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Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:58 AM

Confession: I HATE Pasta Cooked "al dente"

When I was a child, and I first heard the term "al dente", I knew exactly what it meant, because that's just how I liked pasta. With a little resistance, almost a crunch, when I bit down. But not any more. These days it's fully cooked or bust. Not soggy, but easy to chew. When I boil pasta I look at the recommended cooking time on the box and add a couple of minutes. When cooking from a Giada recipe I sometimes need to add several minutes (she really likes pasta al dente).

The term "al dente" is everywhere there is any mention of pasta, it seems, and I just want to say: I OBJECT! Pfft!

12 replies, 2008 views

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Confession: I HATE Pasta Cooked "al dente" (Original post)
LancetChick Dec 2012 OP
Warpy Dec 2012 #1
SoapBox Dec 2012 #2
Laurian Dec 2012 #3
Tab Dec 2012 #10
LeftofObama Dec 2012 #4
TreasonousBastard Dec 2012 #5
LancetChick Dec 2012 #7
SoapBox Dec 2012 #11
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #6
bif Dec 2012 #8
Lugnut Dec 2012 #9
A Simple Game Jan 2013 #12

Response to LancetChick (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 01:52 PM

1. Some people think "al dente" means it aint cooked in the middle

I think these people are wrong. I like my pasta thoroughly cooked, but not to the mushy state of, say, canned spaghetti. I like to know I'm eating pasta and not cream of wheat.

Timing pasta at this altitude can be a little dicey, especially when it's non wheat pasta, because water boils at 200F and everything tends to take a bit longer.

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Response to LancetChick (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 03:30 PM

2. ROFL!

Last edited Sun Dec 23, 2012, 12:06 AM - Edit history (1)

Us too!!!!!!!

No way to the "al dente" stuff...I choke and gag, when I hear all the "cooking talking-heads" on Food Network, etc. saying
to remove the pasta BEFORE the cooking time is up.

Uh....NO!

I've had it "to the bite" in restaurants and hate it.

LOVE you bringing this up.

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Response to LancetChick (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:14 PM

3. I'm with you! I like some of the sauce to be absorbed by the pasta,

not just coat the outside of it. I guess I just don't have a sophisticated palate.

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Response to Laurian (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:20 PM

10. The more common reasons for this

are:
1) pasta was coated with oil in the water (and thus repels infusion of sauce) or
2) Left to rinse, and cooled off, before being introduced to the sauce; what happens is that the pasta closes over and doesn't accept the sauce.

For best results, no oil in the water (pasta shouldnt stick if you stir it properly), and then drain it (don't run it under cold water) the within the first minute introduce it to the sauce and stir it well enough that it's fully covered.

Otherwise, in either case, the sauce just slides off the pasta.

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Response to LancetChick (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:10 PM

4. I'm with you!

Box time + a couple of minutes.

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Response to LancetChick (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:14 PM

5. Me too. The way some talk, you might think...

it's best straight out of the box like a cracker. The Chinese invented noodles 3,000 years before there was an Italy, and they like 'em well cooked.

"Al dente" is Italian for "sticks in the teeth."

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:51 PM

7. Glad to hear I'm not the only one!

Al dente is Italian for sticks in the teeth.


LOL! That's so true!

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 12:08 AM

11. LOL...

So true.

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Response to LancetChick (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:50 PM

6. The reason you cook pasta al dente is so that it's done by the time it hits the plate

Pasta will continue to cook even after you remove it from the water and if you toss it immediately after draining with a hot sauce (which you should), it will continue to cook even more. If you cook pasta until it is done throughout in the pot, it will be overly done once it is served.

To test the pasta, what I do is take a piece out of the pot, cut it, and the cross section will reveal how close to being done it is.

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Response to LancetChick (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:52 PM

8. I totally agree!

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Response to LancetChick (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 02:07 AM

9. I like my pasta cooked.

I cut into a piece of pasta to see if the middle is done. If it's not I boil the stuff longer. I want to eat pasta - not choke on it.

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Response to LancetChick (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:06 PM

12. If I want something crunchy with my spaghetti, I'll make some nice crusty garlic bread. n/t

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