How to cook perfect spaghetti

How to cook perfect spaghetti applies to all the spaghetti recipes, featured in the pasta section of the website.

This link specifically refers to “spaghetti” but, as general rule, the information given below can be applied to all kind of dry and fresh pasta.
Take a large pan (higher than wider and better if made of aluminium) and fill with plenty of water. Just to give you some guidance, 1 litre of water for every 100 g (3 1/2 ounces) of spaghetti (the quantity of water should be enough so that when you add the pasta the boiling should continue). When the water is boiling, add enough salt, about 10 g (1/3 ounce) for every litre of water, to make the water slightly salted; then add the spaghetti and cook for the required time shown on the spaghetti pack. Stir every now and then in order to avoid the spaghetti sticking together. When draining the spaghetti I personally suggest not draining it too much but always to leave it a bit wet; this is quite helpful especially when you have a sauce that can dries quickly once in contact with the hot spaghetti.
Spaghetti should always be cooked “al dente”. This means that spaghetti should be tender outside and slightly firm to the bite in the centre. Bear in mind that most of the suggested cooking time is only indicative and often I find myself adding 1 or 2 minutes in order to achieve the right texture. A minute before the end of the suggested cooking time try one spaghetti strand to see if it is “al dente” or not. If it is still too hard, add extra time as required.

The average quantity of dried spaghetti per person should be 100 g (3 1/2 ounces) per person. However, in the recent years I have seen more and more people (also in Italy) to use only 80 g (3 ounces). 

Categorised as Top Tips

By Federico

Federico Pezzaioli is an ex-badass Italian Paratrooper on a mission - to make creating delicious authentic Italian food really easy. He researches, writes and photographs each recipe with the same attention to detail he used to apply to packing his parachute.

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