A great pasta dish has to start with superbly prepared pasta!

One of my biggest peeves is pasta that is “clammy” and watery –the kind that comes straight out of the boiling water and onto the plate, the bland taste camouflaged by some kind of sauce . Tasty and nicely textured pasta is just as important as the rest of the ingredients. Here’s how I like to prepare any pasta. It requires an extra step but is well worth it.

Bring a large pot of water with salt to a boil. Add a few drops of olive oil to keep the pasta from clumping together while cooking. Add the pasta and cook until done. Don’t let it get overdone and mushy. It needs to be somewhat “al dente” –cooked through but still firm. 

Pour the pasta into a colander or sieve. Run cold water over every bit of the pasta. Stir/ruffle the pasta with your fingers as the cold water runs through it to make sure all the starch that may be sticking to the pasta is washed away. Let the pasta drain completely . . . usually at least 30 minutes . . . enough time for you to prepare the rest of the dish.

Prior to serving it, heat some olive oil with a little bit of butter with salt and garlic and lightly and quickly saute the pasta until warm.  Serve with your favorite sauce and garnishment.

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