Learn how to make spaghetti sauce and spaghetti - Spaghetti - How to Cook Pasta Part 1
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Hi I'm Tom Papoutsis. We’re in my kitchen today and what we’re doing is we’re making pasta. I'm going to show you basically one of the great ways to make spaghetti. How to cook spaghetti meals? It’s very simple, very easy. It just takes a few couple steps that you’re not boiling over and you’re not cooking it too hard or anything else. When I say too hard or too soft, you’re not overcooking your pasta.
So what we’re going to do is we have our sauce going and ready. We’re going to turn our burner on high or large burner. I’ve got a pot of water ready. What I’ve done I’ve taken my pot and I’ve actually filled it probably about two-thirds away with water. So we’re going to drop two pounds of pasta that’s what we’re going to do.
Typically, I’ll add salt but I'm going to wait until this water gets good and hot before I add the salt. I don’t want to add it too soon because sometimes the salt can be a little abrasive on the bottom of the pot. It can cause some problems with your pasta somewhat not, but when we get to a point when this really starts to almost boil we’re going to go ahead, and we’re going to add salt to it.
We’re also going to put some olive oil on top. If you ever boiled pasta and all of the sudden is foam comes up and starts all over the place, it’s because of the starches in the water that are coming out of the actual spaghetti. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to use some olive oil, and we’re going to put that on and it’s going to lie on top even as it boils. And it’s going to break that surface tension, so that those bubbles aren’t going to actually occur. It’s going to just make a nice rolling boil and that pasta is going to cook. As it boils it’s going to be a kind of roll in there. You’re not going to have all this foam coming out.
The other thing we’re going to do is we’re going to keep the lid on to get our water to a boil, but once we get it to a boil we’re going to take that lid off and then we’ll start adding our salt, add our olive oil, and then whenever comes to a full roll then we’ll add our spaghetti.
So right now, we’re going to wait for our water to boil. We could stand here and go but as we all know a watched pot never boils, so we’re going to give it some time and we’ll be back. Here we go. We got a good rolling boil going on here. I'm going to take about a tablespoon of salt that’s about that much, throw it in. We’re going to throw a little bit of olive oil in there, just like that. And remember I said that olive oil is going to break that surface tension.
Now what we’re going to do, we’re going to cook our pasta it’s going to go in for about nine minutes. Look at the directions on the box, see what the directions tell you. Typically, what I do is I’ll go on a lower side if it says nine or 11 minutes, go nine minutes and check it. One way that I check my pasta and we’ll go through this, and I’ll show you, once the pasta is almost done is I take my pasta and I take as it’s cooking out for one piece out take a little bite, and you’ll see a little white dot in the center. If you have that little white dot, it’s done.
If you don’t have a white dot sometimes a pasta when it gets overcook it gets real limp and mushy. If you’re looking for that little white dot, you can see a little white dot in there just take a bite. It’s called al dente or meaning tooth to tooth. In other words it’s not too soft but it’s not too hard. And we’ll show you that but right now we’re going to go ahead, drop our pasta so I have about nice, big two pounds of pasta that I'm doing today.
I'm going ahead and put it in. You’ve got that in there. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to move this pasta around a little bit. Do not just put it in and walk away from. Check your time, make sure you know what your time is. We’re going nine minutes on this.
So what I'm going to do is I'm going to keep stirring this until I get it to the point where I feel that is not sticky. If you let this pasta just lay there on a lump then that’s exactly what it’s going to do. It’s going to turn into a lump. Then when you go to drain it, it’s just going to stick together. So, keep it moving, keep it lifting it up and separating it. As you lift it and then it’s going to come back up to a full boil. Do not put the lid back on. Leave the lid off a bit.
Now on the top, there’s a little shin of oil that’s that olive oil that we put on there, that’s going to help break up that surface tension and keep that foamy bubbles from occurring. So once we get this to a good roll back again and this pasta softens up. You will actually do it positive. We do it right maybe we get lucky. A lot of times it will actually start to roll in there and you’ll see the pasta rolling around in there that means that it’s getting cook real well. And it’s not going to stick together, of course.
So right now we’re going to keep stirring it, keep moving it. And then we’ll come back, and hopefully we’re going to have some good pasta in here.