There is a lot more to learn when it comes to cooking pasta. The art of pasta making starts from the choice of the pasta itself, but it requires attention and care even before it meets the sauce, which should enhance its aroma and flavour and not cover its imperfections.
To bring a plate of perfect pasta to the table, scrupulously follow the main cooking rules.
First of all choose a large saucepan, in order to collect as much heat as possible, it should be wide enough to comfortably contain the water needed for cooking the pasta, i.e. a litre of water every hundred grams of pasta. The third rule regards the salt; it should be kitchen salt and its quantity should be in proportioned to the quantity of water: 10 g of salt for each litre of water.
When the water reaches a rolling boil, salt it and toss the pasta in it. At De Cecco we always suggest raising the heat and covering the pan with a lid in order to bring the water to the boil again. After the first stir to separate the pasta, let it cook following cooking time indications, which change according to the different types of pasta, recommended by De Cecco and indicated on each packet.
Follow these instructions and you cannot possibly go wrong. Especially if you follow this simple method to verify pasta's right cooking point. It is as simple as breaking it with a fork. If you spot a white circle on the ridge of the pasta, which at De Cecco is called 'animella', in case of "bucati" (with a whole) formats, or a dot in case of long formats, it means it still needs a few more minutes' cooking. The pasta is ready when it has an even colour. At this point it can be drained.
Before continuing, De Cecco's last tip is to pour a glass of cold water in the pan, this is a trick which prevents pasta from cooking any longer while draining it.
According to whichever preparation you choose, some sauces and condiments may need to be diluted with a couple of scoops of cooking water, especially the cheese or cream based ones. Finally it is time for the long awaited encounter with the sauce. This is when you will notice how the porosity of the pasta is so important, even if the final judgement is up to your palate.
At De Cecco pasta tasting is the last sublime pleasure. It is a ritual of the senses, where sight and smell combine with taste giving place to a unique tasting experience. This ritual is performed in different
phases, in order to arrive at a climax whereat the
taster is imprinted with the true awareness of the tasting.
How do you taste a good plate of pasta?
Once the pasta is cooked, according to its cooking
time, pour onto a plate without the dressing, verify the
sweet fragrance of the durum wheat while it is still steaming and notice the typical semolina straw-yellow.
At this point it is time for the real tasting of the undressed pasta to taste its real flavour, the cooking firmness and the pleasant coarseness which make pasta De Cecco so unique.
Follow the same ritual with other pastas and note the differences.
With just a drop of oil the pasta tasting reaches its pinnacle: all senses roused, the pasta with its most natural condiment represents for the taster the true gastronomic experience that turns this food into the protagonist of the Italian food tradition.