The secrets of great pasta
Pasta is one of the very first dishes a lot of us learn to cook. It’s simple and easy to do, it goes with virtually anything and it's a great accompaniment to all manner of low-fat recipes. We've got plenty of fantastic examples on this very site, from turkey bolognaise to turkey lasagne to this fantastic citrus turkey pasta salad, it's an endlessly versatile food.

However, while cooking pasta is easy to learn, it's another thing entirely to master it. Fortunately we know a few kitchen secrets that will make even the most straightforward pasta in tomato sauce taste amazing.
Make your own
One of the reasons pasta is such a stand-by for so many of us is that it's really quick to make. Throw some dry pasta in a pan, boil it in water until soft, drain it and done! However if you've got a bit more time to spare it's worth going to the effort to make your own pasta.

The ingredients are simple- 200 grams of plain flour, a pinch of salt and two lightly beaten eggs is all you need. Mix that into a dough and knead it for roughly 10 minutes, then let it rest. Come back and roll it out. This'll give you sheet pasta that's great for lasagne, or you can cut it into strips for tagliatelle. It will only take a couple of minutes to cook in boiling, salted water, which you can then drain and serve.
Don't oil it
Just as pasta is one of the first things many of us learn to cook, one of the first cooking tips we learn is to add a bit of oil to the pasta to “stop it sticking”. It makes perfect sense until you actually think about it for a second and remember that oil floats on water.

Most of that oil will go down the drain, while the rest will get on the pasta and prevent it from soaking up the flavours of any sauces you wanted to add. While oil might be useful with filled pasta such as ravioli, as it'll keep it from bursting open in the hot water for most pasta dishes the oil is a hindrance more than a help.

To stop your pasta from sticking together, simply make sure you use a large pan that gives the pasta lots of room and stir it periodically to keep everything moving around.
Warm those plates
Once you've got your pasta cooked to perfection your work still isn't done. Stick some plates in the oven on a low heat before you start cooking. Serving the pasta onto these plates will keep it nice and hot, making for a meal everyone will want t go back for seconds of!


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The secrets of great pasta