You’ve been cooking pasta wrong – Foodies share common mistakes and tips

You’ve been cooking pasta wrong – Foodies share common mistakes and tips

Pasta is one of the most delicious foods money can buy, whether you love spaghetti bolognese, a rich carbonara, or the ultimate comfort food of macaroni cheese.

It is such a versatile and appealing ingredient that it was declared the world's favourite food – ahead of meat and even pizza – in research by Oxfam in 2011.

But like most simple things, cooking pasta requires more care to get right than you might think.

Overcooked, mushy, bland pasta is a culinary disaster and breaking spaghetti is practically a crime in some cultures.

Some foodies might have even tried their hand at making homemade pasta from scratch with flour, only for it to end up a complete mess.

Daily Star Online has found a collection of cooking tips from chefs to help you achieve pasta perfection.

How to boil spaghetti the proper way

Many home cooks admit breaking spaghetti to fit it in the pan but this makes it more difficult to twirl around your fork once it's served up.

You'd be hard-pressed to find an Italian who would snap spaghetti, so if you want to know how it's supposed to be cooked, TikTok user @maxmccannpt can show you.

In the clip at the top of this page, fitness fan and home cook Max demonstrates the method with a handful of dried spaghetti.

Holding the pasta above a large pan of simmering water, he explains that you need to do a twisting motion to make each strand fan-out when it lands.

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  • "You grab your pasta like this, twist it, and drop it in," he says.

    "This is what it's mean to look like," he explains, showing the spaghetti splayed out in a sunbeam shape.

    "As it cooks it either falls in or you can give it a little nudge like this and that's it."

    The video has been liked more than 13,000 times.

    "I am going to try that, good tip," said one appreciative fan.

    Why adding sauce straight to pasta is wrong

    Correcting another common mistake, a TikTok user explains why you should never simply add your sauce to cooked pasta.

    In the video, user @charlotteparler shows how to mix sauce and linguine properly using reserved pasta water.

    Charlotte cooks the pasta until it is al dente, at around eight minutes, and then takes some of the cooking water aside and drains the linguine in a colander.

    The home chef adds the drained linguine to a pan, splashes in the reserved cooking water, and follows this with a tomato sauce she has pre-made.

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    "You need to add that pasta water so that it fully binds together," she explains.

    Because the pasta water is starchy, it also improves the texture of the sauce.

    The video was liked more than 20,000 times and got rave reviews from fans who said they would do the same.

    "I love this I need to try!" enthused one person.

    "Thanks for the pasta water trick," said another.

    Hard mode: Making fresh pasta from scratch

    If you really want to challenge yourself and have the time and patience to master a new skill, a chef has made a video demonstration of how to make fresh homemade pasta.

    All you need is a box of eggs and some superfine 00 flour.

    TikTok user @elizashakespeare says she is using her Italian grandmother's own technique to make the pasta.

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    First, she shows how to put your flour (use 2/3 cup per egg – around 90g) in the middle of the surface you will be working on and then make a well in the middle.

    Eliza then adds the whole eggs and mixes them into the flour with a fork until it turns into a rough ball of dough.

    She then kneads it carefully for 10 minutes until it's smooth.

    Next, Eliza covers the dough in plastic and puts it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

    Once the dough is nicely chilled, she takes it out and rolls it, cuts it in half and rolls each half into a scroll.

    The scroll shape is then easy the slice with a knife to get a tagliatelle shape.

    Eliza recommends using 00 flour and says you can put a little bit of olive oil on the dough if it starts to stick.

    The video was a huge hit – getting more than 87,000 "likes" and hundreds of complimentary comments.

    One admirer wrote: "Yes I've been looking for a recipe and will use this one."

    "I tried it and it came out pretty good thank you love," said another.

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