Greetings, Blog Friends.
I recently was so busy around the inn one day that I had neglected lunch. Innkeepers need their carbs so I brainstormed "just some pasta" for my mid-day meal. During this I realized that "even pasta" has its finer points of cooking---easy steps to really make pasta "rock it out" (insert rocker hand signal here). LOL.
Some helpful tips from an inn chef:
1). Always cook pasta (or rice) in a flavored stock (chicken, vegetarian, etc.) Pasta cooks by "sucking up" boiling water. Why not let it suck up some flavor?!
2). After the pasta has cooked and well drained (hard for sauce to adhere to water), heat the sauce you will be using (slightly spicy marinara, decadent Alfredo, spitfire Diablo, etc.) and then add the pasta TO THE SAUCE, simmering for 1-2 minutes. Using a set of tongs, fold the pasta INTO the sauce as it cooks. Let set a moment before plating (I'm a guy--I like pasta in a big ole' bowl). Make sure the sauce to pasta ratio isn't a dry one.
3). Prepare your sauce in advance and heat up on a simmer while the pasta is finishing cooking (leave enough room for the pasta being added to it--see Step 2). Sauce flavors develop while sitting---a stored freezer tomato sauce from last Summer's tomatoes is sublime!!)
Hope these tips help. Thanks for reading.
Keith A. Neubert
Innkeeper-Chef, The Inn at Long Lake