— 5 liters boiling water
— 50 grams salt
— 500 grams pasta
(1) Add the pasta to the boiling salted water in a deep sided saucepan without breaking the strands. Spaghetti, noodles and lasagnes should be placed in the saucepan resting on the bottom and side of the pan; as they begin to soften in the hot water they will gently submerge.
(2) At the initial stage of cooking all pasta submerged under the water should be gently stirred with a wooden spatula. When satisfied that all strands are separated, lower the cooking temperature to gentle boiling
(3) Gently boil the pasta for the prescribed time.
(4) When cooked, refresh under controlled running water until perfectly cold, or use immediately according to recipe.
(1) When refreshing large amounts, drain off the hot water and replace it with cold several times. This helps to bring down the temperature of the pasta and prevents further cooking.
(2) If any of the pasta is slightly overcooked then repeat the process of draining off the hot water and replacing it with cold until the pasta is cold and no further cooking is possible.
Possible problem, cause and solution:
(1) Pasta is dry and hard:
— pasta undercooked; the pasta should be cooked for the correct length of time as dry
or hard pasta cannot be rectified.
— stale pasta; the pasta should be reasonably fresh when used as stale pasta from old stock which becomes dry and hard when cooked cannot be rectified.
— held for too long at a high temperature before service; this should be avoided as it makes the pasta dry and hard and cannot be rectified.
(2) Pasta is too soft:
— pasta overcooked; pasta should be cooked for the correct length of time to avoid it going soft; once overcooked and soft it cannot be rectified.
— temperature of the pasta not reduced quickly enough once cooked; the temperature must be quickly reduced once the pasta is cooked to prevent it cooking further in its own heat; once it has gone soft it cannot be rectified.
— stored for too long in cold water; this should be avoided as once the pasta has gone soft it cannot be rectified.
— reheated for too long in boiling water; this has the effect of overcooking the pasta making it soft which cannot be rectified.
— held for too long on a hotplate once dished up before service; this has the effect of overcooking the pasta making it soft which cannot be rectified.