“Making 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 see how you’re doing it anymore. “Put away your scales and timers! Learn, how to cook pasta correctly with Fabrizio Cosso, as part of our new series “Pasta così!” »on pasta is above all a matter 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 bit of flavor, because otherwise it will be flat. This is especially true for dry pasta, which is only composed of semolina and water, but also preferable for fresh pasta, although 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 package on a timer. If it 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 specific way of eating pasta, some will like it well cooked, others al dentealmost raw”, notes the chef.
The key to successful cooking is, above all, to stir the pasta well in the water, so as not to forget it on the heat… and take it out a minute before the desired cooking time is up. If you don’t trust your instincts, however, Fabrizio Cosso has a trick: cut your spaghetti in half and look inside: the white tip should be very small but still present. “You have to take the pasta out a minute before the end of cooking, because it ends up in the pan with the sauce,” explains the chef.
Another secret to a successful pasta dish: Always keep the pasta cooking water aside in a cup when you drain it. “This cooking water is full of starch and this gluten allows 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, rehydrating it.