Wednesday, October 04, 2006


From: How To Read A French Fry

*The cardinal rule of cooking any pasta is to use plenty of water. This is especially true of dried pasta, which cooks for longer and throws off more starch than fresh. If cooked in too little water, all of that free starch will stick to the noodles and glue them together in a large clump.

*Just as with rice, heating cooked pasta along with the sauce, even if only very briefly, will allow the flavorings to penetrate the exterior surface of the noodles.

*Use the right pasta shape for the sauce. Tubular pasta will catch bits of chunky sauces; thin noodles are better for smooth sauces.

*Take advantage of the starch released by dried pasta by adding a ladleful of the cooking water to the sauce to thicken it.

*Let the pasta dough rest between rolling it out and cutting it to let the gluten strands formed by the intensive kneading relax.

*When making lasagna, put the cooked noodles in a bowl of cold water to keep them from sticking together. Just be sure to pat them dry with a towel before layering them into the baking dish.

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