This particularly happens with thicker noodles like fettuccine (every single time for those). It doesn't matter if I use oil, salt, stir constantly, lower heat. They always stick together and get hard. What am I doing wrong?

asked 16 Oct '09, 08:13

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Alwayshopeful
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edited 02 Dec '09, 18:35

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Kris ♦♦
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Don't add oil.

The Italians heat 1 liter of water and 10 grams of salt per 100 grams of pasta. For a typical pound of dry pasta, that would be at least 5 quarts of water, and 2 1/2 TBSP of salt. You need that much water to retain the heat when you add the pasta, even more important when it's fresh pasta. The salt affects the boiling point of water (raises it so it's hotter when the pasta hits it) and how the pasta cooks (draws out excess water from the pasta so it cooks al dente, not soggy or sticky). Don't overcook it - it turns to paste: a sticky gummy mess.

Bring the water to a full rolling boil. Then add your pasta. Stir it so it doesn't clump up. I usually put the lid back on to help the water come back to a boil as quickly as possible. Once it's back to a boil, uncover it and let it boil. Stir once or twice if you feel like it. Don't sit and constantly stir it. Start checking it at least a minute before the recommended cooking time. Bite thru a piece and look at the freshly bitten cross-section. When it's done, it'll have a uniform color all through, rather than a bit of white in the center (the white part is uncooked). AS SOON as the color is uniform, pull it off the heat, drain it, and immediately add it to the pan with the sauce. Don't rinse. Mix the unrinsed pasta in the pan with the sauce- the remaining starch-water on the pasta will meld with the sauce to thicken it and help the sauce bind to the pasta, instead of the pasta sticking to each other. Serve immediately.

Hope this helps. I learned to cook pasta while living for two years in Bologna, Italia, from my husband's sister - who only speaks Italian.

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answered 17 Oct '09, 10:13

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AnnaRaven
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edited 17 Oct '09, 11:31

To cook non-sticking noodles, you have to have a LARGE pot. You have to have way more water than you would think. Take a large pot with a lot of water. Heat to a hard boil, add some salt and about 1/2 stick of margarine(seems to work better for me than oil). Let the margarine melt and make sure your water is at a heavy boil. Drop in your noodles. Make sure they are not stuck together before you add them to the water. Give them a stir, cover and boil until they are tender but not mushy. Turn off the heat and empty the noodles into a colander to drain. Shake them a few times while draining, to help them not clump together, and serve.

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answered 16 Oct '09, 18:31

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adenwar
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You may be over cooking them- I find this happens when I over cook spaghetti noodles- using oil does help the noodles not stick together, also are you rinsiing them after you cook them? This helps get a lot of the starch off of the noodles. Good luck!

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answered 16 Oct '09, 13:09

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Rebecca
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Although there is some debate, I suggest adding a little olive oil to the water before adding the pasta (2 table spoons will suffice). Additionally, check the pasta every three or four minutes, to make sure that it doesn't need stirring.

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answered 17 Oct '09, 10:34

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Idavr 1
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Never add oil. Your sauce will slide off the noodle. You MUST allow the water to come to a full boil. Big bubbles. Add some salt. Once the water is boiling good. Add your noodles. If they are longer like linguine, don't just drop them into the pot in a clump. Put some this way and some that way and stir the noodles right away. Of course they will be stiff at first, but just stir them until they soften some so they are completely in the water. Once they are cooked. Drain them in a colander and rinse them in cold water for a few seconds to stop the cooking process.

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answered 18 Oct '09, 12:44

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Julia
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At first boil some water and put the noodles in it until it become soft (about 2 or 3 minutes) Sieve out water from it and again wash it with cold water and smear it with some cooking oil. Then we can use it for your preparation.

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answered 18 Oct '09, 14:07

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Mini Sudhakaran
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At first boil some water and put the noodles in it until it become soft (about 2 or 3 minutes) Sieve out water from it and again wash it with cold water and smear it with some cooking oil. Then we can use it for your preparation.

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answered 18 Oct '09, 14:07

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Mini Sudhakaran
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I recommend using more than enough water to begin with. Just before adding the pasta, put 1-2 tablespoons oil (olive or otherwise) in the boiling water. After you add the pasta, take care to stir frequently at the beginning. Mine always seems to stick within the first couple of minutes as the starches are released.

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answered 19 Oct '09, 22:24

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csqrd
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Put a teaspoon of salt and also add a couple teaspoons of olive oil into the water when you boil your noodles. This will help them stay separated. Be careful not to over cook as they will get mushy and stick together no matter what.

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answered 20 Oct '09, 01:32

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spragoo
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Asked: 16 Oct '09, 08:13

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Last updated: 02 Dec '09, 18:35

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