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Pasta may be one of the foods we eat most often, but for a dish that seems so simple, it can be surprisingly hard to get the basics down. Even seasoned home cooks are sometimes surprised to find that their pasta is underseasoned, overcooked, or so slick that sauces slip right off. Luckily, Giada De Laurentiis, Italian-American chef and cookbook author, knows a thing or two (or ten) about making pasta, and she just shared her tips for making a perfect batch of pasta every time you cook.
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First comes the water. De Laurentiis, like many chefs before her, says that you should salt the water. But not with just a sprinkle of salt – in her TikTok video, De Laurentiis dumps in about two handfuls of salt. She says the water should taste salty, like the sea (not as salty as the sea, which is unpalatably salty, but salty like the sea, as in, you can definitely tell there’s salt in the water).
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Then, add your pasta to the boiling water. And whatever you do, don’t add olive oil to the water – never, says De Laurentiis (it prevents the sauce from adhering to the pasta).
While the pasta is cooking, De Laurentiis whips up a simple sauce. She sizzles some sliced garlic in olive oil in a skillet, then adds lemon zest, lemon juice, and freshly cracked black pepper.
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Using a spider-style strainer, De Laurentiis then transfers the pasta from the boiling water right into the skillet. The extra pasta water that lands in the skillet is full of starch that will help emulsify the olive oil-based sauce into something thick that clings to each bite of pasta. You can add another ladle of hot pasta water to the pan if the sauce needs to be looser, or, if it’s too thin, just keep tossing the pasta in the skillet over high heat until it thickens up a bit, taking caution not to overcook the pasta.
Hiware Solid Stainless Steel Spider Strainer
For something so simple, it sure can feel tricky, but following De Laurentiis’ tips will ensure that youre next pasta night is a raging success.
Before you go, check out our gallery below:
Watch: How to Make Giada De Laurentiis’ Stuffed Lasagna Rolls
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