Al dente, literally means “to the teeth” in Italian, is the most common characteristic associated to perfectly cooked pasta. It means the pasta should be tender yet firm to the bite.
Most of us have cooked pasta before—nothing fancy, those bought from the local supermarkets or online grocery stores. And so with the experience, we tend to take it for granted. One look at the boiling water with the spaghetti strands slowly softening in there will let us know that it is not yet ready. A bit of stirring here and there, using a fork to lift a strand up, take a small bite (or gobble up the entire strand), etc, etc, and we know it’s ready. The usual cooking time for this type of pasta can be about 10-20 minutes.
Now, to enjoy La Favorita pasta, we need to be more mindful of the cooking time. It takes a relatively shorter time to cook it compared to what we are used to, specially when it contains egg.
For this post, i used La Favorita Egg Malvine (cooking time: 10 minutes), La Favorita Genovese Basil Pesto Sauce, La Favorita Old-Fashioned Tomato Sauce, and San Giuliano Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
So here are the simple steps:
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Make sure you have a big enough pot and enough water, so the pasta won’t clump together. Add some salt. Put the pasta in and follow the suggested minutes of cooking according to the packaging. For the Egg Malvine cooking time is 10 minutes; for Egg Tagliatelle, it's 2 minutes. Remember to start timing only when the water comes back to a boil. The key is to not go beyond the indicated minutes.
2. Once the time is up, immediately drain off the water. The pasta will continue to cook in its own retained heat. You can save the hot water in another container to clean oily plates and pots and pans afterwards; trust me, it works like magic!
3. Put your drained pasta in a bowl and add some extra virgin olive oil. About 4-6 tablespoons will do for the half packet of 500g egg malvine. Give it a good toss to coat the pieces with the oil so they don’t stick to each other. The extra virgin olive oil combined with the warm pasta evokes freshness and a pleasant aroma.
4. Now for the sauce, you can mix in about a quarter or one-third of the bottle of La Favorita Old-Fashioned Tomato Sauce, according to your liking. The tanginess of this sauce really compliments the rich taste of the egg pasta. Next, add in the same amount of the La Favorita Genovese Basil Pesto Sauce. The cashew and pine nuts will give your pasta a bit of nuttiness and crunch. The combination of these two sauces is really appetising!
5. If you take pleasure in simple things like me, you can eat it just like that. But of course, you always have the option of making it your own recipe. You can add other ingredients that you know will excite your taste buds even more. Some suggestions would be adding some sundried tomatoes, artichokes, or pitted olives. This will give you a Mediterranean feel during the meal. If you’d like a bit more balance between oriental and Mediterranean, you can add a sunny side fried egg.
So there you go. You may now enjoy a restaurant-style meal right at the comfort of your home. La Favorita does not put any artificial flavourings, preservatives, or any additives in their products, so rest assured you are eating just as what nature intended!