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Pasta Basics
types of pasta

Pasta is a staple in many households. And, there is a wide variety to choose from. It is estimated that there are over 600 varieties of pasta in the world and the choices can be baffling. Here is a simplified way to identify pasta types:

Long form pasta – these are spaghetti-like pasta types that you can twist around a fork. The pasta can be round or flat, solid or hollow. This group includes:

  • Long, round types like spaghetti or angel hair
  • Ribbon cuts like fettuccine, linguine and tagliatelle

Short form pasta – these are short pasta shapes and include:

  • Tubular shapes – elbow macaroni, penne, rigatoni and manicotti
  • Shaped pasta – farfalle (bow tie), fusilli (corkscrew) and wagon wheels
  • Stuffed pasta – ravioli, tortellini and gnocchi

Cooking pasta is easy.

  • Put water in a large saucepan; use 1 quart water for every 4 ounces of dry pasta to keep it from sticking together.
  • Bring water to a boil. Add salt to the water after it boils so the salt dissolves more easily.
  • Add the dry pasta all at once. Keep the heat high to get water boiling again. Stir occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking.
  • Start timing when the water returns to a boil. Most pastas cook for 8 to 12 minutes. Exact cooking times vary based on shape and thickness of pasta.
  • Pasta is done when “al dente”— tender but firm to eat. You will have to taste a piece to check that it’s cooked enough.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Add ½ to 1 cup cold water to the hot water with the pasta to immediately stop the cooking process.
  • Drain. Do not rinse pasta unless the directions indicate you should. The starch from the pasta helps the sauce stick.

Pour your favorite sauce over the pasta and sit down to a wonderful hot meal the whole family can enjoy!


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I am looking for a recipe to make my own pasta from scrach,you know flour water and so on and so forth and I can't find anything, please help
I need it befour the 27th. Thanks

Posted Sep 22 2011 by Ellen

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