5 tips to follow to prevent pasta from sticking

Usar suficiente agua hirviendo es indispensable para evitar que la pasta se pegue.

Using enough boiling water is essential to prevent the pasta from sticking.

Photo: Klaus Nielsen/Pexels

Cooking pasta is not a difficult matter, but you do have to save some details so that this basic dish of Italian cuisine is done correctly. One of the mistakes to avoid is that the pasta sticks.

Adding oil to the cooking water is not the best solution to prevent pasta from sticking, according to pasta experts. As explained in the 10 commandments for cooking the perfect pasta, adding olive oil will cause the sauce not to stick to the pasta as it should and slide off the noodles.

To prevent noodles and spaghetti from sticking to the pot, among the top tips to follow, which Lorenzo Boni, executive chef at Barilla told Mashed, is use enough boiling water, stir and strain properly.

Here are 5 tips that you should always follow when cooking pasta and prevent it from sticking:

1. Use a wide pot and enough water

A large pot and enough water will allow your pasta to cook better and not stick. This way you have enough space to expand and move around more. You need to have enough boiling water to help balance the heat once the pasta is added.

Use 4 to 6 liters of water for every pound of pasta or one liter for every 100g.

By using a pot that is not big enough, the temperature of the water drops significantly when the pasta is added. As the water returns to a boil, the pasta becomes lumpy and mushy in the pot. This also creates a higher starch-to-water ratio, which makes the pasta sticky, The Kitchn explains.

2. The water must be boiling

Boni suggests making sure that when adding the pasta, the water is brought to a full boil. This allows the pasta to move more, so it’s less likely to stick to itself in the pot.

3. Stir the paste

Stirring the pasta during cooking is essential to avoid sticky noodles or spaghetti. Remove the paste immediately after adding to water and occasionally during cooking. Boni points out that if you have the right proportion of water and it’s boiling, you won’t have to stir as often.

4. Drain and don’t let it sit

After draining the pasta do not let the pasta sit and dry out. As it gets coldthe starches will harden and the pasta will stick together. Instead of draining through a strainer, you can also use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta to the sauce.

5. Have the sauce ready before the pasta

Be quick and never let the pasta sit in the colander waiting for the sauce to be readyThe sauce must be ready before the pasta is cookedso that they can be combined immediately”, says Boni.

An additional suggestion is to use a good quality pasta made from durum wheat which will reduce the amount of starch released into the water.

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–In the event of an oil fire in the kitchen, never use water to put it out

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