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Salmon Pesto Pasta

Salmon Pesto Pasta

Linda Larsen
If you have pasta in your pantry, dinner is only minutes away. Good pasta, properly cooked, needs very little else to make a delicious and filling meal. I like the Ronzoni brand of pasta, and buy it whenever I see it. Start with pasta and dinner is only minutes away.

Whether you use dried pasta from your pantry, frozen from your freezer, or fresh pasta stored in the refrigerator, learn how to cook it properly. Al dente is an Italian term that means 'to the tooth'. When pasta is properly cooked, it is tender but with a slight chewiness. And the only way to test this is to taste the pasta.

If you are cooking a thin and delicate pasta, make sure you remove the pot from the heat while you taste a strand. The pasta can easily overcook in the seconds it takes you to test for doneness.

Use a pasta stirrer to fish out a piece of pasta and rinse it quickly under cool water. Then bite into the center of the pasta and look at the bitten edge. There should be no white line or spot in the center, and the pasta should taste done, not floury or starchy, with a bit of give and resistance.

Since most pasta takes 8-10 minutes to cook, you can get the sauce ready while the pasta is cooking. The pasta can't wait for the sauce, so if it takes you longer than that to get the sauce ready, start the sauce first. As soon as the pasta is done, it should be combined with the sauce and then served.

As always, feel free to substitute for any ingredient in these easy recipes. And when you hit on a winner, write down the recipe so it won't be lost to the world.

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