I tried to cook Pasta today.

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I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby Ronin356 » July 3rd, 2012, 12:11 am

It was horrible. :cry:

I'm not sure cooking is my thing.
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Re: I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby radiostarkiller » July 3rd, 2012, 12:16 am

What do you think went wrong?
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Re: I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby Ddraigeneth » July 3rd, 2012, 12:45 am

Apart from undercooking (fixable) or overcooking (not so fixable), there isn't a whole lot to go wrong with the pasta itself. Or do you mean the sauce/accompaniments?
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Re: I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby robybang » July 3rd, 2012, 1:54 am

I've done it before. It's not hard. You just have to check on it every so often. When noodles start floating to the top, taste one to make sure the texture's right. The only other advice I can give is:

  • Use a pot just big enough to make the pasta you need. Big pots mean longer cooking times.
  • Use barely enough water to cover the pasta. More water means longer cooking times.
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Re: I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby Ronin356 » July 3rd, 2012, 12:52 pm

Ddraigeneth wrote:Apart from undercooking (fixable) or overcooking (not so fixable), there isn't a whole lot to go wrong with the pasta itself. Or do you mean the sauce/accompaniments?


I overcooked the darn thing. I also used two different sauces. :(
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Re: I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby Piano-kun » July 3rd, 2012, 6:17 pm

I AM A PASTA CONNOISSEUR.

If you're new to making pasta, following the directions on the back of the box is probably to best thing to do. Add a little salt while you're boiling the water first--it gives it a great taste. When you put the pasta in, reduce the heat to medium. DO NOT LEAVE IT ON HIGH. Especially if you're cooking with angel hair pasta. The thinner the pasta, the faster it cooks. Try to go for al dente. Stir the pasta regularly and make sure you sample bits of it during the cooking process (blow on it like crazy! Too many times I've burnt my tongue!). When you drain it and put it back in the pot, add a little olive oil or butter. This stops the pasta from sticking together in annoying clumps.

Mixing two sauces sometimes isn't a bad thing, depending on the brand and sauce content. Vodka sauce, for example, needs to simmer longer than traditional pasta sauces or the taste is too strong. Newman's Own vodka sauce tastes significantly better in my opinion than Classico's vodka sauce, but it is probably fine to mix those two. Classico's Four Cheese (a bit of a salty sauce, but still tasty) goes well with red pepper sauces, but not vodka sauce or marinara (since marinara is sweet). It's really all on experimentation. What I also like to do is take a bland tasting sauce and adding my own spices to it. Go through your spice cabinet, find a few things, take a tiny amount of sauce from the main batch and mix those spices together. Chicken bouillon, paprika, marjoram...heck, I've added turmeric before. See what works best to your tastes. Don't add too much! Sometimes only 1-2 spices do fine.

Also, adding veggies! I usually add onions, mushrooms and bell peppers to my sauces.

My favorite sauces are Classico's Roasted Polblano Alfredo (It is AMAZING, especially with mixed vegetables and sausage. Eggplant goes fantastically with it too) and Newman's Own Sockarooni. Seriously. The name of the pasta sauce is actually "Sockarooni" because it will knock your socks off. Also, have you ever tried pasta sauce from scratch? It takes some time, but the result is unforgettable. It's something to think about for the future since you're new at cooking.
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Re: I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby mitchellbravo » July 3rd, 2012, 6:19 pm

Also, don't put the lid back on the pot once you've added the pasta to the water. It leads to overflow and tears and the water from both/either putting out the flame of the gas stove or making a terrible racket on an electric one.
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Re: I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby Annausagi2 » July 3rd, 2012, 6:40 pm

This is why I never make pasta. 8(
Don't they have a cheaper way of cooking it, kinda like those boil-in-bag rices for us that always fails at cooking rice?
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Re: I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby Ddraigeneth » July 4th, 2012, 12:33 am

I've microwaved macaroni before. Make sure you use a big bowl, so it doesn't overflow when it starts to boil--usually about 10 minutes works, stirring after 5.
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Re: I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby Troll » July 4th, 2012, 1:18 am

Spoiler! :
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Re: I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby Applekai13 » July 7th, 2012, 12:03 am

Fun way to know if pasta is done.

Angelhair and other stringy pasta.
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After 6 minutes or so boiling on medium, take out single peices of pasta and throw them at wooden cabinets. If it sticks to the Cabinet, it's done :D
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Re: I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby mitchellbravo » July 7th, 2012, 9:02 am

Applekai13 wrote:Fun way to know if pasta is done.

Angelhair and other stringy pasta.
---------------------------------------

After 6 minutes or so boiling on medium, take out single peices of pasta and throw them at wooden cabinets. If it sticks to the Cabinet, it's done :D

this works with a variety of different mediums and is dangerously fun
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Re: I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby mossi-mo » July 7th, 2012, 9:33 am

Try soft packed noodles (i.e. fresh) They are more expensive but cook quickly.

Don't put noodles in unless they soften immediately in the water. It's always better to use a bigger pot if you're unsure of how much noodle you're actually adding. Leave at least 2-3 inches of space between the water line and the top of the pot. You do not want noodle foam stains everywhere.

When the noodles start foaming, they're almost done.

It takes practice to cook anything, even pouring cereal isn't something you know at birth (that milk-fruit loops ratio is a killer), so don't get discouraged.
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Re: I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby SoupCandy » July 10th, 2012, 2:09 pm

...That photo of flaming pasta. It was painful. Scares me that someone actually did that.

I do basically what piano-kun does.

A couple cups of water, however much you think you need for your pasta.
Crank it up to high, toss in a pinch of salt and about a teaspoon of olive oil or canola oil.
Cover it.
Wait for the first rolling boil. It'll be minor, when the smaller bubbles start popping to the surface. Let it keep boiling.
When you reach a heavy boil, lower the setting to medium or medium-high and add your pasta. Keep the lid off.
As the pasta cooks down, after five minutes, take a strand with a fork, blow on it, and nibble it. If it's tender and not mushy, it's good. If it's too hard, leave it for a minute longer.
Drain the pasta well. Add a teaspoon of oil and toss the pasta so it doesn't stick.

Pre-made ravioli and tortellini is easier. After you boil them, as soon as they float, they're done.
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Re: I tried to cook Pasta today.

Postby Piano-kun » August 2nd, 2012, 6:29 pm

SoupCandy wrote:I do basically what piano-kun does.

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