Since we have been eating less meat and poultry lately, our consumption of whole grain pastas has increased. One of my personal favorites is simple pasta which is just spaghetti cooked with a bit of olive oil or butter, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese delicious! I’ll get up a recipe for that one soon. For now, I’ll just let you in on some of our tricks to make sure pasta doesn’t stick together. For me, lasagna noodles seem to be the worst for this! By following these steps, I have been peeling less lasagna noodles from each other, and having a lot less stress (induced from pasta stickiness) in the kitchen!
1. USE A LARGE POT: Choose a large pot to boil pasta. A small one doesn’t let the noodles spread away from each other.
2. STIR: Once the pasta has hit the water make sure you stir it, well so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom or to other pasta pieces. (I also salt my pasta water, for flavor.)
3. DO NOT OVERCOOK: I’ve noticed that the sticking seems to be worse when the noodles are even slightly overcooked…so try to avoid this all together and follow the package directions for “al dente” pasta.
4. DO NOT RINSE PASTA: Never rinse pasta noodles even if the recipe calls for no sauce (like the one I mentioned above). In this instance use olive oil instead of rinsing the pasta . For saucy recipes, rinsing pasta removes the layer of starch that helps sauce stick to the pasta…so no rinsing!
5. ADD PASTA TO SAUCE WHILE STILL PIPIN’ HOT: Though this last point is unrelated to pasta sticking, I thought I’d add it to round out the topic. Add the (unsticky!) pasta to the sauce while it is still hot. Pasta will absorb the sauce better while it still steamy, starchy, and hot. So have hot sauce ready, drain pasta, and toss them together…a.s.a.p.!
**I know a popular cooking method is to add olive oil to the cooking water to prevent the pasta from sticking to each other. In my experience, it does prevent the pasta from sticking to itself, BUT, it will prevent the SAUCE from sticking and absorbing into the pasta, so if you are using a recipe that calls for a tomato or alfredo type sauce–do not add olive oil to the cooking water.**
Love, Grey & Brianna