How To Cook Pasta By The Law

The way I see it, cooking pasta correctly should be prescribed by law. And not abiding by it should be a proper felony, not even a misdemeanor. But I will concede that, as an italian, I might be exaggerating.
This is going to be a simple and straightforward reference article about how to cook pasta correctly. It might sound unnecessary but believe me, the horrors that these eyes have witnessed are beyond anything EVIL you could imagine.

Cooking pasta is quite simple, you just need a lot of water, salt, and of course pasta, but quantity is key, and it goes like this:

  • at least 2 lt of water for about 200 gr of pasta (which is a normal amount for 2 people).
  • something as close as possible to 15 grams of salt (that is about a very full teaspoon)

So the ratio is simple, 7,5 grams of salt for every liter of water. The quantity of water is also important, pasta needs a lot of water, at least 1 liter per 100 gr of pasta. It can be more water, but it CANNOT be less: what will happen is that the starch concentration in the water (which is released by the pasta during cooking) is going to be too high, and the pasta will cook in glue, and the result will be way too sticky and glueish.
And this is how you do it:

  • Put the water in a big pot and bring it to a boil
  • You can add the salt before, or once it’s boiling, it doesn’t make any difference, as long as you add the salt before adding the pasta.
  • Once the water is boiling, you add the pasta and let it cook for as long as prescribed on the pasta package. Good quality pasta will take longer, if you have pasta that cooks in 6/8 minutes you need to change brand.
  • Once the pasta is ready, and by ready I mean al dente (usually pasta packages also give an al dente time), you throw it into a colander to drain the water, and IMMEDIATELY add the sauce you have prepared already. I mean IMMEDIATELY, for fuck sake! You can add the pasta to the sauce pan and stir, or put the pasta back in its pot and then add the sauce there, but you have to do it fast.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES you leave the cooked pasta sitting by itself, undressed, in a bowl or plate: it will get cold and sticky, and if Italy find out, they might declare war on you, so be advised.