Behind every lip-smacking pasta is a good - and we mean, REALLY good - sauce. However, it isn't just the sauce that livens up the dish but also when and how you add it to the pasta. While we all love devouring it, very few get it perfect! How about we make this task simpler for you? Scroll through to upgrade your skills of cooking and serving pasta.
How to cook pasta
The first step is to blanch the pasta in boiling water. Heat water in a pot. Once it starts boiling, add salt and oil. Lastly, add the pasta and cook until al dente - firm when bitten. To ensure this, you will need to keep checking on the pasta every 5-7 minutes. Getting the timing right is the real challenge here. You need to switch off the flame when the pasta feels neither completely cooked nor completely raw.
A few common points to keep in mind while cooking pasta:
- Save a cup of pasta water, it can help you thicken the sauce.
- NEVER rinse the pasta or you'll lose out on its flavour.
Now, you may ask why keep the pasta al dente? Simple: Even after you've drained off all the water, the pasta still keeps cooking. Plus, when you add hot/warm sauce to it, it further gets cooked. Therefore, the end result is a perfectly cooked bowl of pasta.
Know your sauces
According to chef Gautam Mehrishi, there are three main types of sauce: red, white, and pesto.
The red sauce
Blanched ripe tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, basil, and salt are the main ingredients of this sauce. And ideally, the tomatoes are left chunky, just mashed little with the help of a ladle. You can even toss in a dash of red chilli flakes to make it spicy.
The white sauce
The creamiest of all pasta sauces, the white sauce is made using butter, milk, flour, black pepper powder, salt, and parmesan cheese. One can also add some chopped garlic and sprinkle oregano and chilli flakes over it.
The pesto sauce
Made with fresh basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic, the pesto is a fragrant and flavourful pasta sauce. To make pesto, combine the mentioned ingredients in a food processor and add parmesan, salt, pepper and olive oil. Blend it into a smooth paste and your sauce is ready. If you wish to store this later, add extra oil and store in an airtight container.
Now that you know your pasta and the sauces, get ready to plate it. Take a pasta bowl or plate. With the help of tongs, place the pasta at its centre. Ensure that the water is completely drained off the pasta. If using ready-made sauce, heat it in a pan and add a little water to adjust its consistency. According to chef Mehrishi, you don’t need any extra seasoning in the ready-to-eat sauces. Bring the sauce to a boil and add some olive oil. Pour the sauce over the pasta and drizzle some more olive oil over it. Scroll up and watch chef Mehrishi demonstrating the process.