YOU might think it's one of the easiest dishes to make, but did you know you've probably been cooking pasta wrong this whole time?
Giovanni Rana – pasta maker and founder of the Giovanni Rana brand – and his daughter-in-law Antonella, have revealed the secrets behind the perfect Italian dish – and they're super easy.
From how long to cook it, to the exact amount of sauce, the specialists have revealed the common mistakes people make with pasta – and how to avoid them.
Speaking about whether al dente is best, Antonella told the Mail Online: "There are a lot of urban legends about al dente pasta but in Italy not everybody loves al dente pasta.
"… Fresh pasta is the quickest. We’re talking about just two minutes.
"I personally love to drain the pasta 15 seconds before the full cooking time… this way you don't overcook [it]."
The pasta guru also advised flavouring the pasta with just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmigiana Reggiano – especially when it comes to tortellini.
If you must add sauce, just a small spoon is recommended.
"As Italians, we try not to cover it too much with the sauce," she explained.
"The queen is the pasta and the sauce is the tool."
And on the subject of sauce, tomato ketchup is a total no-no while choosing extra virgin olive oil – as opposed to just olive oil – and a specific type of cheese, is crucial.
"When you buy extra virgin it means they’ve pressed the olives just once and they press the pulp – the colour, flavour, nutrients and everything is better," said Antonella.
"Always buy Parmigiana Reggiano in a whole piece where you can see the crust and the stamp. Never buy it already grated, as you’ve already lost half the flavour."
And when it comes to seasoning, you'll need two types of salt – rock to place in the water while cooking and flakes to season.
Antonella also explained a few basic herbs will finish off your dish perfectly.
"The last basic is fresh herbs such as basil, thyme and chive," she said.
"I believe that when you cook with fresh herbs, [washed and chopped] roughly, your dish is already king."
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