Perfect Pasta For The Perfect Sauce


Your favorite pasta


  1. For every one pound of pasta, bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Once water is boiling, then add about 2 tbsp. of coarse salt.
  2. Stir to keep the pasta from sticking. Stir within the first 2 minutes of cooking pasta. The pasta is more likely to stick together, in the beginning, before the starches are released.
  3. Place the cover back on the pot to help bring the water back to a boil. This is an essential moment, because if you don’t, the pasta will be sitting in hot water, resulting in mushy pasta.
  4. Once the pot is boiling again, remove the lid for the remaining cook time to prevent the pasta from boiling over. This is where you need to actually stand there and watch the pot.
  5. Follow the package directions for cook times. Perfectly cooked pasta that is “al dente,” or firm to the bite, yet cooked through, requires you to test it yourself when the time is close. You may need to test the pasta 2 or 3 times before it’s right.
  6. Quickly drain the pasta into a colander in the sink. Do not rinse the pasta. Not only is the starch in the water is what helps the sauce adhere to your pasta, but rinsing will cool the pasta and prevent absorption of your sauce. The only time you should ever rinse your pasta is when you are going to use it in a cold dish like a pasta salad.
  7. In cases such as those, rinsing the pasta helps to stop the cooking process.
  8. Toss pasta in a warmed saucepan with Jensen’s Pasta Sauce, on sale this week in the service deli department. Make sure not to drain the pasta all that well, as you want the pasta to be loosely drained, still retaining some pasta water. Cook together for about 2-3 minutes.