Tips and Tricks for Perfect Pasta

Pasta can be a deliciously simple dish, or a stuck together mess! Follow our no-fail guide for perfect pasta, every time.

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A bowl of pasta is a simple, wonderful dish full of flavor and texture. It can also be a dense, stuck together mess. Follow these essential rules and you'll have perfectly cooked pasta every time. Always start with a generous pot of rapidly boiling water. We recommend four to six quarts, depending on how much pasta a you're cooking. Pasta needs to move around, or it will clump. Properly salted water enhances the subtle flavor of any pasta. Once your water comes to a boil. Season it with two tablespoons of kosher salt. This is the foundation step to building the most delicious pasta dish. [MUSIC] Cook any pasta uncovered and always at a rolling boil. It's important to stir if often. During the first two minutes of cooking. This prevents any sticking and allows the pasta to swim freely in the water, and not literally cook together. [MUSIC]. Shells, our favorite sturdy shape can trap and hold any kind of flavorful sauce, thick strands use thick pasta strands like bookatini, fettuccine, or linguini for hardy sauces like bolanase or carbonaras, thin strands delicate strands like angel hair are strictly for seasoned dishes like pasta bowls. Flakes, and lemon. Or a dish finished with just butter and lemon juice. Decorative. Pretty shapes, like bow ties and wagon wheels are perfect for entertaining moments. Especially if kids are around. Ridged. Pastas with ridges on the surface are made to be sauced. The ridges trap the perfect amount of flavor and sauce. Bite sized. U-shaped like penne and rigatoni, when you've got other bite sized ingredients, like chunk chicken or vegetables. It makes it easy to get a fork full of a little bit of everything. For more great recipes and test kitchen tips, check out SouthernLiving.com. [MUSIC]
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