not soggy or overcooked. Later, someone told me that it meant not quite cooked all the way through. ...
20
votes
6answers
431k views

How long does cooked pasta last in the fridge?

I sometimes cook more pasta than I intend to eat or use at once and store the rest in a container in the fridge (just plain, cooked pasta). How long would it store safely for?
19
votes
4answers
9k views

I never succeed in thickening sauces with pasta water. What am I doing wrong?

Every cook praises how starchy pasta water is great for thickening sauces and helping the sauce cling to the noodles. But no matter how much pasta water I add, it never thickens the sauce.Yesterday I ...
14
votes
4answers
21k views

Why do different pasta shapes taste different?

I've noticed that even when I buy two different pasta shapes of the same brand (and so presumably the exact same recipe), they still taste subtly different, to the point that I consistently prefer the ...
15
votes
14answers
149k views

Turning regular noodles into no-boil noodles

I've been told by other that you don't need to boil the noodles for lasagna before you assemble and bake it. They claim that you can just lay them out on the pan raw and assemble as usual and the heat ...
11
votes
3answers
59k views

How to store homemade pasta without freezing

I'm curious how to make pasta (and in this case I'm talking about say, spaghetti, angel hair, shells or lasagna noodles, no filling) and store it dry like I would find in a box at a store. I would try ...
10
votes
3answers
18k views

Why does my homemade pasta stick to itself whilst cooking?

I make a fair amount of homemade pasta (Mostly Tagliatelle or Linguine), and I tend to cook it fresh, rather than drying it and cooking from dry; however, it tends to clump and stick together in the ...
6
votes
6answers
49k views

Could rice or pasta be cooked without hot water?

I moved in a brand new house. I have no stove, microwaves or hot water for a week or two. I'm vegetarian and I've already prepared fresh veggies wrap, salad, hummus, sandwichs, .. but I'm wondering ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Does adding oil to pasta water reduce the tendency to boil over?

I know that adding oil to pasta water doesn't keep the noodles from sticking--much better to do that after cooking. I also know that there's no need to cook pasta at a rolling boil. My question is ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Preparing spaghetti without boiling water

I saw a commercial on televison for preparing spaghetti without boiling the noodles, just place them in water for about on hour. Can this be done?
21
votes
16answers
187k views

How long should I cook pasta sauce?

I recently made pasta sauce, and every couple of minutes decided to add something more... More tomatoes, more pepper, more garlic... After that I let it sit on a small flame for a bit more. As a ...
8
votes
5answers
9k views

How to cook Lo Mein?

I just moved to China and I would like to cook some lo mein ( chinese noodles ), this is the easiest way to get some veg. food here :) The lo mein I bought are not the fresh ones but the dry ones. ...
15
votes
8answers
135k views

What causes a tomato sauce to have a bitterness and getting rid of it?

My tomato sauce is coming out great, lots of flavor, especially after I was able to reduce it following the tips here However, it is still slightly bitter. What causes a tomato sauce to have a (in ...
4
votes
9answers
2k views

Which is a typically American way of seasoning spaghetti and other pasta?

When I visit the States I see a lot of pasta and spaghetti in the supermarkets. I wonder which is the typical seasoning (sauce or similar) used by Americans when they cook spaghetti. Of course, when ...
16
votes
6answers
17k views

(How) can I prevent pasta water from boiling over with the lid closed?

I always cook pasta with the lid of the pot open, because otherwise foam starts to build up and eventually boils over, maikng a huge mess. I would prefer to keep the lid on for energy saving purposes. ...
12
votes
6answers
16k views

How do I stop homemade Ravioli from going soggy? (storage issue)

Last week I made some Pumpkin Ravioli. The filling was a bit moist, but nothing excessive. The problem is, that obviously, I don't want to be stuffing ravioli immediately before they go into the pot....
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How to prepare gnocchi dough for mixed ingredients?

After reading a recent post on incorporating vegetables into gnocchi (and presumably of potato/flour based pastas), I tried my own mixture of veggies and it came out great. Here is where the ...
7
votes
6answers
23k views

How much water to put in my pasta pot?

My pasta pot/steamer did not come with directions telling me how full to make it. It seems to boil over or not have enough water to cover the pasta. It is a large pot with the pasta strainer ...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

How to cook spaetzle (German homemade noodles/pasta) without it ending up soggy?

I've made spaetzle a few times now but every time I struggle with it ending up a bit wet/soggy, I try to drain it the best I can but it holds a lot of water still. I do sometimes end up cooking it ...
6
votes
5answers
19k views

Red and blue Antimo Caputo 00 flour

What's the difference between the flour in the blue bag vs the red? I'm not even sure which one I have since my local Italian shop re-bags it, but I've seen the red bags in the store, so I kind of ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Will adding lemon juice to non-wheat pastas make them starchier?

I read in this question: Why add salt to the water when cooking pasta? that adding an acid like lemon juice to water you're cooking pasta in will help keep it from getting waterlogged and having the ...
3
votes
3answers
758 views

Why is bolognese cooked for so long?

Most bolognese recipes advise to simmer the sauce for 4 hours, some even advise to simmer longer than that. Until I heard about that, I had a recipe, which was a total of maybe 45min of cooking, ...
13
votes
3answers
82k views

What is 00 flour and when should I use?

I've made pasta before using 00 flour. I was about to use the same thing to make gnocci but I've noticed that none of the gnocci recipes mention the "00". Does it make a difference? Is one better then ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

How to prevent Orecchiette from sticking to each other while cooking? How to separate in water?

This shape of pasta easily nests inside each other. A lot of times if you just pour it directly from the bag/box into boiling water, you will get stacks of them together. Once they are cooking this ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

How to prevent the lasagne filling from sliding out?

When I cook lasagne most of the filling slides out between the pages. How do you make the filling stay in its place?
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Saving pasta water

When making pasta, I often use small amounts of pasta water as an addition to sautes or to lengthen sauces. I have thought of saving more of the pasta water to refrigerate and use within 2 or 3 days, ...
9
votes
12answers
211k views

What can I use as a replacement for ricotta or cottage cheese in a lasagna?

I really cannot take the texture of ricotta or cottage cheese in food, to the point where I will gag when it is in my mouth. However, most of the recipes I have seen for lasagna involve using one or ...
7
votes
4answers
29k views

How do I clean a pasta maker?

I am experimenting with a home pasta maker, and after all the fun comes the cleaning up. My worries come from tiny bits of dry dough I find when I clean the machine. There always seem to be more every ...
7
votes
3answers
613 views

Are commercial foods adjusted for integer cooking times?

Pasta, noodles and such foods are often labeled "cook for n minutes". Are the ingredients for these foods purposefully balanced such that the average optimal cooking time is integer? Of course the ...
6
votes
3answers
13k views

How do I tell if my pasta is molto al dente?

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"....
6
votes
6answers
19k views

Adding pasta to soup

Is there any way to add pasta to soup without the pasta doubling in size and getting mushy in the fridge later.I've even tried putting uncooked pasta in with the same result.
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Can Fresh unboiled egg pasta be used for lasagna?

I want to make a lasagna quickly, and I don't want to be bothered with boiling the noodles OR going to the store. Would strips of freshly made pasta cook properly layered with the other ingredients? ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Avoiding clumps in cacio e pepe?

I've been trying to make a very basic three-ingredient cacio e pepe over the last few days and have found it difficult to create a smooth, creamy sauce. I'm using only two cups of microplane-grated ...