How to cook pasta

Preparation info
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Pasta Italian Style

By Patricia Lousada

Published 1991

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Pasta that is going to be used for baked dishes should be undercooked, 35 minutes before the ‘al dente’ stage - the centre or core still hard, as it will continue to cook in the oven.


  • Allow 2 pints (1-2 litres) of water for each 4 oz (100


Pasta must always be cooked in plenty of boiling, salted water. The salt will give the pasta flavour. The large amount of boiling water will prevent the pasta from sticking together and will return to the boil more quickly after the pasta has been added - this is important to achieve a firm yet cooked pasta.

Bring the water to a rapid boil (this can be done most economically by covering