Cooking Pasta Al Dente: Tips and Tricks

Whether growing up in Italy or in an Italian home, pasta is a household staple.

In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to state that many people in the boot-shaped country eat pasta meals every single day! With so many versatile pasta shapes and sizes, recipes both light or rich, sauces red or white- there is no limit to this golden gift that is pasta.

Preparing Pasta

One of the main differences between Italian and foreign pasta habits, is how it’s prepared. In many places, pasta is normally boiled until soft, transferred to a serving plate where the sauce is poured on top. Although a very common procedure, this isn’t the best way to enjoy pasta in all its glory!

Starting with the texture, we encourage you to follow the recommended cooking time to ensure your pasta is “al dente”. You know, that wonderful chew that makes every bite decadent and special. If you’ve ever had overcooked pasta, you know the texture makes all the difference.  In addition to your taste buds being happy- cooking your pasta “al-dente” unleashes the full flavor and more health benefits (yes, that’s right!) of pasta.

Pasta is Rich in Nutrients

Pasta is rich in fiber, folate, Vitamin b9 and has a low glycemic index that makes it more filling and delays hunger and further eating. Keep this in mind when cooking your pasta: “Al dente” pasta is easier to digest. If you overcook pasta, you break down more of the starch and release more sugars, increasing the pasta’s glycemic load.

Add the Pasta to the Sauce

When it comes to finishing your pasta, take a page out of the Italian playbook (or cookbook) and add your al-dente pasta directly into your sauce. This allows your pasta to finish cooking in the sauce and soak up those incredible flavors more than from simply pouring the sauce right on top. Drizzle with a splash of good olive oil (link to oil blog post), add some fresh basil or herbs, and you’re good to go! 

Come visit Sansone Market for the tastiest selection of pasta, sauces and more!