DIY: How to Make Your Own Spaghetti

mmm...yummy...but only if you cook it right :)
mmm...yummy...but only if you cook it right :)

Spaghetti – or pasta – has been one of the world’s most popular dishes to date. There are always people out there that want to have spaghetti for their meals. Unfortunately, not all places may serve it the same way. As a result, if you are a spaghetti or pasta lover as well, you may not feel satisfied for what is served for you. Therefore, knowing how to make your own pasta or spaghetti may turn out handy. After all, it’s a pleasant thing to do.

Spaghetti Cooking Prerequisites

However, before you start cooking your own spaghetti, there are quite a few things you have to keep in mind. First, you need to boil it until it becomes soft. Unfortunately, most people usually miss it and they end up overcooking it or getting it stuck in a clump. The next thing is, of course, paying attention to the spaghetti cooking steps below.

Get Some Quality Spaghetti

So, to start with, you need to obtain a good – if not high – quality spaghetti. One with Italian brand or one that is made of 100% semolina is recommended. Afterwards, you will have to boil a large pot of water. However, if you are about to cook dry spaghetti, you will have to use a quarter of water for each ½ pound of the dry spaghetti. In addition to that, you will also need 500 ml of water at least for a hundred grams of the dry spaghetti. Keep in mind that the water shouldn’t be much less compared to the spaghetti otherwise it will stick to altogether. Yet, if you are cooking fresh instead of dry spaghetti, it is usually alright to use 300 ml of water for a hundred grams of spaghetti.

When to Put It Into the Water

To prepare a good dish of spaghetti, you need to know when to put it into the water. Do it when the water starts boiling. Additionally, you also need to consider the length of the spaghetti and the width of the cooking pot you are using. There are chances that the spaghetti is longer than the pot, in which case the spaghetti becomes undercooked at one end while overcooked at the other end.

Undercooked or Overcooked – How to Avoid

Fortunately, you can avoid this situation by doing the following things. First, you can break the spaghetti so that it turns into shorter pieces. You can do this by taking a handful of it and bend it. Or second, you can try putting the whole length of the spaghetti into the cooking pot as fast as you can. You can do this by forming a bundle of the spaghetti you want to cook. This way, you can hold one end of the bundle while inserting the other end into the boiling water.

After that, you can gently press the bundle on its dry end. This is to soften the spaghetti in the boiling water as you put the rest of it into the water. Needless to say, you will need to use a wooden spoon or fork to accomplish this step once the spaghetti has gotten all into the boiling water. What’s nice about this step is that it normally takes just around a minute and the spaghetti will keep its traditional long form.

Simmering

Now that the spaghetti is in the boiling water, decreasing the heat level will be a good idea as to boil it slowly. Some people call this process ‘simmering’. But what could possibly happen if you don’t decrease the heat? Well, you will get a dish of spaghetti that has a mushy texture. Believe me, you’re not likely to enjoy eating it.

Do You Really Need Salt?

In some occasions, you may add salt to the boiling water as well. This is because salt is usually lost at the time you drain the water – well, unless you add too much salt. While most people don’t usually feel necessary to add salt, most Italians do. Well, perhaps this is what makes Italian dishes of spaghetti taste better than the rest other. However, it’s for you to decide whether to add salt or not.

The Use of Olive Oil

Putting in olive oil to the boiling water may prevent the spaghetti from sticking to one another. In this case, you will need at least half a cup or around 100 ml. Yet, if you try to stick to what is mentioned in this article, this shouldn’t be too necessary after all.

While cooking the spaghetti, you need to stir it gently by means of a wooden spoon or the likes within about each minute or so. This is meant to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of your cooking pot.

If it is dry spaghetti that you are trying to cook, you will have to be patient for about ten minutes, unless the brand of spaghetti you have bought specifically mentions the cooking time required.

In the latter case, you need to check the readiness of the spaghetti about 2 minutes prior to the cooking time. To do this, try separating a single strand of the spaghetti – you can do this with a fork – and try biting it. If you think it is still quite hard to bite, you may wait for another 30 to 60 seconds before trying again. You ought to repeat this step until the spaghetti reaches the firmness you desire. Well, there is one thing you should note here. Prior to biting the spaghetti to try it, it is recommended that you put it in some cold water so that you won’t get yourself or tongue burnt.

How Do You Want It Cooked?

Just for your information, people may have different taste on how they want their spaghetti served. Some may prefer mushy or overcooked spaghetti, some others may prefer hard or undercooked spaghetti, and the others may prefer that the spaghetti is thoroughly cooked and soft. Nevertheless, the ideal way of cooking it is in fact to stop cooking it just when it is about to get thoroughly cooked. This way, the center will be slightly firm and the outside will be chewy. Pasta lovers in Italy will refer to this sort of spaghetti as ‘al dente’ which often turns out to be their favorite.

Is It Fact or Fiction?

You may have also heard of a misassumption that people often talk about. Keep in mind that checking the readiness of the spaghetti by throwing it against the wall is not something you are supposed to do at all.

Optional Steps

Now that your spaghetti is ready, there are three options for you to choose. First, if you want to mix it with a sauce, you need to do it fast before the dish of spaghetti gets cold and sticks to one another. Second, if you are planning to separate it from the sauce, you need to put the dish of spaghetti back to the cooking pot – but don’t forget to empty and clean it in advance. Then, you need about 40 ml or 1 tablespoonful of olive oil for every hundred grams of the dry spaghetti. Vegetable oil can also be used in place of the olive oil. Then, you need to stir the oil into the cooked spaghetti gently yet quickly. That way, the oil will coat the spaghetti before it sticks together.

Another option is available if you want to reheat the spaghetti at a later time. In this case, you can put the spaghetti into a strainer. Then, you need to rinse it right away and you need to do it thoroughly with the help of cold water. Do this and the dissolved starch will be washed off the spaghetti and it will not clump to one another.

Last But Not Least

Last thing you can keep in mind is that you can do the steps mentioned to you for any recipes of spaghetti or pasta you can think of.

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