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2023-07-07 13:50:40

15 Mistakes Most Beginners Make Cooking Pasta at Home

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So my tomatoes for this recipe to my tin of whole plum tomatoes .

I am going to add about a tablespoon or so of tomato puree .

Now , there's a reason for this .

I want that intense tomatoey flavor and sometimes these tinned tomatoes , they need a little bit of extra help .

So I'm gonna add a tablespoon or so of tomato puree or tomato paste .

If you're in the US this now all goes into a food processor and I'm gonna blitz this up .

So I get a super smooth and silky tomato sauce to this recipe .

So lid on and let's get Blitzen .

OK .

Oh A lot of noise .

And you don't have to do this step , particularly if you like chunky tomato sauces .

But this results in the silt you will ever come across .

So I have that ready to go .

My garlic is just turning that little touch golden and this is the point where you need to get it to and you don't want to go further than this .

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It's good , but it needs a touch of salt and funny enough .

You know , I know this sounds like a really obvious thing to say .

But in cooking that little bit of salt can mean all the difference between a good tasting dish and a bad tasting dish .

So make sure you check your seasoning as you go .

This is good to go .

At this point , I'm gonna turn off the heat on my pasta which is cooked and now it's just a case of getting this all involved in the one pan .

Grab up that pasta , transfer it straight into that hot sauce .

A lot of people wonder what that point of difference is from really good pasta dishes .

And often enough it comes down to well seasoned pasta , but also the use of a little bit of that starchy pasta water .

And that's why in this case , I'm not draining the pasta .

I'm taking it from one pot to the next , taking in a little bit of that starchy water alongside .

It will , will be the difference .

Give it all a good toss .

You want to get that tomato sauce involved .

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Look at that only a few minutes and you have pasta beauty all in one pan .

Really gorgeous .

Oh , yeah .

Oh , baby .

Oh , yes .

That is looking fantastic .

Right .

Let's serve this up .

This looks really , really wonderful now and all you got to do is stick this straight into your plate .

I mean , you need no more and the brilliant thing about this is just how few ingredients it takes to create beautiful pasta perfection a done in minutes in the time it takes to cook the pasta and then a last little touch of pecorino just over the top .

Give it a swirl on your fork .

Get it coated .

Have a little moment .

Feel a little bit romantic .

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One of the first pasta sauces I ever learned to make and one that I come back to time and time again , if you have never made any pasta recipes before , this is the one to start with .

It's the sort of basis of some great Italian cookery and it is so , so delicious .

Best of all , you can make it in minutes and you probably already have the ingredients in your store cupboard .

So go try this recipe .

I will leave a link in the box below which will bring you to my website where all the details are there .

Of course , let me know what you think of this fantastically simple little recipe .

And what is the first thing you've ever cooked ?

I'd love to know if it was a pasta dish like this .

Click that like button .

Share this with a friend who loves pasta and of course , subscribe to this channel for lots more delicious recipes just like this one .

Until then my friends see you soon .

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So you don't want a ton of extra ingredients in there and you don't want to see regular wheat flour .

That's a good sign that your pasta is no good .

Tip number two is developing layers of flavor .

When you're trying to make a really good pasta , you can't just dump everything in and cook it down and think it's gonna be tasty .

You have to focus on each layer , building off of the last layer , think about it like blocks .

We have the first layer which is the onions and the garlic , which are gonna require their own technique .

Then of course , building on top of that , we have the tomatoes which require their own amount of time to develop flavor .

Then the final block , the final layer of flavor is the cheese and the herbs to really bring the pasta dish together .

Really the only prep for this entire pasta dish is taking care of your veggies .

So I've got an onion here .

I'm gonna slice this in half and I'm gonna cut little dic .

So I just go down the onion like this , turn it and then cut it the other way , really simple .

And then for the garlic , I'm using two cloves of garlic .

Totally a preference thing .

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Pastor pastor , pastor a

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So three parts water to one part pasta because that pasta is really going to expand when it cooks and you don't want it expanding over the water line .

