How To - Boil Pasta or Noodles

Pasta and Noodles are both quick to prepare and are indispensible for fixing quick meals. They are usually available cheaply and toppings and sauces can also be prepared cheaply making them an economical choice. They are popular because they have practically endless variations—Learn to boil pasta and noodles well, and
you will have a whole world of recipes at your fingertips.

You will need:

Pasta or Noodles – naturally, or you would not be looking at these directions.

A pot – large enough for the amount you want to prepare. I usually try to use a pot about 3 times bigger than the dry pasta – for example I use a 6 cup pot to boil 2 cups of dry pasta.

Water – About double the amount of pasta – again for 2 cups pasta, you want about 4 cups water.

Salt – this is your only chance to flavor the pasta itself.

Oil – this will lightly coat the pasta and keep it from sticking together or absorbing too much sauce. Generally speaking, you want your sauce to surround your pasta or noodles—not absorb into them.

Step-by-Step Instructions and Photos:

Put water into pot and put on heat to boil (this could take awhile, especially with an electric stove)

Add Salt—I usually do 2-3 shakes per cup of pasta.

Add Oil—2-3 Tablespoons (do not measure, just pour a little “glop” in for each Tablespoon) should be good for any amount. What you want here is some oil on the surface of the water to coat the pasta when you drain it.

When the water is really boiling (boil pasta—do not simmer it, the outside will get all mushy and the inside will still be hard), add the pasta and stir – otherwise it will stick together. Then keep stirring about once a minute to keep it from sticking. (If you forget, and it does stick, do not despair—chalk it up to experience, rip it apart somehow, and smother it in sauce. It will not be ruined—just weird!)

Small mini pasta may cook in as little as 5-6 minutes, bigger wholewheat pasta may take up to 15 minutes, check the back of your package for estimated cooking time and start checking 1-2 minutes before it is supposed to be done. I check by pulling one out and tasting it. You want it to be slightly chewy—not mushy or hard.

If you do not want to steam up your kitchen, tilt the lid on the pan - This will keep it from boiling over, but will keep most of the steam in the pan.

When it is done, strain through a colander in a clean sink and serve immediately.
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