The INSIDER Summary:
- Perfect al dente pasta is not only determined by the amount of time you cook it.
- The higher the quality of your pasta noodles, the easier it will be to cook them al dente.
When it comes to cooking pasta noodles, the secret is in the quality of the pasta you buy, not so much in the amount of time you cook the pasta.
That’s according to Michael Easton, chef and owner of Il Corvo Pasta in Seattle.
Easton says pasta should be cooked al dente, but it’s easier to achieve this when you’re using higher quality pasta.
He recommends three brands to look for in grocery and specialty stores:
- Rustichella D’Abruzzo
Why does quality make a difference?
“If you buy better brands of dry pasta, you’ll find you have a much broader window of how long you can cook them,” Easton explains. “They will typically take a little bit longer to cook because they have a higher protein content, and just a better strength and gluten development in the pasta… You can overcook them a couple minutes, and they still have beautiful texture and are absolutely al dente.”
The chef adds that with really good noodles, you should be able to boil them until they’re al dente, cook them for a few more minutes in a pan of sauce, and still have them come out perfectly al dente.
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