Why You Shouldn't Cook Spaghetti In A Small Pot

Spaghetti is one of those cherished foods that we loved as children and still can't get enough of as adults. Sure, our palate becomes more refined as we age, and the older version of ourselves might tweak the traditional spaghetti recipe a bit, or we may even make our own sauce in lieu of using Ragu or Prego from a jar. But whatever the case, the bottom line is that we need our spaghetti fix.

Regardless of how you perceive your culinary prowess, you likely assume that it is next to impossible to screw up something as simple as spaghetti. After all, all you need to do is simply fill a pot with water, set it on the stove, turn the range on high until the water starts boiling, drop in the pasta, adjust the temperature down, and then just wait for the pasta to cook, right? So how could you possibly mess that up? 

But cooking spaghetti perfectly every time isn't as simple as you might believe it to be. There are many mistakes you could be making while cooking spaghetti, such as not choosing the right pot. When selecting the vessel in which you plan to cook those noodles, it's important to avoid using a small pot, or you could end up ruining your meal.

There exists such a thing as the perfect pasta pot size

Like most of us, you have likely never considered the size of the pot you use when cooking spaghetti. Smithsonian Magazine, however, claims that your choice of the cooking utensil is an important factor that definitely affects the quality of your finished product. The reason why you want to go for a large cooking pot when making spaghetti is that the noodles will expand while cooking, a process that requires ample water

Insufficient water quantity can lead to less than desirable results, such as mushy and sticky pasta. And no one wants to eat spaghetti paste, even if it might remind some of you of eating Elmer's glue as a child. Smithsonian recommends using a pot sized six to eight quarts that is filled with four to five quarts of water. 

According to Familystyle Food, a good rule of thumb for the perfect pasta pot size is five to six quarts for every pound of pasta, which will typically be enough for around four to five people. This will give the pasta enough water to cook evenly. If you want to double the recipe, opt for a pot that is sized eight to ten quarts. Choosing the right-sized pot could make all the difference between a spaghetti recipe that is cooked to perfection and a bland, mushy one.