As with rice, there are a variety of pastas to choose from.  Pasta is not a natural ingredient and is processed in some way.  Which one is best to choose?  “Normal” white pasta is just like the white flour.  It has been bleached, it may say nutrient enriched but it is still white flour.  Whole grain will be better nutritionally for you then white.  Wheat will be even better for you, but will come with the heavier taste that some are not accustomed to.

In today’s market we have a variety of alternatives such as buckwheat noodles, and ones made from vegetables such as zucchini.  All of these may take some time to get used to but would be good for a substitute from grained pasta.

I believe moderation is the key to everything.  Don’t overload yourself on pastas each week and then you can enjoy the occasional “white” noodle without feeling guilty.  You can also mix the two types–white and wheat–to add nutritional benefits to your diet.

How to cook pasta

Fill a large pot 2/3 the way with hot water.  If you use cold, it takes your stove that much more energy to heat it.  Make sure that you don’t under fill the pot, this will make your pasta sticky. 

Turn the stove to high and heat water to a full boil stage. Keep a lid on the pot to conserve energy and to boil quicker.  Some cooks add 1 T olive oil to prevent sticking of noodles and others add 1 teaspoon of salt to bring out the flavor.  Neither are required.

After the water is boiling, add your box of pasta and stir.  Make sure to scrap the bottom so that the pasta does not stick.

After water returns to a full boil, set the timer to the recommended cooking time from your box of pasta.  You can turn down the stove just a little to prevent it from boiling over.  Do not cover the pasta as the water will boil over.  You can stir it during this cooking time.

When it nears time, use  a slotted spoon and remove one noodle from the water.  Be careful as this is hot!!  Take a bite to taste doneness. If it is chewy, let it boil for a few more minutes. 

When done, turn stove off and have your colander in the sink to drain.  Pour the pot out away from you to prevent being burned by steam and dump noodles into colander.  Use extra caution, because this is extremely hot and WILL burn you. 

Shake out the extra water from the colander, and then return noodles to the pot.  Do not put back on hot burner, or it will burn your noodles to the pan. 

Do not rinse your noodles unless you are making a cold salad dish. 

Immediately serve or cover with sauce. If the noodles are left to sit, they will get sticky.  You can prevent this by lightly tossing in olive oil.