Pasta and Rice Tips
- As a rule of thumb always use four times the amount of water that you have in pasta, a minimum of four litres.
- Put a generous amount of Salt in your Water AFTER the water comes to a boil. Trust me, it will boil faster. About a tablespoon per four litres of water is about right.
- Do not put oil in your water unless you want your sauce to run off the pasta. You can always toss it in a small amount of Oil after it's cooled if you need to store it.
- The only time you should rinse pasta after draining is when you are going to use it in a cold dish, or when you are not going to sauce and serve it immediately. In those cases, rinse the pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process, and drain well.
- If the pasta is to be used as part of a dish that requires further cooking, undercook the pasta by 1/3 of the cooking time specified on the package.
- Try this method for speeding up the potato baking process (for a better texture than those that you microwave). Pre-heat the oven to 400. Place the Potato in boiling water for 10 minutes. Bake for 30 minutes. This will cut the cooking time in half.
- A lump of butter or a few teaspoons of cooking oil added to water when boiling Rice, Noodles, macaroni, or spaghetti will prevent boiling over.
- A few drops of Lemon juice added to simmering rice will keep the grains separate.
- For fluffier, whiter rice, add one teaspoon of lemon juice per litre (quart) of water. To add extra flavour and nutrition to rice, cook it in liquid reserved from cooking vegetables.
- Make sure there'e a little bit of liquid left in the bottom of the pot when your Rice is finished cooking, and always let your rice rest for a few minutes before you fluff it with a fork. This will allow the rice to pick up the liquid, and the starches to relax.
- To remove cooked on rice, pasta or other starchy food, soak the pan in cold water. Cold, not warm, not hot. By the time you finish eating, your pan should have released the cooked on food. If not, try the method above for removing blackened, baked on food.
- Make sure to use a large pot and plenty of water.
- Bring the water to a vigorous boil and then add a generous amount of salt.
- Add pasta to the rapidly boiling water slowly so that you don't stop the boil.
- Stir the pasta to separate it and then cook it just until "al dente" or still firm to the bite.
- Drain, but don't rinse the pasta before saucing.
- Preserve some pasta cooking water to thin your sauce if needed.
- To better wed the pasta to the sauce, put the sauce in a broad skillet and heat it while the pasta cooks.
- Drain the pasta when it's just shy of done and stir it into the skillet before the colander stops dripping completely.
- Toss the pasta and sauce over high heat for a minute or two, until The pasta is done. This technique is called pasta strascicata, and will work especially well with creamy meat or vegetable sauces, sugo alla bolognese, and marinara sauce. Do not use it with sauces that are raw, for example pesto.
- For fluffier rice, sauté in a few tablespoons of Crisco® Oil on medium heat before adding the water.
- While real risotto is made with arborio rice, the rice-shaped grains of orzo pasta look similar and cook much faster.
- Sautéing rice in Crisco® Oil before adding liquid ensures that the grains remain separate and do not stick together when cooked.