how to cook pasta
in 20  minutes

Add a little oil and stir through when you cook pasta.

The key to how to cook pasta successfully is to use a large pot with lots of rapidly boiling water. Do not attempt to save on the washing up by using a smaller pot and never use the absorption method.

This process is the same for long and short pasta but not for lasagna, gnocchi nor cannelloni.

You'll need:

  • a large pot or roomy saucepan
  • water
  • 2 handfuls of pasta per serve
  • salt
  • Or, a stock cube

Pour boiling water into a large roomy pot. Don't fill it to the rim, but between half and 3/4's full. Add a little salt and bring to rapid boil.  If you'd like it to be even tastier, add a stock cube.

Throw in the pasta.

Read the instructions on the packet as to how long it will take to cook as thin or fine pasta will take less time than a thicker walled pasta.  But generally, it will take 15 to 20 minutes to cook.

Keep the heat always on high with water at rapid boil the entire time. That's why you never fill the pot too full with water as otherwise it will spill over.

Whether it is long pasta or short pasta/ macaroni, cook only till al dente'.  This means the result is soft but is still slightly hard inside. That's when it is cooked perfectly!

Taste test and with practice you'll get to know this al dente texture.

Take it off the heat immediately and drain in a colander. I don't drain it completely dry and leave it still slightly wet and put it back in the pot.

Pour a little olive oil and stir through. This stops the cooked pasta sticking together. Try not to add too much oil - it's hell on the hips.

Serve immediately!

How To Cook Short Pasta
Photo Tutorial

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Water in a saucepan at rapid boil
Do not use the absorption method

Drain pasta in a colander
Drizzle oil into the cooked pasta

Stir oil through the cooked pasta

Tips From Easy Recipes

  • This too, depends on the altitude. Boiling point is reached at lower temperatures at high altitudes so, if you are at your ski lodge, this will take longer to cook.

  • Never leave it to sit in a pot of water - it just absorbs the liquid and goes all gluggy.

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