Thank you for trying our pasta! We work hard to make the best pasta we can and love doing it; we appreciate immensely you taking the interest to give it a taste, and are here to help you get the best results. Please read the cooking advice below, and if you have any questions please email us and we'll respond to you al volo!
Each shape cooks differently depending on size, thickness, surface area, as well as of course whether it is fresh or dried, the latter taking much longer to cook. Below are generalized safe zones for each shape, and all should be cooked according to the processes and techniques laid out below, adapting only the suggested cook-time.
Mafalde: Cook her in boiling, salted water for 30 - 45 seconds, yes that quick!
Radiatori: Ready to go after 45 seconds in boiling, salted water!
Casarecce: A bit heartier, you can cook for 1-3 minutes.
Fusilli: Cook for 30 - 45 seconds in boiling, salted water.
Dried Radiatori: Cook in boiling, salted water for 6-9 minutes
Dried Campanelle: Cook for 4-7 minutes in boiling, salted water
Dried Mezze Mafalde: Another 6-9 minutes in boiling, salted water
Pasta is one of the simplest meals to prepare, it is in part for that reason that pasta has become a global food, truly ubiquitous across cultures and cuisines. However, simple does not mean easy. If you think back to your most memorable pasta dining experiences whether in Italy, at a fine restaurant, or in your grandparents’ kitchen, you’ve likely noticed something elusive, and enigmatically special about the way the dish has been prepared that makes it taste extraordinary. That difference starts with ingredients; the best pasta dish allows quality ingredients to speak for themselves; beginning with high quality pasta made using fine whole grain wheat and produced in small batches is the first step in preparing an unforgettable plate of pasta. The second most important requirement is ensuring your pasta is cooked properly so it hits your checkered tablecloth with gusto and compels you to devour every last bite, lick the plate clean, and wish you’d cooked more. Fear not for you shall receive no judgment from us the also-afflicted, so go forth and feast!
First thing’s first, always have everything you need to cook and serve your pasta laid out and easily accessible before you begin! Your ingredients (pasta, sauce, cheese), plates, and servingware should all be at the ready so you can transfer the pasta from the pot to the saucepan, to your serving bowl then plates (both ideally pre-warmed) in as few movements and as little time as possible. Finally have all your guests seated, with wine in glass before you begin plating as this will allow you to eat as soon as the pasta hits the table, piping hot and perfectly al dente!
Pasta should almost always be cooked in a large pot of rapidly boiling, generously salted water. Estimate about 5 liters/quarts of water per pound of pasta, and salt it like the sea remembering that you can always add salt but not remove it, so when in doubt under-salt and then adjust This rule applies to cook-time as well.
Generally speaking, pasta should be cooked as briefly as possible, until just al dente. Al dente is a bit of an elusive term in Italy, as it has a lot to do with personal preference as well as geographic norms. Literally it translates to “to the tooth” which means it’s firm or resistant to the tooth. You can test this by frequently tasting the pasta while cooking; This will also begin to inform how you prefer your pasta texture as you become more acquainted with your own proclivities informed by how the pasta feels in your mouth, and against your tooth. Another way to ensure your pasta does not overcook is to remove it from water as soon as it loses its hard white center (the way to check is by biting into half of your noodle and looking at the center.)
When your pasta is just about al dente, drain it into a colander or fish the pasta out of the pot using a spider ladle. Please be aware that pasta will continue cooking after it's been drained (about a minute longer) so it is important to remove the pasta from the boiling water a bit sooner than you might expect. If using a colander, reserve a cup or two of the cooking water and pour ½ into your prepared sauce in the saucepan, reserving the remaining in a separate bowl. This pasta water is full of flavor and starch that helps the pasta and the sauce cling to each other perfectly.
Now fold your al dente pasta directly into your saucepan, marrying it to your sauce by blending and stirring continually for a couple of minutes. A general rule is the pasta should be cooked 80% in the boiling water and the remaining 20% in the saucepan, ensuring it is al dente to the very end. Another option is to pour your sauce into a warm serving bowl and then add your pasta to the bowl, mixing them thoroughly. In both cases the reserved pasta water should be added little by little as you stir in order to bring the pasta and condimento together, yielding a silky, glossy, sum-is-greater than its parts union of pasta and sauce.
At this point, feel free to finish your pasta with grated cheese which will add creaminess, complexity, and depth of flavor.
All of this should happen at lightning speed to retain temperature and texture; drop those plates on the table as quickly and be seated…(petition letter for official recognition of sport by the International Olympic Committee is forthcoming).
Now close your eyes and experience your first bite pausing only for a moment to smile and reflect on how beautiful your dedicated and careful work looks, and appreciating the great chain of intergenerational human knowledge which has been gifted to us. Salute your loved ones and buon appetito!
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