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Learn how to cook the perfect pasta with Kitchen Daily's Curtis Stone.
Tags:Curtis Stones Tips for the Perfect Pasta,curtis stone,italian food ideas,italian pasta cooking tips,Italian recipes,kitchen daily,pasta cooking,pasta preparation
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How to Cook Pasta
Featured Pro: Curtis Stone Category: Cooking Time: 2:32
CURTIS STONE: Hey, it’s Curtis Stone. I’ve got an amazing Trade Secret for you from GMC.
Now, it sounds super, super simple. It’s cooking pasta. But there’s a couple of little tricks that, if you get it right, it can be amazing.
I’ve got two major varieties. Over here we’ve got the fresh. We’ve got some tagliatelle and some spaghetti. And over here we’ve got the dried stuff.
Now, you have seen this in a grocery store, especially the dried, but you’ve probably seen the fresh as well. They cook pretty much exactly the same way, only this takes two minutes and this can take 15. So I’m going to cook the easy one, the fresh stuff.
All you do is you get a big pot of water. Now, you put a bit of salt, a good pinch. So you take the fresh spaghetti and you throw it in. Then give it a quick stir – lovely – on the rapid boil. And then you stick your lid back on. In the front here, I’ve got a little tomato sauce going, so I’m just going to give that a stir around.
Now, there’s one huge misconception that always gets said when you’re cooking pasta. People say to put some olive oil into the water. Whatever you do, don’t do it. It makes absolutely no difference to the way the pasta cooks. If anything, what it does is it coats the pasta in a thin layer of oil, and then when you take the pasta out, the sauce won’t stick to the oil. So it’s completely unnecessary. It’s a waste of money, and it means you’ve got to do more washing up than you have to, because it makes a complete mess of your pan.
Now, to tell whether the pasta’s cooked, you need to just fish yourself out one piece. Okay, break it in half and have a look right in the center of the pasta. What you’re looking for is a little white dot, but it’s got to be a really small white dot.
The way you have to cook pasta is al dente. Now, what that means in Italian is to the tooth. So when you have a bite of it, you should feel it on your tooth. But it shouldn’t be crunchy. So it’s a bit of a delicate sort of balance. You’ve got to get it just right, but not overcooked. So that’s just about there. It needs another 20 seconds or so.
Now, the only other thing I do is grab some beautiful fresh parsley, and that’s going to bring a little bit of life into the tomato sauce. Lift up your pasta like that, and then we’re just going to pour that right into our pasta sauce. Give it a bit of a toss around.
Then what I like to do is get a big roasting fork and just stick it into the pasta like that, pick it up out of the sauce right into the center of the bowl, and then spoon a bit more of that straight over the top. I’m going to put a little bit of my parsley over the top and then get some parmigiano-reggiano, which is just parmesan cheese with a veggie peeler.
That’s it – simple. It only took a couple of minutes and you put a brilliant dish of food on the table.
I’m Curtis Stone, and that’s your GMC Trade Secret.