How to cook the pasta

At TuttoFood fair in Milan, I attended an interesting lesson on how to cook pasta. Everybody knows you need water and salt…but there are a few tips that can greatly  improve your final result.

An essential element of pasta is gluten: an high quality durum wheat flour has a high protein content that can keep gluten inside the starch of pasta and all the nutrients as well. To prevent nutrients from alteration it is very important to dry pasta at low temperature. If pasta has been dried at high temperature, its structure as far as its protein value, solubility and thermal properties of starch, significantly change and reduce the digestibility of starch. A homemade pasta will have better nutritional value than an industrial product.

The quantity of salt must fit the sauce which you season pasta with. To cook pasta properly, the  water shall soak into  the starch increasing its volume, pasta shall boil “happily” and be turned gently with a wooden spoon.

While the high temperature let the water soak into the center of pasta and the boiling water creates a continuous movement, we get a homogeneous cooking, the perfect cooking point we call “al dente” .

After draining pasta with delicacy, you dress it for some minutes in the pan with the chosen seasoning, then you let it stand for one minute more so that, cooling off, it can absorb the sauce. Here you are, it’s ready and you can serve it.

If you want to meet the special needs of restaurants, a synergy between pasta producers and chefs should be studied on purpose.