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Whether you're from the beautiful country of Italy, or just want to master the art of Italian cooking, your first step is through pasta. There is no secret to cooking pasta except to make sure you use in abundant amount of salted water, bring to a rapid boil, and use a high quality of pasta. If using dried pasta cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. When al dente, drain and either add to the sauce or if holding for a later date, lay out on a cooking sheet or sheet pan to cool. Never shock pasta in cool water! If using fresh pasta, the cooking time will be far less.
Here are some basic cooking tips for your next pasta dish:
1. Before adding your pasta, let the water come to a full boil first. Also, to keep the noodles from sticking together, add a teaspoon of oil or butter.
2. Cook pasta at a continuous boil for even cooking, but make sure that you stir the pasta noodles continuously or they will stick to the bottom of the pan.
3. Don't rinse the pasta.
4. Don't let pasta stand in water or sit around -- serve immediately.
5. Add a little salt for flavor.