Cooking pasta might seem simple, but getting it just right can be tricky. No one likes pasta that’s too underdone or mushy, and it can be frustrating to get it perfect every time. Luckily, there are some easy tips and tricks that can help you master that perfect al dente bite each and every time.

A woman cooking in a kitchen, lifting spaghetti from a red pot using wooden utensils. Various ingredients are visible on the counter.
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Use Plenty of Water

A bundle of spaghetti is boiling in a pot of water on a stovetop.
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Always use a large pot with lots of water when cooking pasta. This gives the pasta room to move freely and prevents it from sticking together.

Salt the Water Generously

A person sprinkles salt into a pot on the stove, with vegetables and a jar of uncooked pasta in the background.
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Add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta. The water should taste like the sea, which helps to enhance the flavor of the pasta as it cooks.

Wait for a Rolling Boil

A hand holding uncooked spaghetti over a pot of boiling water on a stovetop, ready to be added to the pot.
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Make sure the water is at a rolling boil before adding the pasta. This helps the pasta cook evenly and prevents it from getting mushy.

Stir Occasionally

A woman stirs a pot on an induction stove in a bright kitchen. There are jars of pasta and spices on the counter, and she is wearing a blue shirt and apron, with her hair down.
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Stir the pasta occasionally while it cooks to prevent it from sticking to the pot and to itself. This is especially important in the first few minutes of cooking.

Follow Package Directions (but Test Early)

A person using a spatula to stir boiling water with pasta in a pot on the stove. Steam is rising from the pot.
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Check the package for cooking times, but start testing the pasta a minute or two before the recommended time. You want it to be al dente, firm to the bite, for the perfect texture.

Don’t Rinse the Pasta

A person rinses cooked pasta in a colander under running water in a kitchen sink.
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After draining, don’t rinse the pasta. Rinsing removes the starchy coating that helps the sauce cling better to the pasta.

Reserve Pasta Water

A steaming pot with boiling water and foam, with a metal colander insert and black handles on either side, sits on a kitchen stove.
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Before draining the pasta, reserve a cup of the starchy cooking water. Adding this to your sauce helps thicken it and makes it cling to the pasta. In fact, this is how you make the entire sauce for cacio e pepe — an absolute classic that’s so incredibly satisfying and couldn’t be easier!

Finish Cooking in the Sauce

Close-up of spaghetti in a rich, red tomato sauce. The pasta is intertwined and coated in the vibrant sauce, creating a visually appetizing dish.
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For the best flavor, finish cooking your pasta in the sauce for the last couple of minutes. This allows the pasta to absorb some of the sauce and enhances the overall dish.

Use a Large Enough Pot

A stainless steel stock pot with a lid sits on a stovetop.
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Always use a large pot to give your pasta enough space to cook evenly. Crowding the pasta can cause it to stick together and cook unevenly.

Serve Immediately

A person serving fettuccine pasta with tongs onto a bowl at a table set with various dishes, including salad and wine glasses.
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Pasta is best served right after cooking. If you have to wait, toss it with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking and keep it covered to maintain its texture and warmth.

How to Repurpose Coffee Grinds in 11 Surprising Ways

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Most of us just toss out our coffee grinds after brewing a pot, but those leftovers have more uses than you might expect. From gardening hacks to home remedies, coffee grinds can be repurposed in several surprising and effective ways. Discover ten innovative methods to give your used coffee grinds a second life. Before you throw them in the trash tomorrow morning, consider these clever alternatives that can help you make the most out of your morning brew’s byproduct.

Read it Here: How to Repurpose Coffee Grinds in 11 Surprising Ways

Save Big and Eat Better by DIYing These 15 Foods

A woman with blue and purple hair tasting food from a pot in a kitchen, holding a wooden spoon and lifting a pot lid.
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Are you tired of spending a fortune on grocery bills for foods you could easily make at home? It’s time to take back control of your kitchen and your budget. By DIYing these 15 staple foods, not only will you cut costs, but you’ll also enjoy fresher, tastier versions of your favorites. Let’s get into which foods to start with and how you can easily make them yourself.

Read it Here: Save Big and Eat Better by DIYing These 15 Foods

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Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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