In this article, we will answer the question “How to keep the pasta from absorbing all the sauce?”, and what mistakes to avoid when cooking pasta?
How to keep the pasta from absorbing all the sauce?
Nobody likes a dried-out pasta with a mushy appearance. The ideal pasta should have the right amount of sauce coated all over it for a wet mouthfeel and a lustrous appearance with each strand of the pasta separated from the other strand. The following tricks can be employed if your pasta keeps sucking up all the moisture from the sauce by the time you serve it.
Rinse with water
After boiling the water, drain out the water while storing some of it. Let some cold water run over the pasta to lower its temperature and halt the cooking process. Hot pasta absorbs more sauce.
Keep the sauce thin
You should not cook the pasta sauce to the consistency that you want once it is on the serving plate. The pasta will absorb some of the moisture. You need to keep the margin for that. For this purpose, it is best to thin out the sauce using some leftover pasta water.
This water has the starch that runs off from the surface of the pasta doing boiling. This leftover pasta water helps the sauce to adhere well to the pasta surface while promoting emulsification of fats for a rich and creamy texture.
Toss your pasta in some oil
Use any vegetable oil to gently toss your boiled and cooled pasta. Oil forms a layer over the starchy surface of the pasta that keeps the sauce from clinging to it. This will prevent the pasta from absorbing all the sauce way too quickly.
How to cook the pasta the right way?
Follow the instructions below to cook the perfect pasta for your lasagna, spaghetti, or pasta salad each time.
Stirring at the start is important
An ample amount of water is important for boiling pasta. It helps with the following:
- It is easier to submerge the long pasta like spaghetti into a hot boiling pot of a generous amount of water.
- It prevents the pasta from sticking.
Speaking of sticking, stirring at the start of boiling pasta is very important. Because it is the time when the starch from the surface of the pasta is dissolving into the water. If not stirred occasionally, the pasta will clump and boil as is.
Add salt, skip the oil
Adding oil to the boiling pasta does not prevent it from sticking. It only prevents the water from overboiling and reaching out of the rim. It also makes the pasta slimy due to which the sauce just slides off the pasta. The pasta ends up tasting bland.
Adding salt, on the other hand, helps season and add a lot of flavor to the pasta while it absorbs the water to soften.
Salt your pasta the right way
Salt is the only flavor of the plain pasta. Therefore, it should be added carefully and according to one’s own preference. A general ratio of water, salt, and pasta is given below to help you get an idea of where to start.
1 lb Pasta: 1 tbsp Salt: 4 quarts or 16 cups of water
One pound of any pasta will taste mildly salty when mixed with 1 tbsp of sea salt or table salt. If you are using kosher salt, that has a milder flavor, use a heaping tbsp or ½ tbsp extra amount. These are just estimations. You can play around with the amount of salt and water and stick to what suits you the most.
Add cheese and herbs off heat
Once the sauce has reached the desired consistency. Turn off the flame. Add the grated cheese and stir it in to melt it in the pasta with the residual heat. This step will thicken up the pasta while emulsifying it to a creamy texture.
Once everything is emulsified and of the perfect consistency, add some more pasta water to make it thinner. If the thick saucy pasta is served as is on the plates, it will thicken up even more while it loses heat.
Serving is important
Transfer the hot pasta onto warm plates. Serving in cold plates will undesirably and rapidly thicken it. Saucy pasta is supposed to be devoured while it is still warm. The sauce does not wait for anybody. The pasta will keep absorbing sauce while it sits.
In this article, we answered the question “How to keep the pasta from absorbing all the sauce?”, and what mistakes to avoid when cooking pasta?