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Crumbs

Yummy food for your brood
Jun 22, 2012
10:36 AM

Cooking Tips for Absolute Beginners

Klutz in the kitchen? Never fear! Our savvy foodie mom breaks down the bare bones basics for nervous parents (and kids) with simple tips.

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Boiling Pasta

One of the easiest meals to make is pasta. To make perfect pasta every time, fill a large pot two-thirds of the way with water. The more water you have, the less likely the pasta will stick to the pan while cooking. Add one teaspoon of salt to the water for every gallon of water you have. Turn the stovetop heat to high, and place the filled pan on the burner. Let the water come to a boil before adding the pasta. Boiling water will have lots of bubbles on top and, when you stir the water, the bubbles won't go away. That's how you know it's time to put in the pasta – add one pound pasta (usually 1 box) to the boiling water and cook for about 8-12 minutes.

Stir and check the pasta as it cooks. Using a slotted spoon, remove one of the pasta pieces at eight minutes for a taste test. You should cook the pasta until it's "al dente," meaning the outside is still firm when you bite into it, but the inside is slightly soft and chewy. When the pasta is done, put a colander in the sink and pour out the pasta and the water.

Tip: Pasta doubles in size as it cooks. One cup uncooked pasta = two cups cooked pasta.

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