Pass The Pasta

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October is national pasta month and that is fine with me. I once interviewed the president of a prominent pasta company in Italy and he told me that he ate pasta twice a day when most of us think eating it once a week is a bit too excessive! Lets face it, for many of us it is our favorite food and so much can be teamed with it to make some pretty memorable meals. It may surprise you to know that cooking pasta is not as easy as you may think so here are some rules (no, commandments) for cooking packaged pasta.

1)   Buy a brand made from 100 percent semolina flour
2)   Use plenty of water; at least 4 to 6 quarts per pound
3)   Salt the cooking water after it has come to a rolling boil and use at least 2 tablespoon per 4 quarts of water
4)   Add the pasta and stir once; then cover and allow water to come back to boil
5)   Depending on the cut of pasta, al dente means that no uncooked white flour is visible when a strand of pasta is broken in half. Pasta should be served firm not mushy.
6)   Save some of the cooking water (at least 4 tablespoons) to mix with the sauce; the starch helps bind the sauce
7)   Lightly sauce the pasta; do not drown it in sauce
8)   Remember that a pound of pasta serves 8 not 2

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