Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Mambo Italiano

I have a confession to make. I have been cooking my pasta the wrong way my entire life. And although I knew this a long time ago, still, out of sheer ignorance I persisted to serve my pasta separate from the sauce. You know, put your pasta in the plate and then pour the sauce on top and later mix it. That is totally wrong. So, do not take after me.

You see, when it comes to boiling your pasta, the Italian way is to season the water well with salt. Never ever add oil to the water. A true Italian would be offended if he/she sees this. The trick is to stir and comb the pasta every now and again with a fork to avoid clumping. What's the rationale behind this? Well, the Italians never drain their pasta too long as this will cause the starch on the surface of the pasta to bind to one another and form a tangling clump no matter how much oil you poured. It is better to save the oil for the sauce and for the garnish.

So how do the Italians do it? Think Char Kuay Teow!! First, there are two important elements of a pasta dish; the pasta of choice and the sauce. Cook your sauce the way you like while boiling your pasta. You want your sauce ready before the pasta is, otherwise your pasta will be overcooked. Once the pasta is ready (al dente), QUICKLY drain your pasta and put them straightaway into your simmering sauce. Do not wait even for a second because you want the pasta to stay moist and hot while it sucks in the goodness from the sauce the way a Japanese would eat his ramen. Slurrpp!! Fold the sauce in and mix it well. Garnish with good quality olive oil, grated cheese or truffle and some herbs. Serve immediately in a large platter or straight from the pan and into your plate. If you are expecting guests, have the ingredients ready and start cooking 10-15 minutes minutes prior.

Shown above: From the pan and into the plate. See how shiny and glossy it is. Glides like silk the second it touches your lips.


  1. "You see, when it comes to pasta, the Italian way is to season the water well with salt. Never ever add oil to the water. A true Italian would be offended if he/she sees this."

    kak, i always add both salt and oil for seasoning n to avoid clumping respectively. wonder if the oil affects the taste. kadang2 bila simpan lama skit dia mcm jadi tak elok mcm melekit2. is it because of the oil, u think? nice blog btw. so informative n interesting. love it :)

  2. hmmm..akak pun selalu buat mcm tu salah tu..hmm i dun think the oil add flavour to the garam tu mmg add flavour,akak suka ratah pasta yg ade rs masin2 sikit..

    pasal simpan pasta yg dah masak tu pun dah salah by principle..pasta yg dimasak patut dicampur terus dlm sauce..and eat it straight melekit tu maybe from the oil and the starch..

  3. samaaaa, ratah yg ada rasa masin2 skit. sometimes tade keje just nk ratah tu je dgn cheese :p oh yeah, akak ade ckp tu gak. slalu mcm masak byk2 n asingkan kuah from the pasta n biar je tu yg melekit kalau lama sgt for a certain period of time. ok, lessons learned :)

  4. maybe later fatin akn pandai agak how much pasta to cook for a certain amount of sauce..maybe agak by number of people..that way xdela membazir..


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