1. Too much salt
Simply seasoning by “feel” is difficult for novice cooks. It doesn’t help to hear: “Put in as much as you think”. Mainly because salt provides the flavor when cooking pasta. But how much is too much or too little?
There’s a wonderful rule of thumb: 10-100-1,000. That means: 10 grams of salt to 100 grams of pasta to 1,000 milliliters of water.
By the way, the salt is not just a flavor enhancer. It also helps keep the pasta from becoming slimy. Very, very important: The salt comes first in the boiling water.
2. Too little water
You may have guessed it already: When it comes to the amount of water, the rule applies – it’s better to have too much than too little. You need 1 liter of water for every 100 grams of pasta. The noodles must be completely covered with water.
So when in doubt, grab a larger saucepan. The background is quickly explained: When the pasta is put into the boiling water, the water temperature automatically drops slightly. This increases the cooking time. But if the ratio between the amount of water and pasta is right, the calculation works. Otherwise the noodles will get mushy. Hardly anyone likes that.
3. Deter noodles
Plain and simple: freshly cooked pasta should not be deterred. Firstly, this washes away the remaining starch, which serves as a sauce thickener, and secondly, the salt, which provides flavor, is also lost.
4. Immediately pour away the pasta water
Of course, we don’t keep the pasta water in a plastic container in the fridge forever. But it’s worth putting a few spoons aside after cooking. The starch and the salt add flavor and the starch also acts as a sauce binder for other recipes, for example.
5. First mix the pasta and sauce on the plate
Noodles cooked al dente may be a little softer. In other words, it doesn’t hurt if they continue to simmer in the sauce. This way they absorb the taste of the sauce wonderfully. Therefore – please note – the pasta sauce is not just a topping, it can do much more.