Posted on Feb 3rd, 2010 in Food Gold by Elliot Aronow
Hi Friends! We are going the express route this week and hitting you with a very quick but very helpful technique for all your pasta/saucing needs. Let’s go!
The point of this whole process is to create a final product that is both “toothsome” and perfectly coated with/infused with sauce. You can use this for any sauce/pasta combo, so trust me it is worth practicing a few times. Basic method is as follows:
1. Start up a large pot of boiling salted water. Remember that the water should be very salty, like the ocean. I use about three tablespoons for every pound of pasta. See step 2 for info on when you want to add your pasta to the salted water.
2. Before making your sauce, guesstimate how long it will take for the sauce to come together. If you are taking about a slow simmering situation ala meatballs in tomato sauce you can get the pasta into the water later. If you are making more of a pan sauce, like a cream number, you’ll want the pasta to hit the boiling water right as you start to cook the sauce. The main idea is to have the pasta hit the sauce when it is warm and has finished cooking for a minute or two.
3. Cook pasta to what I call “sub Al Dente”, roughly 85% done. The whole key here is NOT cooking it until it is done or until it is even Al Dente because when you add it to the sauce later the carryover cooking will without fail overcook the pasta and you will be bummed out.
4. Once you have tasted, tasted, tasted to find the perfect 85% done-ness of your pasta, quickly drain it. DO NOT under any circumstances rinse it with tap water. Why would you want to wash away all that salty goodness you just created?!
5. Add pasta to sauce, mix/stir/lovingly combine, cover for five minutes and walk away. You need to let the pasta and sauce get to know each other. The pasta is going to suck up all the flavors from the sauce and also get that Al Dente consistency due to the heat of the sauce, na mean?
6. Take off the lid, add some cheese or expensive olive oil and enjoy.
Good luck! If you want to practice I give this Penne w Vodka sauce recipe my highest recommendation.
Fork The World,