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It may be an Italian cuisine, but pasta has made its way to our hearts and how. Who wouldn’t love the piping hot pasta topped with molten cheese oozing along with special seasoning? Needless to say, we all love pasta. But, did you know the way pasta is cooked also affects its healthiness? So, if you are a pasta lover, then you must know that it’s all about time and precision when it comes to cooking the perfect pasta at home. If you have been struggling for, too long in the kitchen making pasta, there’s something that you aren’t doing right. We suggest some tips to make perfect pasta at home.

Here are some tips suggested by culinary expert and food blogger, Chef Reetu Uday Kugaji, that will come handy:

1. Do not rinse cooked pasta as it will prevent the sauce to stick on it. Similarly, do not add oil to it while cooking. Drizzle oil after the cooked pasta is drained, so that it does not stick together.
2. For healthy and tasty pasta, do not overcook it, as it will lead to an increase in the glycaemic index, which will mean pasta will be digested and absorbed much slower.
3. Prefer using a larger pot to cook pasta because it tends to expand as it cooks. If there isn’t enough water, it will get mushy and sticky.

cheese pasta

How to cook perfect pasta at home

4. Don’t be an impatient cook; make sure the pasta comes to a boil properly. The boiling temperature helps prevent the pasta from getting mushy.
5. Keep stirring; it may sound obvious, but this simple step can easily be forgotten. Without stirring, it may sure stick together and cook unevenly.
6. Chef Reetu says, “Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets, look for the ‘parmesan style hard cheeses,’ which are suitable for vegetarians.”
7. Add salt to the water as it comes to a boil. While the pasta is cooking, it tends to absorb the salt adding the right flavour to it. It is an old wives’ tale that salt may make the pasta water boil faster.

Here are two amazing white sauce and red sauce pasta recipes by Chef Reetu that you’d love preparing at home using these tips!

 

For The Ones Who Love Pasta In White Sauce

 

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

white sauce pasta

White sauce pasta

Ingredients

  • Penne pasta, cooked: 250 gm
  • Extra virgin olive Oil: 1 tsp
  • Red capsicum, cubed: 1/4th cup
  • Yellow capsicum, cubed: 1/4th cup
  • Broccoli florets, blanched: 1/4th cup
  • Sweet corn kernels, blanched: 1/4th cup
  • Butter: 1/2 tbsp
  • Refined flour: 1/2 tbsp
  • Garlic, crushed: 01 tsp
  • Milk: 1 cup
  • Oregano, dried: 1/2 tsp
  • Mixed herbs, dried: 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli flakes: 1/4th tsp
  • Black peppercorn, freshly ground: 1/4th tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Processed cheese, grated: 1 tbsp
  • Processed cheese, grated: 1/4th tbsp (for garnishing)

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan, add capsicum, blanched broccoli and sweet corn kernels and sauté on a medium flame for two to three minutes and keep aside.
  2. Heat the butter in a non-stick pan; add crushed garlic and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds.
  3. Add refined flour and cook on a slow flame for a few seconds, while stirring continuously. Remove from the flame.
  4. Add the milk slowly; whisk it in order to prevent lump formation. Place it on a medium flame till the sauce is thickened.
  5. Add oregano, thyme, chilli flakes, cheese, salt and pepper, and mix them well and cook on a medium flame for a minute.
  6. Now add the sautéed vegetables and pasta, mix it lightly and cook on a medium flame for two minutes. Remember to stir it occasionally.
  7. Garnished with cheese and serve it hot.

For The Ones Who Love Pasta in Red Sauce

 

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 to 30 minutes
Serves: 4

red sauce pasta

Red sauce pasta

Ingredients

  • Penne pasta, cooked: 250 gm
  • Garlic cloves, crushed: 4 nos.
  • Tomatoes: blanched, peeled, seeds removed and minced: 200 gm
  • Tomato puree: 200 gm
  • Red chilli flakes: 1/4th tsp
  • Fresh basil, chopped: 01 tsp
  • Parsley, fresh and chopped: 01 tsp
  • Bay Leaf: 2 nos.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: 1 tbsp
  • Salt (as per your taste)
  • Black pepper powder: 1/4th tsp
  • Hot water (as required)
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated: 02 tbsp (for garnishing)
  • Basil leaves: 8 nos. (for garnishing)

Method

  1. Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium flame and add minced garlic along with red chili flakes in it and sauté it for two to three minutes.
  2. Now, add tomatoes, both minced and puree, along with basil, parsley and bay leaf into the pan. Mix all the ingredients well and let it simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Add a little water if required. When the sauce starts thickening, switch off the flame, add salt and black pepper powder to the sauce. Remove the bay leaf and discard it. Keep the sauce warm.
  3. Spoon the pasta over the warm sauce and toss it lightly.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves.

And, that’s how you make the white and red sauce pasta perfectly. So, what’s cooking today?

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