Basic Pasta / Paste

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Posted By: Dan Petra
Posted In:  Pasta
Page Views:  2456 views
Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes
Course: dinner

Other Info

servings: 2-4





½ lb

Pasta (dry)

¼ kg

1 pinch


1 pinch

As needed

Olive oil

As needed


1. Fill a large pot with water (2-3 times the amount of pasta you would like to cook).

2. Add a pinch of salt to the water, and bring it to a rolling boil over a high flame.

3. Once the water is boiling, add your pasta all at once (you may add a touch of oil as well, if you’re worried about the pasta sticking).

4. After adding the pasta, stir often – in the early cooking process, pasta will want to stick to itself or to the pot. (If you are using low quality pasta, or not enough water, this will be more of a problem).

5. Pasta is done when its color lightens and it is tender. Pasta should not be soft and mushy – it should be pleasantly chewy. Definitely sample the pasta to determine when it’s done, it can go very fast when you are close!

6. Once it reaches the perfect consistency, drain the pasta immediately. If you let it sit in the water, it will continue cooking and be over-done. You may rinse the pasta in cold water or toss it with a bit of olive oil to help keep it from sticking (especially if you won’t serve it immediately).


Notes: Cooking pasta can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. If you’re interested, there’s quite a lot of science and theory behind it. Different types of pasta will require different cooking times. Not surprisingly, thin pastas like angel hair and spaghetti require less time than chunky macaroni or filled pasta like tortellini. Cooking times for dry pasta are usually between 6-12 min, less for fresh pasta. 1 lb of dry pasta will yield approximately 3 lb cooked. This should be enough to serve 5 people as a main course. 1 lb of fresh pasta will yield a bit less – about 2 ½ cups when cooked.

Variations: Use this recipe to prepare pasta for any dish, including pasta salads.

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