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How to cook perfect pasta like a pro

6 tried and true tips for cooking perfect pasta every time. 

It’s easier to make restaurant-quality pasta than you’d think. Make the most out of your pasta night with these simple tips for pasta perfection every time. 

1. How much salt should I add to my pasta water?

A common chef idiom is that the pasta cooking water should ‘taste like the sea’. This is a little overboard (pardon the pun), approximately 1 tsp of salt per litre of water will do. 

2. Wait for water to boil before you add salt

Your pasta water should be heavily salted and taste briny, and don’t worry, the pasta won’t absorb all the salt – it will absorb just enough to highlight and flavour each noodle. Salting the water is a guaranteed way to make all your pasta dishes more delicious. 

3. How to prevent pasta from sticking 

As soon as the pasta hits the water, give the water a good hearty stir. Continue stirring occasionally throughout the cooking process. This is what prevents the noodles from sticking together. There is never any reason to add oil to the cooking water. 

4. Always save some pasta cooking water

Keep at least one cup of the pasta cooking water aside before draining. This starchy, seasoned liquid is the key to silky, luxurious pasta. More below in step 5.

5. Should I rinse my pasta before I drain it?

Generally speaking, never rinse your pasta, just drain it. The starchy coating is essential for great sauce coverage. However, if you’re making pasta salad, you should rinse your pasta to cool the noodles down before adding dressing. You should also rinse your noodles if you plan on using in them in a stir-fry – removing the starchy coating helps prevent gooey clumps. 

6. Heat your sauce before your noodles are cooked

Always have your sauce ready to go as soon as the noodles are finished cooking. Transfer drained noodles to heated sauce and toss together with some of the reserved cooking liquid. This is vital. The starchy cooking liquid almost thickens, or emulsifies the sauce, helping it cling to the pasta. Try our Better than Gigi Hadid’s Vodka Pasta Sauce, there’s no better combo than a delicious pasta sauce matched with perfectly cooked pasta.

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