Welcome to this basic course of Italian cuisine, we will learn basic concepts about Italian cuisine. We will also learn some recipes like pizza, lasagna, spaghetti and some other traditional Italian meals. This course is designed to last a month, we will learn a recipe per week. Cooking is so easy and fun!
Most used kinds of pasta Bucatini Spaghetti Cannelonni Farfalle Fusilli lasagna Parpadelle Tortellini Rigatoni Pici
How to cook long pasta like linguini, spaghetti, etc 1. Pasta must always be cooked in abundantly salted water. The proportion should be 1 1/2 quart (approximately 1 1/2 liters) of water for 3 – 4 oz (100 g) of dry pasta. Use a large, tall stockpot. Bring enough water to a boil as necessary to cook the desired amount of pasta. Add the salt only after the water begins boiling. Salty water boils at a higher temperature, and therefore takes longer to boil. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the water. The amount may vary depending on personal taste. If you don’t add salt to the water, the pasta will taste very insipid, and there will be a lot of contrast with the sauce that is salted. No Italian forgets to salt the pasta water!
2 . Keep the pasta vertically over the boiling water and drop the pasta into the pot. 3. In few seconds, the pasta will start softening. Using a long fork, start pushing the pasta in the water until is fully submerged. At this point, the temperature of the water will have fallen, and it will not be boiling anymore.
4. Place the lid on the pot and turn the heat to high to bring the water back to a fast boil. IMPORTANT! When the water comes to a fast boil again and the pot is covered, the steam will push the lid up, and the water will splash out of the pot! You have to be there and remove the lid to continue cooking the pasta uncovered. It is dangerous to leave the pot unattended. The splashing water can easily extinguish the flame and the gas would freely come out of the burner. 5. Continue cooking the pasta uncovered. Mix with a long fork in order to keep the pasta pieces separate from each other. Adjust the flame to keep the water boiling but preventing it from splashing out of the pot.
6. Bite a little piece. If the core of the pasta is still whitish, you can tell the pasta is not ready yet. Testing will give you an idea of the time left to a perfect al dente pasta. The expression al dente in Italian refers to the correct cooking point of pasta. Literally it means, “when it is right for the tooth,” that is, soft but firm, and never overcooked. Before draining, reserve some of the cooking water if the recipe requires it. If you are using a “dry” type of dressing, you may want to add some of the water back into the mixing bowl.
7. Place the colander in the sink in a secure position. When the pasta is ready, turn the heat off. Grab the pot firmly. Don’t forget that most of the accidents in the house happen in the kitchen. Make sure nobody is in your way to the sink. Watch for the kids! 8. Add a little cold tap water to the pot to stop the cooking process. About 1/2 glass is enough. In fact, pasta keeps cooking even after you drain it. Also, this way the pasta will not be extremely hot when served. Make sure the recipe allows cooling the pasta. Some recipes require for the pasta to be very hot. You are not “washing” the pasta here! Don’t overdue it. 9. Carefully drain the pasta. 10. Shake the colander to drain the pasta thoroughly unless the recipe indicates otherwise. 11. Pour the pasta into a bowl of adequate size. Add the dressing or sauce, toss it well, add cheese if indicated by the recipe, and serve immediately.
How to Cook Short Pasta (rigatoni, penne, etc.) The procedure for short pasta is very similar to the one described above for long pasta. Cooking short pasta is generally easier, but takes a few minutes longer because short pasta is normally thicker. A. Follow step 1 above, but use a large saucepan of adequate size. When the salted water comes to a boil, drop the pasta in the saucepan. B. When the water comes back to a fast boil, adjust the level of the heat and stir often to keep the pasta pieces separate. C. Test for readiness... Read step 6 above. D. When the pasta is al dente, drain it as indicated in steps 7, 8, 9, and 10 above. E. Pour the pasta into a bowl of adequate size. Add the dressing or sauce, toss it well, add cheese if indicated by the recipe, and serve immediately. How to cook short pasta like macaroni, farfalle, etc.
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