“Cooking pasta in Italy is like learning to ride a bike or drive a car, after a while you know how to do it and you don’t even watch how you do it anymore. » Put away your scales and timers! Learn how to properly prepare pasta with Fabrizio Cosso, as part of our new series “Pasta così!” » on pasta is above all a question of feeling and common sense.
And it starts with cooking. The amount of water? “The most important thing is that there is plenty of water.” Why ? “Because pasta is like a sponge that will absorb water during cooking, especially quality pasta,” explains the executive chef of Eataly. No need to add oil.
For salting, same thing: use coarse salt, and taste! “Salt is used to start giving your pasta a little flavor because otherwise it’s flat. This is especially true for dry pasta which is only composed of semolina and water, but also preferable for fresh pasta even if it can be seasoned”.
Above all a matter of personal taste
And the cooking time? “Forget this typical French reflex of programming the duration written on the packet on a timer. If that can give any indication (12 minutes for spaghetti for example), it is above all a matter of personal taste. “There is no standard: in Italy, each region and each person has a particular way of eating pasta, some will like it well cooked, others al dentealmost raw”, notes the chef.
The key to successful cooking is rather, above all, to stir the pasta well in the water, not to forget it on the heat… and to take it out one minute before the end of the desired cooking time. If you don’t trust your instincts, however, Fabrizio Cosso has a trick: cut your spaghetto in half and look inside: the white point must be very small, but still present. “You have to take the pasta out one minute before the end of cooking because it will end up in the pan with the sauce,” explains the chef.
Another secret to a successful pasta dish: always keep pasta cooking water aside in a cup when you drain it. “This cooking water is full of starch and this gluten will allow you to bind the pasta: your pasta will continue to absorb it in the pan, it will create an emulsion and you will always have a creamy sauce without adding fat. , like butter or cream, as the French often do. It will also allow you to reheat your pasta in the pan by rehydrating it.