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Top tips on how to cook pasta

Great tips on how to cook your spaghetti the right way and 5 amazing recipes.

17 Jan 2013
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Spaghetti is one of my favourite forms of pasta. So humble yet can be transformed into something quite special.

Spaghetti bolognaise is my ultimate go to dish when I feel like something comforting.

I love this dish so much that I created a healthy summery “spag bol” a few years ago. It goes down a treat especially in the warmer months.

Ways to lighten up your pasta dishes:

1. There are fantastic whole-wheat and gluten free options available (Pick n Pay and Woolworths have them).

2. Try a Napolitana or Arrabiata sauce with Parmesan cheese and a good drizzle of grassy extra virgin olive oil.

3. Keep flavours simple with good olive oil, infused olive oils, lemon and herbs.

4. Toss with some shredded ready roasted chicken or smoked salmon. Try seafood, fried chorizo or simply buttery garlic mushrooms.

5. Use good quality shop-bought pesto or make your own.

6. Most importantly, prepare the spaghetti (or other pasta) correctly – it makes all the difference. See my top tips below.

Quick tips on how to cook spaghetti correctly:

- You don’t need to add oil to the boiling water to prevent sticking (this is a myth): For even-cooking and to prevent sticking simply cook in a large pot with lots of boiling water, allowing the spaghetti lots of room to swim around in.

- Remember to add lots of salt to the boiling water - it needs to be as salty as the sea. This really does take the overall flavour to another level.

- Cook pasta 'al dente', meaning, 'to the tooth' in Italian - cooked through but firm, giving a bit of resistance when biting into it. There’s nothing worse than soggy, pap spaghetti!

- According to the American Diabetes Association 'al dent'e pasta has a lower Glycemic Index than when cooked soft (I find that so interesting).

- For saucy dishes, never rinse the pasta. The remaining starch helps the sauce to cling to the pasta.

- For a light pasta dish with little/no sauce, rinse slightly and drizzle with olive oil.

5 light and lush ways with spaghetti:

Lemon, rocket and Parmesan spaghetti - So fresh and light, perfect for a hot summers eve.

Seafood spaghettini - Filled with gorgeous seafood and a tomato, garlic and white wine sauce.

Roast chicken lemon and herb - Sit down with a lovey glass of Sauvignon Blance and enjoy.

Salmon, cucumber and crème fraiche - A lighter salmon dish with summer freshness.

Pesto chorizo and tomato spaghettini
- Bold flavours for a seriously tasty meal.


Follow Carey on Twitter - @bitsofcarey and she is a contributor to Crush Magazine Online.

- Carey Boucher-Erasmus


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