Though the dinner was terrific – pasta figured prominently in every dish and well-made and well-paired wine was plentiful – a highlight for me were the instructions on how the proper way to prepare dried pasta, directly from the pasta maker. But, everyone knows how to boil pasta, don’t they? Not really. And, the instructions from one of the co-owners drew considered interest from those within earshot in what was an extremely food-savvy group.
- Bring copious amount of water to a boil.
- Add a generous amount of salt.
- Add the pasta.
- Close the lid until it returns to a boil.
- Remove lid.
- Cook pasta until done.
- Drain the pasta.
It is quite simple, though closing the lid after adding the pasta was seemingly new to most. It was to me. As to the amount of water for the pasta or the amount of salt, a generous amount of each was understood.
Plied by our hosts that night with an enormous box containing nearly ten pounds of pasta – and subsequently encountering stares in the airports in Rome, Lisbon and Newark afterwards – I used those instructions when cooking it, and with the pasta since then. I could really tell the difference with the La Molisana, though. The quality of La Molisana is superior to what I typically use – and even better than DeCecco, which is excellent – and the improvement certainly lies in that rather than in any optimal cooking process. La Molisana is available at H-E-B, at least online.
But, it is nice to know the optimal way to do it.