Pasta is a dish you can enjoy every day. Whether you share your meal with family or friends, whether you choose a long shape, a short pasta or a tube, whether it is whole wheat, gluten free, or traditional durum, a pasta dish is easy and quick to prepare, requires few ingredients, and is always a sure bet with everyone. I had the chance to have a Pasta Master Class with a chef from Bologna, Italy—Chef Lorenzo Boni—and here is what I learned.
With these tips, you can never fail making the best pasta dish ever:
1. Make sure your sauce is ready before you cook your pasta. There is nothing worse than pasta that stays in the colander too long.
2. Never rinse your pasta. The starch allows the sauce to coat the pasta better and makes it yummier.
3. Always keep some of the pasta cooking water to moisten the sauce if needed. It will get your sauce to thicken and bend better with the pasta.
4. Always cook your pasta from 1 to 2 minutes less than the time indicated on the package. The cooking continues in the sauce and this way you’ll always have the perfect ‘al dente.’
5. Always put the pasta in the sauce, rather than the sauce on the pasta. Much better, try it and taste the difference!
6. Always use fresh and seasonal ingredients. There’s no comparison.
7. Make sure to turn off the heat before you add your cheese. We want to incorporate the cheese gently to the sauce rather than cooking it. Also, always add a little more cheese just before serving.
8. Using fresh herbs will make a big difference and really enhance the sauce. While thyme, oregano, and rosemary give out their best when added at the beginning of the cooking, basil is best added just at the end.
9. Don’t add too much garlic, it tends to take over all the other tastes. The Italians use the whole garlic cloves to flavour the oil, just at the very beginning, and tend to remove them quickly from the sauce.
10. Add some fresh olive oil just before serving.
Looking for quick, easy, and delicious pasta dinner ideas? Check out these 12 To-Die-For Pasta Recipes.