Pasta Disaster!

Pasta Disaster

By C. Wilson

Italian Pasta Disaster


Introduction to Pasta Disaster!

There are a number of common stereotypes in Italy concerning various facets of British food in general, but the one which is guaranteed to generate the greatest hilarity is the way some of us Brits cook pasta!

Italian Speciality & Coloured Pasta

This is mainly fuelled by Italian language students who’ve stayed with British families that gleefully and sadistically convey stories of disasters to horrified friends who are just about to set off themselves.

How we go wrong?

They include cooking a mountain of pasta in a tiny saucepan; switching the heat off after the recommended time but leaving the it in the hot water or even bringing the pan, complete with hot water, to the table for people to help themselves! The few strands of spaghetti as a side to roast beef and 2 veg always leaves them howling in laughter.

Italian Pasta

In Summary…

So, in an attempt to halt these frivolous tales, here are a few tips for preparing pasta just like Mamma. Firstly though remember in Italy, pasta is a starter so you wouldn’t typically prepare huge quantities. However there’s nothing wrong with having it as main dish!

  • Always use the biggest pan you can find.
  • Use 1 litre of water per 100g.
  • Use 10g of large sea salt per litre of water.
  • Add the salt when the water is boiling otherwise it just takes longer to boil.
  • Wait till the water is boiling vigorously.
  • Stir the contents straight away with a wooden spoon.
  • Don’t cover the pan but keep the water boiling.
  • When the pasta is al dente, strain immediately. Use the cooking time on the packet as an indication and always test yourself a minute or two before the suggested time.
  • Now, hands up. Who, at this point, would pour the sauce onto the pasta and mix in? Bring the pasta to the sauce, not the other way around.
  • A big difference between UK and Italian palates is found in the quantity of sauce used. Brits are very saucy and tend to submerge the pasta in huge mounds of the stuff. As a local Italian chef we know used to say, “if you want to eat sauce, use bread”.
  • Good Italian sauces can be extended a little by adding olive oil and a little of the cooking water, but it is the quality itself that really makes the difference


To view our entire range of authentic Italian Pasta, click here!