Cooking perfect angel pasta is very easy to do if you follow a few steps to make perfect angel hair pasta. Angel hair pasta is one of my favorite types of pasta and I cook with it often because it is ready in just minutes.. Keep on reading to learn how to cook angel hair pasta like a pro and have a perfect angel hair pasta dinner on the table (that everyone will love) in just minutes.
Angle hair pasta is a popular Italian pasta that is quick to cook and eaten most often as a quick meal by Italians. Cooking the perfect angel hair pasta is a little different from cooking other types of Italian pasta because it can become mushy and over cooked if you cook it too long or use the wrong kind of sauce with it.
After writing my angel hair pasta with tomatoes recipe, I thought it would be a good idea to write an entire post about how to cook angel hair pasta. Not all pasta shapes cook the same way.
This post will help you understand how long to boil angel hair pasta, how to keep angel hair pasta from sticking, the best sauce to use with angel hair pasta and the best herbs for angel hair pasta.
- Angel Hair Pasta
- Kosher salt. For salting the water.
- Sauce of your choice (see ideas below).
See recipe card for quantities.
Cooking angel hair pasta just right is very simple and takes just minutes to do thanks to its quick cooking time. You only need three ingredients to cook angel hair pasta. Water, angel pasta and salt.
You do not need oil. The only time you need to add any oil to pasta is when you are cooking lasagna noodles. You can read more about how to cook lasagna noodles to learn why.
Many people may have been advised to add oil to the water when cooking angel hair pasta to prevent it from sticking but it is not necessary. We talk about the right type of sauce to use with angel hair which will prevent this from happening.
How Long to Boil Angel Hair Pasta
Before we get into the best types of sauce to use with angel hair pasta, the first important point to address is angel hair pasta cooking time. Knowing this will help you make the perfect angel hair pasta.
When you buy angel hair pasta, the box instructions will tell you how long to cook the pasta until al dente (which means the pasta has a little firmness). The first thing you want to do is reduce that time by one minute when you cook your angel hair pasta.
I like to refer to this as extra al dente. This will allow you to add the angel hair pasta into your sauce and cook for one additional minute so the angel hair pasta has a chance to absorb some of the flavors of the sauce.
For example: My favorite angel hair pasta brand De Cecco states to cook the angel hair pasta for 2 minutes. This is really quick cooking I know but I will drain the pasta after about 1 minute.
After the pasta is drained I add it to my favorite sauce and toss it in the sauce for one minute.
Make sure the water is at a strong rolling boil before you cook the angel hair pasta to ensure the pasta cooks properly!
Tip: Every pasta manufacturer has a different time listed for cooking time. This is because each pasta is made a little differently. Always check the box of angel hair pasta that you are using.
Sauce for Angel Hair Pasta
Now that we have talked about how long to boil angel hair pasta, the next important thing to talk about is choosing the best sauce for angel hair pasta. One of the reasons people experience mushy angel hair pasta is because they are using the wrong type of sauce with it.
Angel hair pasta like all pasta, will continue to drink up liquid even after it is added to the sauce. This is why in our Italian zucchini soup recipe we tell readers to make the pasta separately if they are adding pasta to the soup.
If you add pasta to a soup, the pasta will eventually absorb all the broth. The same things happens with angel hair pasta in a sauce.
Because of this, we prefer to use an oil based sauce for all of our angel hair pasta recipes since the pasta will not drink up oil the same way it would drink up a red sauce.
Here are some of our favorite angel hair pasta sauces:
- Angel hair pasta with tomatoes - this is a simple oil based sauce with garlic, tomatoes and herbs and so delicious. If you make this type of sauce, make sure to make some delicious garlic ciabatta bread to dip into it.
- Angel hair with pesto - using pesto is another great idea for an angel hair pasta sauce because again, it is oil based.
- Angel hair with herbs and oil - Just a simple sauce made up of olive oil, fresh herbs and maybe even some garlic is all you need for a delicious dinner.
To recap, choosing an oil based sauce is the best way to go when making a sauce for angel hair pasta. The oil based sauce will make sure the angel hair does not get mushy.
You took the time to cook the angel hair pasta perfectly and now you can ensure the angel hair won't be ruined by the wrong type of sauce.
When cooking angel hair pasta or any type of pasta, you want to make sure you are using a large pot that can hold lots of water and easily fit the angel hair pasta. To know if your pot is large enough for the angel hair, just stand up a strand of angel hair pasta next to the pot.
If the pot is taller than the angel hair, it is the perfect size. If it is not, try to find a larger pot.
Why choosing a properly sized pot is important:
Since angel hair pasta has such a short cooking time, you want to make sure all of the pasta comes into contact with the boiling water at the same time to ensure even cooking.
If you have any leftover angel hair pasta after cooking it, you can easily store it in a sealed container in the fridge for 1-2 days.
For the perfect angel hair pasta cook time, we always recommend cooking the pasta one minute less than the manufacturers instructions for al dente. Once the pasta is drained, add it to your oil based sauce and cook for one additional minute.
To prevent angel hair from sticking, you need to make sure you are using an oil based sauce for angel hair. The oil in the sauce will prevent the angel hair from sticking.
No. After you drain the angel hair pasta, you want to add it directly into a sauce.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with perfectly cooked angel hair pasta:
How To Cook Angel Hair Pasta.
- 1 lb Angel hair pasta
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt Plus more to taste
- Water enough to fill a large pot
- your favorite oil based sauce our suggestions: angel hair pasta pomodoro
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.Water
- Once your pasta water is boiling, add your salt and pasta and cook one minute less than the manufacturers instructions for al dente, about 1-2 minutes.1 lb Angel hair pasta, ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- Add your pasta to a pan with your sauce.your favorite oil based sauce
- Toss together and cook for one minute.
- Serve immediately.