Do not — I repeat, do not — add oil to your pasta cooking water! And that’s an order! Follow my 10 pasta commandments, and you will make a great bowl of pasta that rivals the delicious pastas at Becco, one of our New York City restaurants.
1. Cook the pasta in abundantly salted water.
2. And again, do not add oil to the pasta cooking water.
3. Add the pasta all at once to the boiling water so it cooks evenly.
4. Drain the pasta, but do not — do not! — rinse the pasta.
5. Once drained, add the pasta to the sauce and let the two cook together for about 1 minute.
6. Dressed pasta should be flowing — never sticky or soupy.
7. With the fire off, stir in grated cheese, right before you plate it.
8. To keep pasta nice and hot, serve it in a shallow, warm bowl.
9. For that extra touch, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil at the end.
10. Finally — you deserve it now — pour yourself a delicious glass of Tuscan red wine like Morellino La Mozza. And cin cin to you!
Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBX 44