Cooking with dried pasta
Dried pasta has immense value. It is cheap, comes in over 300 shapes and sizes, and is quick and easy to cook.Dried pasta can be smooth, ridged, hollow, twisted, long short - you get the point.
Some pasta types are better suited to certain types of sauces. For example, smooth pasta is generally used with creamier sauces that can cling easily to the smooth surfaces, whereas ridged or profiled pasta better for holding more liquidy sauces such as tomato sauce.
Dried flour is typically made with durum wheat flour and water although occasionally egg is used.
This page is really designed to give you an overview rather than an in depth guide of all the different pasta types.
Below is a video of Giancarlo talking about and cooking dried pasta. Watch the whole video or jump to a specific point of interest.
- Water and salting it
- About 'al dente'
- Adding the pasta and stirring - stir regularly, especially in the early stages to prevent the pieces of pasta from sticking to one another
- Smooth vs profiled or twisted pasta and which sauce goes with what
- Why you don't use olive oil in the water
- Why you need lots of water
- The importance of a gentle boil
- It's important to the pasta, especially early on, to prevent pieces from sticking to one another
- Showing an undercooked piece of penne
- Explanation of 'Mantecare' the importance of adding the pasta to your sauce and gently mixing it as the final stage of cooking
- A cooked piece of penne
- Preserving cooked pasta so you can quickly reboil it later
- Finishing the penne and the tomato sauce with a little olive oil