Skip to main content

How to Cook Pasta Al Dente

It’s an evening of wining and dining and you want your meal to come out perfect. Whether a side dish or main course, please your crowd with pasta al dente.


  • Step 1: Fill pot with water Fill a large pot with water – five quarts for every pound of noodles.
  • Step 2: Add salt and boil Add a tablespoon or two of salt per every five quarts – depending on what your personal diet allows – and bring the water to a boil.
  • Step 3: Put pasta in water Put the pasta in the boiling water and twirl with the tongs a few times in the first few minutes of cooking.
  • TIP: Twirling the pasta with tongs separates the noodles and eliminates the need for oil in the water.
  • Step 4: Do a taste test after five minutes Refer to package instructions for how long to cook – it depends on the amount of pasta – but after about five minutes, do a taste test. If you bite into the noodle and see a white starchy line, it needs another few minutes.
  • Step 5: Try second taste test Try a second taste test about two minutes later. The noodles should be firm on the outside and soft on the inside.
  • Step 6: Drain pasta Use a colander to drain the pasta. Transfer to a bowl, toss with sauce, and bon appétit.
  • FACT: Al dente pasta is better for people with diabetes: sugars are broken down differently in well-done pasta, elevating bad blood sugar levels.

You Will Need

  • An 8-quart pot
  • 5 qts. water
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 1 lb. pasta
  • Tongs
  • Timer
  • Colander

Popular Categories