Most people think cooking pasta is really easy. Just throw some noodles in boiling water and drain it when it is soft enough, right?
Sorry to say, that is wrong. What is hopefully true is that the secrets I am going to reveal to you will make pasta one of your favorite dish to prepare and enjoy by yourself or with your dear ones.
First of all, allow me a short digression. To a serious pasta lover the name “noodles” is plain simply dreadful. Noodles is a very good name for Chinese pasta, or Japanese, or Thai, or any other nationality pasta, but not for Italian pasta. Calling Italian pasta “noodles” would be like calling American baseball or English cricket something like “Stickball”. That is just sad.
Yes, pasta is easy to cook, * if * you have the right ingredients, * if * you know the right way of preparing it, and, above all, if you have the right attitude. “What is this?” – I hear some of you gasp – “I now have to be like a zen archer or a samurai warrior just to prepare a bowl of noodles?” Let’s proceed in order, one secret to the next (by the way, did not we agree never to call pasta noodles again?)
PASTA SECRET # 1: ATTITUDE
Let’s start with the most important aspect: attitude.
If you feel your guest swooning in delight over your steaming pasta is a good thing, you have to take cooking seriously. Cooking, and especially cooking pasta, is an act of love and self-sacrifice. It requires your personal energy, your prana, your inner and outer purity, and your uninterrupted concentration. Without these elements, cooking is not cooking anymore, but just cold, mechanical, heartless food preparation. Would you feed such food to your dog?
Before even start preparing your utensils, stand in your kitchen, facing the stove and get inwardly ready to cook. Silence around you and inside you is needed. A short meditation would be even better. Soulfulness is essential.
Feel inside you and visualise in front of your mind’s eye the final pasta dish you want to prepare. Feel the aroma of the pasta, the looks, the sound the moist pasta strands do when stir together, even before they are cradled by the sauce. Imagine the joy on the face of the friends that soon will be enjoying it.
Then, act with determination and precision but never with hurry.