While I prefer the taste and texture of fresh pasta (pasta fresca), I don’t feel bad if I have no time to make my own. There are many great dried pasta (pasta secca) in the market now, and they work very well. When looking for good quality pasta, be sure to purchase pasta that is made primarily of durum or semolina wheat.
- Pasta should always be prepared just before serving it.
- The right time to add the salt is when the water reaches the boiling point. Salting the water brings out the natural flavor of the pasta. If the salt is added too late, it will not be absorbed correctly into the pasta. Be sure to allow the salt to dissolve before adding the pasta.
- When adding the pasta to boiling water, stir the pasta gently until it is back to a boil. Do not cover the pan, and continue stirring the pasta every few minutes.
- Fresh topping can be added to the pasta dish, once it is plated. Toppings include freshly ground pepper, grated Parmesan or pecorino cheeses, or fresh basil or parsley. In some cases, a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil is the perfect little extra.
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Before the fork, people ate spaghetti with their hand. When the fork was invented, pasta became food fit for royalty as well, because they could now eat it without a loss of dignity. The Italians say that a character of a man can be determined by the way he eats spaghetti.