Cooking pasta is, in essence, very easy, once we have overcome the most common mistakes that prevent us from enjoying it as it deserves. If you already master the keys to cooking, you will know that you should never rinse cooked pasta with water when draining it, but there is actually a exception that proves the rulevery useful in summer.
Rinsing the pasta does not make sense in most preparations to eat it hot. With that we would only be removing starch that recurs it, losing texture and flavor, and we could even break it if they are small pieces and the tap comes out with excess pressure. And, obviously, we would be cooling a food that we supposedly want to eat hot.
There are those who rinse the pasta thinking of cutting the cooking to keep it al dente, but it is not the most effective method. So that it does not overdo it, as we already know, you have to cook it in boiling water with force, control the time and add it quickly to the sauce that must already be prepared. Pasta waits for no one.
unless we want take it cold. In Italy they usually refer to pasta salads precisely as fredda pasta, and it is a very typical and familiar resource to eat well, without complications, when the heat is at its worst or you are on vacation. The idea is that it is a plate lightfresh, tasty and that can be prepared in advance to also withstand transport well.
Just like in a rice salad, we want the pasta to remain loose, with a certain firmness in the bite, avoiding rubbery textures sticky. For this, it is necessary, now, to cool it as soon as possible.
Once cooked to its point, just al dente or leaving a softer texture (be careful not to leave it very little done or it will harden more when it cools), you have to drain it well from the cooking water and rinse it under cold water very quickly, stirring briskly for a few seconds before draining it again and spreading it out on a clean, absorbent kitchen towel that does not release thread or lint.
Cold water quickly stops cooking and removes excess starch
It is the same system of cooling sushi rice, since by distributing the pasta in a single layer, a faster cooling is achieved. If we left it in a pile or put it directly into a salad bowl, the accumulated residual heat would continue cooking. If the running water does not come out fresh, we can have a large bowl of chilled water from the fridge, even with ice.
Lékué Silicone Strainer, Green, 23 cm
Rinsing it before spreading it is a step that experts recommend like the popularizer Anna Mayer or the portal Italian cuisine, where they warn that letting the pasta cool down without further ado is a common mistake that makes it dry and soggy. Another frequent mistake is to use pasta of dubious quality or mix it with heavy sauces or aggressive vinaigrettes as if it were a salad, but that is another story.
Images | Mark Verch
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