Pasta is a versatile dish made in different sauces. It can be combined with a variety of vegetables and meats to give a unique flavor. No wonder it is a favorite in so many households! If you are reading this article, it is highly probable that you too are fond of pasta. If you make pasta at home, you should avoid the following mistakes to get the best experience of eating delicious home-cooked pasta. You can make pasta from the scratch at home using a pasta maker. If you make pasta at home, you should avoid the following mistakes to get the best experience of eating delicious home-cooked pasta.
Mistake 1: Cooking Pasta in a Small Pot
Pasta needs a lot of water and plenty of space to cook well. If you cook it in a small pot, it will have to be cooked in a smaller quantity of water and also will not get enough space to expand as it cooks. As a result, it is likely to remain undercooked and also sticky and clumpy. This results from the starch content being much higher than the water content in the pasta.
Mistake 2: Cooking Pasta without Salt
Adding salt and not just a small quantity is important for the pasta to cook properly. This salt does not get absorbed into the pasta and hence it is not harmful. The main purpose of adding the salt is to prevent the pasta from getting a slimy texture. The salt helps to make the surface of the pasta a little bit rough. Not adding it will also leave the pasta with a bland taste. When making fresh pasta with a pasta maker, you can add some salt with the flour as well.
Mistake 3: Adding Pasta to Hot Water Instead of Boiling Water
It is important to let the water boil well before adding the salt and pasta to it. If the pasta is added to the water which is not boiling, the water cools down quickly and takes time to come back to a boil. This results in the pasta standing in water, which is not hot enough and it becomes gooey and sticky.
Mistake 4: Using Oil While Cooking Pasta
While some people believe that the oil added to the water while cooking the pasta prevents it from sticking together and becoming lumpy, there is a flipside to it. If the pasta is cooked with oil, its surface will not get coated with the sauce. This is a point of debate and hence the choice finally is left to the person preparing the dish.
Mistake 5: Rinsing the Pasta Post Cooking
This is acceptable only if you are planning a cold pasta salad. If you are making a main course or a hot dish with pasta, rinsing it will drain away the flavor and remove all the starch, which is required for the sauce to stick to it. After boiling, drain the pasta to remove all the excess water but don’t rinse.
If you make fresh pasta at home with the help of a pasta maker, you should not cook it for more than 3-4 minutes in the boiling water or it would become overcooked and sticky as the pasta is freshly made.