There is something special about authentic Italian food that makes it distinctive from other cuisines. That is perhaps because Italians are very particular about their food, an excellent reason why Italian dishes remain renowned and iconic.
They have deep respect for their culture and traditions, reflected in their cooking. But are Italians strict when it comes to making their pasta? You can answer that yourself after reading some of their cooking guidelines for making pasta.
- Never add oil to your water.
Others make the mistake of adding oil to the water to prevent them from sticking together. However, it is unnecessary as the oil separates and floats on top of the water. When pasta is drained, the oil will coat it preventing the sauce from sticking.
It is salting or cooking pasta in abundant salt water at a full boil that keeps it from gumming together. Remember to only add salt once the water is boiling, as adding salt to cold water will delay the time to reach boiling point.
- Bring the water to boil.
The boiling water is essential to achieve what Italians call al dente. Pasta should never be served mushy as it can have a negative impact on the texture, taste, and nutritional value. Another significant aspect of cooking pasta in boiling water will gelatinize the starches contained in the pasta, making it easier to digest. Do not lower the heat to simmer!
- Do not break the pasta.
A common rule that Italians uphold when cooking pasta is never to break it so that it would fit the pot. Pasta is produced in a specific size for a reason. When you put the pasta in boiling water, gently push them down, so it does not break.
- Use the right pasta shape for the right sauce.
Many might have used the same kind of pasta for several different dishes. But for Italians, the only thing worse than a bad wine pairing is a bad combination of pasta and sauce. Yes, you must only use the right shape for the proper sauce. Otherwise, it would taste differently.
While not all Italians follow the same Italian pasta shape and sauce combinations, most agree that short, tubular shapes are best soaking up flavours of thicker sauces. On the other hand, thin and long pasta works best with lighter sauces.
- Have a large pot of sauce ready.
After the pasta is cooked, put it into a cooked sauce, turn on the heat, and sauté for a few minutes. It is important to reserve some of the cooking water in case your sauce is too thick. It has plenty of starch which can further enrich the sauce and make it stick better to the pasta.
Moreover, it is essential to remember that pasta must be served with sauce and not sauce with pasta. Italians love the flavour of properly cooked pasta. The sauce must only be secondary in taste and for coating. Do not drown the pasta with sauce as it is a condiment, so use it sparingly.
Where to try Italian pasta dishes?
Cirelli & Co. is an intimate Italian restaurant serving up authentic Italian food and fresh homemade pasta in the heart of Brunswick. We will serve you pasta, pizza, and antipasti made from the freshest and finest quality of ingredients.
You can dine at our restaurant, order for takeaway, or opt to have your food delivered to your home. You may contact us at (03) 9386 8084 or through our contact page for more information about our restaurant and bakery.