Have you been cooking pasta wrong?
According to Gordon Ramsay, the staple ingredient can be surprisingly difficult to get right.
In a recent Cooking Basics segment, the chef revealed that it’s important to get that al dente texture.
He said: “It can be easily undercooked or overcooked. Here’s how to do it properly.”
The chef’s top tips include adding oil before and after your pasta is cooked.
He also advises home cooks to be generous with seasoning and keep an eye on timings so they have pasta with bite.
Gordon said: “First, water in a nice large pan to make sure the pasta has sufficient room to cook evenly.
“Nicely seasoned – absolutely crucial
“Olive oil in – that stops the pasta sticking together – and bring it up to the boil.
“A roiling boil stops it sticking together because it keeps it rolling around.”
The next instructions change depending on which type of pasta you’re using.
If you pick long strands – like spaghetti, tagliatelle or angel hair – put one end of the pasta into the boiling water first.
Once it softens a little, you can then use tongs to get the rest of the stands into the pan.
With penne and other smaller shapes, you don’t have to worry about doing this step.
Cook according to packet instructions – and don’t forget to time things properly.
Gordon added: “If you’re bad at timing, then set a timer.”
You’ll know your pasta is ready when you have “a bite that’s firm inside but not crunchy”.
So when you’re satisfied with the texture, drain it all off.
You can then add a touch more seasoning and oil to keep the strands separated nicely.
Gordon suggests: “(Use a) tablespoon of olive oil after cooking an mix that through. it stops it from sticking together.”
And there you have it, perfectly cooked pasta every time.