just when you thought you had that whole pasta cookery down

You went and ate pasta somewhere and the noodles had this great, firm texture that blew you away. Guess what: you can’t get that texture without being careful about how you cook the pasta.
No one wants you to chip a tooth. There’s overcooked mush (typically what we get) and way undercooked. Somewhere in between is al dente.
While I’ve mostly done it high and hot like this:

it makes a lot more sense to do it slower and lower like this

Starches are tightly bound molecules that start to unravel in this cooking process. The higher the heat, the longer the soak, the mushier the noodle. If you cook spaghetti at a rolling boil, yes it will cook faster, but I bet you’ll almost always overcook it. How many people do you know will actually stand there and babysit the pot? And you know it keeps cooking when you remove it from water, doing so at a higher rate when it’s hotter. Try cooking it slower and lower, and check out this link from the Food Lab. Hint: you keep things from sticking in the first couple of minutes not at the end.


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