How To Cook Perfect Pasta - Induction Cooking
To cook perfect pasta, you will need approximately 4 or 5-quarts of water or liquid per pound of pasta and a 6 to 8-quart stockpot.
My Health Craft 8-quart tall stockpot and culinary pasta basked was created specifically for cook one pound (16 ounces) of all pasta. Place the pasta colander inside the 8-quart stockpot and add enough COLD water to about a ½-inch below the row of large pasta colander holes at the top. DO NOT use chlorinated tap water. Use filtered or purified water only.
Bring water to a boil over medium heat 275°F. Covering the pot and opening the lid-vent will bring the water to a boil faster. Do not add salt as salted water takes longer to boil. Salt (if using) dissolves faster in hot water. Un-dissolved salt crystals in cold water can mar the surface of your stainless-steel pots with small white dots or pits. Personally, I do not salt my pasta water.
Do NOT add oil of any kind. Oil will coat the pasta and prevent the sauce from sticking to it.
Add the pasta to the boiling water. An occasional stir while the pasta is cooking will help the pasta from sticking or clumping.
As long as the pasta water is at or below the large holes at the top of the pasta-colander it should not foam up and over the side of the pot. If it does, simply lift the past-colander up an inch or two and adjust the heat. Most pastas cook in 8-12 minutes. NOTE: Fresh homemade pasta will cook in half the time or less.
Test the pasta for doneness after about 5 minutes of cooking by biting through it. It should be firm and not sticky. It is not possible to predict the exact cooking times since different shapes and thickness of pasta will take less or more time to cook.
Pasta can overcook very quickly. Pasta should be tender but still firm when you bite it, what Italians call "al dente." To be sure, take a piece of pasta from the pan, cut off a tiny piece, and chew it in your mouth.
“Al dente" in Italian means firm "to the tooth". The pasta should be slightly chewy when biting into it but not soft or have a hard core. Once the pasta is “al dente,” immediately turn off or remove from the heat source.
Drain immediately by lifting the Pasta-Colander out of the stockpot and shake it well over the sink to remove excess water.
DO NOT rinse the pasta. Rinsing prevents the sauce from sticking to it. Toss with sauce or plate and top with sauce immediately.
PASTA WATER: Once your pasta is ready, turn off the heat and scoop out 1 cup of pasta cooking water and set aside. This reserved pasta water contains starch that can be used later to adjust the consistency of your sauce.
FRESH TOMATO or SEAFOOD: Except when saucing with thin broth or sauce such as fresh tomato or seafood, pasta needs to be moist to combine well. As soon as it is drained, remove it from the colander and place it either back in the cooking pan to keep warm to toss it with the sauce, or place it in a preheated serving dish or individual preheated serving bowls. Once the pasta is in the pan or bowl, use a fork and spoon and quickly toss it with the sauce.
LASAGNA: Do rinse the wide pasta, such as lasagna noodles. If you don't, you will have a hard time separating the noodles without tearing them. Homemade Lasagna pasta needs no rinsing. When using boxed pasta, I will layer my lasagna with uncooked pasta.