DOs & DON’Ts when making pasta

It is a universally acknowledged truth that, when it comes to pasta, Italians tend to turn into proper food nazis. We don’t do it on purpose – not always anyways – it’s just in our nature to preserve the great food tradition we’ve been forcefully handed down by our at-times-scary grandmas, and seeing those same traditions being ignored by foreigners make our mozzarella hearts melt away. Sigh.

So, in order to avoid a possible future great war between Italy and literally the rest of the World, here’s a quick basic guide on how to make a decent Italians-proof pasta !

DO:

  • Use coarse salt when salting the water: you can also use normal salt, although it’s so much better to do it with the coarse one.
  • Check on the box how long the pasta needs to be cooked, and do EXACTLY as the box says: if you want you can cook it 1 minute less, but never exceed the said time.
  • Use fresh and simple ingredients to make the sauce: pasta doesn’t need meat and spices to taste great! (unless you’re making Bolognese, but that’s another story)
  • Add a bit of sauce to all the pasta once it’s cooked: that simple trick would prevent it from turning into one giant glue-ish thing and will still let you decide for yourself how much sauce you want on your plate.

DON’T:

  • Add anything but salt and pasta to the water once it’s boiling. That means NO OIL: not only would it make any mamma cry, but it doesn’t really make any sense at all.
  • Use ketchup as a sauce: every time a drop of ketchup gets in contact with pasta, an Italian dies.
  • Overcook it: pasta turns into glue when overcooked, which is not that great for your stomach, so try to avoid it at all costs!
  • Put fresh oil in it to avoid it sticking together: that’s what the sauce is there for.

One last thing: have fun experimenting with sauces and condiments as much as you like, it’s not forbidden at all! Just don’t even dare call your inventions by the sauces’  traditional names, especially if an Italian is present – that is, unless you’re ready to start a bloody and dirty fight.

Buon appetito!

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Alex

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