All right .

So we're ready to cook our sauce .

And tip number four is getting the right amount of oil or fat in your pan do not skimp out on this step .

If you go to Italy , you'll see when they're making pasta they load in that olive oil because olive oil isn't that bad for you .

It's just press , it's like olive juice basically .

But we have a thing , at least in the US against fats , we're scared of fats .

But if you don't use enough fat in your dish , you're not gonna properly be able to caramelize your onions .

You're gonna either burn them or they're gonna dry out and it's no good with your pan on a medium heat .

You're gonna add in your onions , your garlic and your chilies , and you're just gonna slowly start cooking them in that oil .

And you can see right there all of those ingredients , they're , they're swimming in the olive oil , there's plenty of olive oil there .

So they're nice lubricated .

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You're basically cone your onions .

It's a slow cooking process in that oil first going to sweat , they're gonna get translucent and then over time , the sugars and the onions are going to caramelize and they're going to turn a darker color but not a burning .

It takes time to get to that level and that's where we are developing a layer of flavor .

The sweetness that you're bringing out in all of these aromatics are really going to enhance your overall sauce .

So now that your aromatics are slowly cooking away .

Tip number six is adding the proper amount of salt .

So we're adding the salt to the aromatics and we're seasoning this layer of flavor right here in our sauce .

We're also gonna add some salt to the pasta water .

And this is a classic debate .

Do you add salt to your pasta water ?

I find that it's great because it's going to add a layer of flavor to your actual noodles .

So really just add a few pinches of salt to your water and you'll be good to go .

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Here we go every time I pop one of these open .

Oh the freshness .

Ah So tip number seven is intensifying your flavor .

If you look at the tomato sauce right here , it's super watery , which actually isn't a bad thing because we're gonna reduce that over time .

As we reduce the sauce , the water cooks out and it intensifies the flavor of the sauce and also gives it time to develop the flavors for everything to meld together .

So my tomatoes naturally had a lot of liquid in there .

But if the tomatoes you buy from the store , if they don't have a lot of liquid , you can always add a cup of water .

So you have room there to reduce your sauce .

I'm just keeping the sauce on a nice low simmer .

You can see those bubbles just bubbling away .

We're not boiling the sauce but there's definitely some action there .

So just keep it even .

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And if you want to at this point , you can mash up your sauce a little more .

That's another bonus tip .

The consistency is completely up to you .

If you wanna blend your sauce , if you want it super creamy , that's totally fine .

I like my sauce a little chunkier .

But as it cooks , those tomatoes are gonna continue to break down and get a little smoother with .

So at this point , I add in some dried oregano because oregano can handle a longer cook time .

It's gonna infuse over time .

Whereas the more delicate herbs like basil , I'm gonna save that for later on to just perfume the dish .

Now that the pasta sauce is cooking away .

Tip number eight is adding more to your pasta and this isn't necessarily traditional .

If you go to Italy , generally a marinara type sauce is really simple , but you can always add extra veggies or meat to really bulk it up .

And what I like doing is just taking some fresh greens .

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In this case , I have some spinach , but you can use kale or charred , whatever you have .

And I just give them a quick blanch in the boiling pasta water just for about 30 seconds to a minute , which is going to take out a bit of the bitterness , but it's still going to retain a lot of the freshness of the greens .

And then I'll just put those right into an ice bath and reserve those for once the sauce is done .

So tip number nine is getting that timing down between the noodles going into the sauce .

So right now , the sauce is cooking away and when I look at it , there's still little more liquid to be reduced .

So it's gonna take around 10 minutes and the box of pasta it says about 8 to 10 minutes to cook .

Now , I don't recommend going exactly off the box of pasta .

It's always best to taste it to see if it's done .

But the instructions will definitely give you a rough estimate .

So I'm gonna dump in all of the pasta to the boiling water knowing that it's gonna take around 10 minutes before it goes into the sauce .

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Now that our noodles are on the heat , we've got time to really refine our sauce and get it perfect .

