In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Should I cover spaghetti sauce while simmering? We will teach you how to properly cook pasta.
Should I cover spaghetti sauce while simmering?
Do not cover the saucepan once the spaghetti has been added, but if you do, lower the heat so that it continues to boil but the water does not come out. Take the lid off every now and then to stir so the pasta doesn’t stick. Cooking pasta with the lid on does not speed up cooking.
Keep an eye on the pasta and check for doneness a couple of times. Read the packaging to see how long they recommend for it to stay “al dente.”
How to properly cook pasta
The most used method to make pasta is cooking, at least to soften it, since it is often fried, sautéed, or baked afterward. When you cook pasta it is important to use a sufficient amount of water, approximately 1 liter of water for every 100 grams of pasta.
If you use more water, the better, because that way it is easier to keep the temperature constant during cooking. Most pasta cooks the same way, so I’ll say a “universal” method of cooking pasta:
You will need:
- A saucepan with a capacity of 2 liters or more.
- A pasta drainer works either metal or plastic.
- A wooden spoon to stir.
- A fork or spoon to taste the pasta.
- Fork or accessory to remove the pasta from the drainer to the plate.
- Plate or plates. Better deep.
- Pasta for cooking. Pick something ordinary to start with, like spaghetti or macaroni.
- Salt. Normal or iodized, as you like. Better fine salt than fat or rock.
- Water. Serve from the tap.
- Any sauce that you have prepared or purchased, such as vegetarian pesto, soy or oat cream, tomato, etc.
- Some vegetables to accompany, especially if you don’t use sauce. A little broccoli, mushrooms, mushrooms, or zucchini grilled or sautéed for example, spices if you like. Oregano and basil are the most common. You can also add black pepper.
Put at least 1 liter of water in a large saucepan. I usually put 2 liters and make it in a medium saucepan. If you put 1 liter of water in a very large saucepan, it will not even cover the pasta, so you can measure the amount of water according to the height of the saucepan. That it is filled to at least 3/4 of its capacity.
Keep in mind that when pasta cooks, it grows, so don’t use a very small pot or saucepan.
Turn the fire on high and bring the water to a boil. Use a burner, fire, or cooktop the size of the bottom of the saucepan. Putting it in a much larger one is not going to make the water boil sooner.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water as it begins to boil. If you add the salt too late, it may not have time to dissolve well in the water. Salt enhances the flavor of the pasta and helps keep its shape.
Let a few seconds pass and add the pasta. Stir immediately so they don’t stick together. When you add the pasta, the water can cool slightly, so keep simmering over high heat until it starts to boil vigorously again. Lower the heat to medium-high. Do not leave it to a minimum. It is better if it is cooked with a high enough heat so that it continues to boil (but without the water running out)
If you add the pasta before it boils well, or cook it at a temperature that does not keep boiling, the pasta will absorb too much water and it will be soft.
The minutes that they indicate are those that must pass from when you add the pasta to the boiling water until you remove it to the drainer.
If when you taste the pasta it is still not done, try it every 30 seconds to avoid going over. Help yourself with a fork or spoon. Take a piece out of the water, blow so as not to burn yourself, and taste it.
The pasta should be cooked “al dente”, which means that the pasta should be tender but with a firm pinpoint. Don’t let the pasta get too mushy. The time it takes to be “al dente” depends on the ingredients of the pasta, its shape, and its thickness.
Keep the strainer handy in the sink to scoop out the pasta before it is done cooking.
When the pasta is done, remove it from the heat immediately (turn off the heat and use a couple of rags if necessary to grab the handles of the saucepan).
If you are going to use a sauce that is very thick and you want to make it lighter, set aside in a glass, with the help of a saucepan, a part of the cooking water.
Remove the pasta as quickly as possible (be careful not to splash it, it is boiling water) because it will continue to cook in the hot water. Lightly shake the pasta drainer but don’t let it drain and dry completely. This way it won’t stick to each other and will keep its shape better.
Serve the pasta immediately and pour in the sauce you have prepared or the vegetables. If you want it to stay warm, put the dishes in the oven (if they are suitable) for 5 minutes at 180ºC or in the microwave for 1 minute at maximum power before serving the pasta in them.
Season the pasta to your liking, with spices or olive oil for example, and consume it as soon as possible.
If you have pasta leftover, save it for another time.
Pasta is one of many people’s favorite foods: it is the convivial dish par excellence. It can be made into a most refined meal, or more simply a quick way to feed the whole family for those days where one is in too much of a hurry to do anything else.
The secret to having good leftover spaghetti is to cook them right in the first place. Make sure you follow our steps and you will have a delicious dish!