When I was younger, I didn’t understand the point of boiling things properly. I just threw the pasta in with the water and brought it to a boil that way. Now that I’m older and more experienced, I can see (and taste!) the difference. Sure, I still sometimes forget and put the pasta in a little prematurely…but for the most part, I’ve become far more patient. For the rest of you, Jessica from Army Wife to Suburban Life is here to discuss a few tricks for making her favorite pasta.
We didn’t have eggs, bagels, or cereal; we had pasta for breakfast. Since pasta carbonara has eggs and bacon in it, it still counts as a traditional breakfast item, right? Dottie spilled her entire first bowl on the floor. Our dog, George really enjoyed it. My favorite thing about pasta carbonara is I can make it from start to finish in 20 minutes. If you want to have an more authentic carbonara use chopped pancetta instead of bacon. This morning I preferred the larger pieces of bacon over the tiny cubes of pancetta in the freezer. I always like to add something green to a finished pasta dish. Since we don’t have any fresh herbs on hand, I went into the freezer and pulled out some preserved garlic chives from the garden. I never go without fresh herbs, even in the dead of winter. Anyone can make pasta carbonara, however, making extraordinary pasta carbonara takes a few tricks.
Making perfect pasta every time is easy if you remember these little tips.
- Start with really good pasta. Even though I’m a thrifty shopper I will never compromise the quality of pasta, or any other main ingredient in a dish. I love deCecco pasta, it’s taste and texture is superior to any other brand I’ve tried. Your food will only be as good as it’s ingredients. Tweet this.
- Save your Parmesan rind. In addition to salt, season your pasta water with leftover Parmesan rinds. I heard on the radio that you can give them to your dog too. I guess cheese rinds are supposed to be good for them?
- Thoroughly salt your water. It should taste like ocean water. A little pinch will not do.
- Stir your pasta within the first 30 seconds of cooking. Unless you want one sticky pasta glob, be sure it give each strand a fighting chance and stir every 3-4 minutes.
- Never drain your pasta without saving some pasta water. This starchy water binds the pasta to the sauce, and keeps your pasta dish from drying out.
- If it’s not al dente, it’s overcooked. Pasta is supposed to be cooked until it has a little bite or al dente, “to the tooth.” The pasta is supposed to finish cooking in the sauce. Pasta carbonara is the exception to this rule. If we finish cooking pasta in the sauce we will end up with scrambled eggs!
Once I started adding Parmesan rinds and more salt to the water, I noticed an instant improvement in the flavor of my food. While I love going out to restaurants, following these little tips gives us a heightened dining experience and saves us money. If I could wear pajamas in public, I wouldn’t try so hard at making good food at home. The truth is I have a hard time getting out when it’s below sixty five degrees. Remember the pasta tips I shared for every Italian dish. Don’t miss the bonus at the bottom of the post.
You’ll find another picture below this paragraph. The stark white background of the photo camouflages it into the site. I’ll remember that next time!
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An ode to Fort Drum, NY and Wal-Mart. How I miss thee…
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