Although cooking pasta is not rocket science, there are a few guidelines you can follow to help you cook it perfectly every time.To begin with, the pan in which the pasta is cooked needs to be a big one, preferably stainless steel.
The pasta needs plenty of room to move around in the water while cooking. One can also buy a stainless steel pasta cooking pot with its own in-built draining pot. If you cook pasta a lot, it is well worth investing in one of these special pots. Otherwise use the largest pot you have and a large stainless steel strainer.All types of pasta need a large quantity of water, about 5 liters for every 500 Gms of pasta. If you are cooking less than 500 Gms, use at least 3 liters of water. Pasta will stick together as it cooks, so make sure there is the required quantity of water in the pot.First bring the water to a fast rolling boil. When the water is boiling, add enough salt (1 tbsp. for every 500 Gms). Then follow with the pasta.Tip in the pasta all at once so that it cooks evenly.The pasta should be completely submerged in the water.Reduce the heat slightly and let the water boil gently for the recommended cooking time.Stir the pasta frequently while cooking to prevent the pasta shapes or strands from sticking together.Drain carefully and thoroughly. Shake the draining pan or strainer vigorously and stir the pasta well so any water trapped in the pasta shapes can drain out as quickly as possible.Save a few tablespoons of the water the pasta has cooked in, in case the pasta gets dry and needs to be moistened. Alternatively you can cover the pasta with a damp tea/ kitchen towel to retain moisture.The cooking time for pasta can vary greatly depending on type and manufacturer, so always check the packet instructions before you start.