How to cook pasta

How to cook any variety of pasta
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01.How to cook pasta

43pasta spag-bol003


5 litres water, (Hint: boil water in kettle to speed up process)
2 teaspoons salt
500g fresh or dry pasta (any variety)



  • Add water and salt to a large pot.
  • On a high heat bring the water to a rolling boil with the lid on.
  • Remove the lid, add the pasta slowly to the boiling water. (Keep temperature high to bring the water back to boiling)
  • Stir pasta a few times to stop the pasta sticking together (pasta will definitely stick together during this time if not stirred)
  • When the water has returned to boiling, start the cooking time as per the instructions on the packaging. (Regulating the temperature during cooking may be necessary, as water can foam up and boil over).
  • Stir pasta occasionally during cooking as pasta can stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • To check if pasta is cooked, remove a portion and taste it. The pasta should be tender with a slightly firm tiny core that is opaque in colour not white. (This is ‘al dente’)
  • Drain in a colander.


  • Pasta generally doubles in size when cooked, so 1 cup uncooked = 2 cups cooked.
  • Keep some of the cooking water to add to the sauce if it is too dry, it will also help to thicken the sauce.
  • Only rinse cooked pasta under cold water if using in a pasta salad.
  • It’s not a good idea to mix pasta varieties in the one pot as they have different cooking times.
  • If adding cooked pasta to soups, casseroles or bakes, undercook the pasta slightly as the pasta will finish cooking in the next stage.

Related recipes

Spaghetti bolognese
Mushroom pasta with sage



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