Cooking a good pasta dish can seem completely trivial and innocuous. This does not prevent some people from ending up with a paste that is sticky, floury or, on the contrary, too hard. Yes, sometimes it takes art and technique to successfully cook al dente. Generally, we are convinced that we should add a few drops of oil to the cooking water to prevent our pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Scoop of the day: it is totally useless, since it does not change anything at all. And for good reason, as you will surely notice every time, the oil sits on the surface of the water and therefore does not come into contact with your spaghetti. We tell you more.
Adding oil to the pasta cooking water, a good or bad idea?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to add oil to the pasta cooking water. It would be a complete waste, so save oil from now on. If you don’t want the pasta to stick to the pan, simply cook it in plenty of salted water: 1 liter of water and about 2 g of salt per 100 g of dry pasta.
The use of olive oil will only be of real interest when your pasta is cooked and mixed with the sauce. This dash of oil will bring tasty aromas to the whole: the sauce can thus marry harmoniously with spaghetti or penne.
Common mistake not to make again: emptying the pasta cooking water in the sink. You should know that this water, nicknamed “liquid gold” by culinary experts, is very useful to enhance your sauce. In fact, this liquid is exactly what you need for emulsification, resulting in a silky-smooth sauce with the perfect consistency.
little advice : to prevent the pasta from sticking in the pan, make sure to always respect the cooking time. Because if they simmer longer than expected, the starch they contain can release a lot of amylose. The latter is a very sticky substance that binds the pasta during cooking.
The most common mistakes when cooking
Look at the cooking time
If the package says 10 minutes to cook, look no further. It is always advisable to follow these instructions carefully so that your pasta is a success. Then, drain them well and save the cooking water to mix with the sauce..
Remove the cover
Use the lid to cover the pot just until the water boils. Then, once you’ve added the pasta, don’t cover it.
Five tips to cook your pasta better
- Use a large saucepan. As pasta cooks and expands, if there isn’t enough water, it will inevitably become mushy and sticky, so it’s always best to go for enough water!
- Before bringing it to a boil, put cold water in the pan and without oil. Add the salt only when the water begins to boil.
- Some experts recommend taking the pasta out four minutes earlier than the package says, so it can finish cooking once mixed with the sauce. They will be perfectly al dente.
- Another bad habit to banish: never dousing cooked and drained pasta with cold water! Rinsing them risks disrupting the action of the starch that allows the sauce to stick better.
- Avoid pouring cooking water down the sink. Although its white and pasty appearance does not inspire much confidence, as we said above, it is an essential liquid to sublimate the sauce, the starch it releases is an emulsifying and thickening agent. Therefore, by saving this water and adding it to the sauce, the liquids and oils are mixed, which favors its thick and creamy texture.