Linguine pasta on plate with pesto and basil garnished with parmesan and pine nuts, human hand holding fork with a bite of pasta. copy space, studio shot made with Nikon equipment
When You Should Be Adding Pasta To Boiling Water
By Nick Johnson
According to MasterClass, your pasta has been cooked to perfection only when it has achieved the al dente status. Al dente means "to the tooth" in Italian, which is a reference to the firm mouthfeel properly prepared pasta has, as opposed to the mushy texture that characterizes overcooked noodles.
The starch in pasta will soak up water regardless of whether or not the water is boiling, so you'll need to introduce heat at the correct point for the noodles to properly cook. Many culinary experts advise adding your pasta to the pot only after the water — which should be heavily salted — has reached a rolling boil.
Pasta aficionado Anthony Contrino, host of the cooking series "Saucy," explained that the temperature consistency of a boiling pot of water gives you the best chance of cooking your pasta evenly. Additionally, he noted that salt doesn't dissolve properly in cold water, which could screw up your pasta's seasoning.
Chef Palek Patel also supports boiling your water first, as pasta that rests in cold water will leach out more starch, which could throw off its consistency. However, when it comes to drizzling olive oil in the pot to keep your pasta from clumping, you should totally avoid it, as it can impede your pasta's ability to adhere to the sauce.