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How to cook pasta properly

How to cook pasta properly

Here is some advice for pasta that's properly cooked and doesn't stick.


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Last modified on: May 31th 2017

For 300 g, you will need:

Change for: 100 g 150 g 300 g 600 g 900 g

How long does it take?

PreparationCookingStart to finish
15 min.8 min.23 min.
Preservation: Several days in the fridge, in a closed jar.
At what time?
When will I finish if I start the recipe at a certain time?
When should I start for the recipe to be ready at a certain time?
Work this out...

Step by step recipe

Stage 1
10 min.
How to cook pasta properly : Photo of step #1 Boil a large pan of water.

When boiling, salt with a tablespoon of coarse salt for 2 litres water.

A large quantity of water is needed to prevent pasta from sticking on the bottom of the pan.

If you like precise numbers, here is the 1-10-100 rule: 1 litre water, to 10 g salt, to 100 g pasta.
Stage 2
1 min.
How to cook pasta properly : Photo of step #2 When water comes back to the boil, add pasta all at once.
Stage 3
How to cook pasta properly : Photo of step #3 You can also add a rosemary bunch in the water.
Stage 4
8 min.
How to cook pasta properly : Photo of step #4 Stir and leave to cook uncovered for the time indicated on the pasta packet (usually 8-9 minutes, but it depend on type of pasta).

The best way is to taste near end of cooking. It's very important not to overcook pasta, otherwise it becomes too soft and unpleasant.

Italians, pasta masters since Marco Polo, call this ideal texture "al dente".

During cooking, stir once or twice to prevent pasta sticking.
Stage 5
2 min.
How to cook pasta properly : Photo of step #5 After this time, remove pasta from water immediately and transfer to a strainer to drain, or pour the whole panful into a colander or strainer.

Chefs will tell you that it's better to remove pasta from water, instead of pouring everything into a strainer, because this keeps the gluten (released during cooking) in the water instead of on the pasta, and it's this gluten that makes it sticky.
Stage 6
1 min.
How to cook pasta properly : Photo of step #6 When pasta is drained, discard cooking water and put pasta back into the pan.
Stage 7
1 min.
How to cook pasta properly : Photo of step #7 If you plan to use pasta right away, it's ready.

If not, add a tablespoon of olive oil, mix well, cover and leave to stand, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Note: because it's kept hot and covered, pasta will continue cooking, so you should not keep it too long.


It's quite surprising to see how many ways of preparing and serving pasta there are, and at the same time how great a simple pasta dish can be: a pan of spaghetti, a dash of olive oil, some grated Parmesan, what more do we need? hummm, oh yes, a good glass of Italian wine perhaps...

Nutritional information

Whole recipe
CaloriesProteins CarbohydratesFats
95738 gr202 gr0 gr
48 %14 %19 %0 %
Per 100 g
CaloriesProteins CarbohydratesFats
532 gr11 gr0 gr
3 %1 %1 %0 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories by day for a woman (change to a man).

How much will it cost?

For 300 g : 0.34 €

Note : These prices are only approximate.

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Source: Home made.
Grade this recipe :

More recipes?

This recipe use (among others)
WaterWater: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Special small breads, Fillet of beef in a rosemary crust, How to fry eggs well, Stewed apricots, Sorrel soup, ... All
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Coarse saltCoarse salt: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Stock-pot fish , How to prepare spinach, How to prepare endives , French bean salad with vinaigrette , Foie gras cured in salt, ... All

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