|Recipe for Fusili with Chard, Tomato & Bacon|
And if you're not doing it their way, you're missing out on superior flavor in all your favorite pasta and spaghetti recipes.
For generations, the conventional home cook's wisdom had been to add a dash of salt and a splash of oil to the water before boiling spaghetti or pasta. In recent years, however, there's been some controversy about whether to do either, with some people warning that salt adds nothing but unwanted sodium, and others swearing that oil is the only way to keep pasta from sticking prior to saucing, and some culinary rebels declaring that neither addition is necessary.
To settle the debate once and for all, I did some research and checked with some chefs to learn what tastes best. Here are the two tried-and-true tips from the experts that they use at home and at their restaurants:
1. Generously salt the water. Contrary to popular belief, the salt doesn't do much to speed up the boiling time, nor will it add unacceptable amounts of sodium to your pasta. What it will do, however, is enhance its natural flavor, much the same way that the right touch of salt on virtually any dish will complement and enhance its flavors (e.g., salted caramels, finishing a salad or steak with a dusting of sea salt, the coarse Kosher salt on a soft pretzel, etc.). Don't believe me? Add at least a couple of teaspoons or a tablespoon of salt to the water the next time you boil pasta or spaghetti, and for heaven's sake do not rinse the pasta after draining. Then serve as you normally would and see if you can taste a difference (it will be more evident with simpler preparations, e.g., pasta tossed with a little olive oil or butter and garlic or herbs). While this may seem like a lot of salt, it really is not when you consider that nearly all of it will be discarded along with the boiling water, leaving behind beautifully-seasoned, not salty, spaghetti or pasta.
|King of Pasta Gift Set - click to buy|
Carolina Sauce Company
PS: If you're searching for a gourmet pasta gift to give this Christmas or holiday season, send the King of Pasta Gift Set, shown above right, with a variety of imported Italian pastas and a bottle of extraordinary white truffle oil.