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How do you cook the perfect pot of pasta? How long should the pasta boil? Do you need to set a timer? Or can you free wheel it with a glance at the wall clock? Do you fork out a noodle for the texture check?

As part of our joy for the pasta season, with this post, we share our definitive guide for how to cook the perfect pot of our sourdough pasta. Because there's nothing more upsetting than pasta that is too mushy to enjoy.

1, 2, 3 - all you'll need!

For us, the perfect pot of pasta really involves getting three things right:

  1. Water
  2. Time
  3. Salt

1. Water

Getting the water right is key for setting you up for Step 2. So, water for the perfect pot of sourdough pasta starts with an appropriately sized pot.

What's an appropriately sized pot? Dry pasta will expand a bit when it is cooked, so you need to accommodate that size difference. This is something you can guesstimate. If your dry pasta will fill the pot half way, then you know you'll need room for the water to go at least 3/4 of the way to the rim of the pot, fully covering the pasta. You can measure or weigh the dry pasta in your pot in advance if you need to double check to be sure.

Why in advance? Because to get the timing (Step 2) right, you will always, always add your dry pasta to a pot of water that has a rolling boil. If you add your pasta to the water when it's still heating up, getting the timing right will be trickier. Not impossible. But trickier.

So, the perfect water to add your pasta to: a rolling boil. Look for those nice bubbles coming from the bottom of the pot.

Pro tip: to get your water boiled faster, try boiling it in your kettle first. Then add it to your pot. This method might also use less energy than boiling water on the stove top (depending on your stove).

2. Set that timer!

Once you have the perfect water and you've added your dry pasta, set a timer! We find that our sourdough pasta cooks very consistently. Our radiatori and fusili shapes cook in 5-6 minutes for al dente. Our rotini and spaghetti is more like 6-7 minutes. And our linguini is more like 8-10 minutes.

Pro tip: Your stovetop might introduce some variation to the timing, so you may want to test it out once or twice to find out exactly what time your stove cooks for. But in our experience, once you know it, it's the same again and again.

3. Salt

For us, a dash of salt is key to the perfect pot of pasta (We're with Martha Stewart on this.). A dash of salt is to boiling pasta the way that Parmesan is to spaghetti. Or the way that a toque is for winter wear. Essential.

Why? Salt in your pasta will make your whole dish taste better and help each noodle retain its texture. The chemical explanation of what's going: salt acts to prevent losing some of the starch in the pasta to the water.

How much salt? We recommend 1 tsp of salt per pound of pasta. The water should become a bit salty (if you were to taste test it). The pasta won't absorb more than 1/4 of the salt added to the pot.

Which salt? The long and short of it that it doesn't really matter. Kosher, Himalayan, rock... regular table salt - all these will work.

Conclusion: The perfect pot

Put these three things together and you will get the perfect pot of Kaslo Sourdough pasta.

Bring your water to a boil in the right sized pot. Add your pasta. Set your timer. Add salt. Drain when the timer goes. Mix with your sauce and off you go!

Note: There are some circumstances where you may want to slightly undercook your pasta. Such as when you are going to do a second stage cook by baking the cheese on top of a casserole. But otherwise, figuring out the right timing and sticking with it is the way to go.

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