And tip number 10 is keeping all of the seasonings in mind .

So I'm gonna add just a little bit of salt at this point because it's reduced .

I can confidently add salt knowing that it's not gonna get that much saltier from the reduction process .

But remember we are adding the Parmesan cheese to this .

So that's going to add another layer of saltiness .

So I'm not adding too much , just a taste .

So our noodles are boiling away there looking really good .

You can see timing is pretty good .

We aren't quite there .

It's still a little liquidy , but you can already tell that it's transformed a bit .

It's starting to get more saucy .

You see that we want one consistent sauce texture .

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So our noodles have expanded .

They're , they're looking good .

They're just about done .

But how do we actually know when to put them in the sauce ?

You always hear that term ?

Al Dente .

Everyone wants their noodles .

Al Dente .

But what does that actually mean ?

Is the question ?

Well , I've got a trick that I find works great .

So , pull out one of your noodles from your pasta water and make sure it's cool enough to just give it a bite .

And if you see a little bit of starch in your noodle , that means your noodles are not cooked through .

Now , I find that the perfect time to pull your noodles is when you bite into that noodle and you don't see that starchy ring on the inside , it's completely cooked through , but there's still some chew to your noodle .

It's not completely soft .

That to me is the perfect time to put your noodles into your sauce .

All right , we're gonna give it a final test right here .

Bite into this .

There you go .

The inner white starch is completely gone .

So it's cooked through , but it's still al dente .

It's just a little tough .

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It's not completely tender , which is the perfect time to add to our sauce .

Now , the reason we put our noodles into the sauce just a little early is tip number 12 .

Probably the number one thing people screw up on making homemade pasta , which is they don't infuse the noodle with the sauce , you're trying to bring these two elements together .

So they become one and a lot of people just put cooked noodles into the sauce and they think it's done .

But by putting the noodle and just before they're fully cooked , it gives us time to really cook the sauce into the noodles .

So we're just gonna keep cooking that on a nice low heat and just stirring that and stirring that until the sauce infuses .

See right here is where most people stop .

When it comes to pasta , they put it in there , they think it's done .

But you can see these noodles , they're , they're not even coated .

The sauce slips right off .

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So you can see in the next few minutes all of that sauce , all that liquid that's going to thicken up with the pasta water , the starchiness of the noodles and incorporate and become one with the pasta , which brings us to tip number 13 .

That starchy water .

That is your friend .

All of the water that's coming off your noodles .

It's loaded with starch and when it heats up , it's gonna thicken up that sauce .

So just keep stirring on a low heat and eventually your sauce is gonna get nice and thick from all of that starch .

Our pasta is looking great and the final step is to add that last layer of flavor , which is some delicious salty Parmesan cheese , plus a little bit of fresh basil .

And at this point the basil is really just there to perfume the entire dish .

You're not trying to overcook the basil .

It's very delicate .

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So you just want to stir that in for another , in it and you are ready to go .

But if you taste your pasta at this point and you still think it's a little under , it's a little chewy tip .

Number 14 is just pop a lid on your pasta and just let it sit there for a few minutes and the residual heat and all of that steam is going to continue to cook that pasta and just get it perfectly tender .

There you go .

You've got all the tips to make incredible pasta at home .

Actually , one more tip , one more tip , make sure you make a deal beforehand with whoever you're cooking for , whether it be your partner , your friends , your family , let them clean .

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If you're doing the cooking , work that out beforehand because pasta can be a bit messy between the noodles and the sauce and you're going to have a much more enjoyable time knowing that you can just eat your meal in peace and they have to , I always find that those types of deals are pretty easy to make , especially now now that you have these new tips , your , your pasta game is going to be so strong that they , they'll clean .

No problem , believe me .

So make sure you follow me at life by Mike G on Instagram .

If you want more behind the scenes action , all the recipe testing that goes into these videos and let me know below what you want to see next .

What do you want me to break down in the next one ?

Dish breakdown ?


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