How Long To Cook Fresh Pasta So It Always Comes Out Al Dente

Pasta is a hearty, wholesome meal, filling enough to help you feel fuller for longer. With so many different sauce and mix-in options, there is something for almost anyone to enjoy. If you opt for a whole grain pasta, WebMD reports that it can even be a great source of fiber, and could help lower cholesterol.

Of course, boxes of dried pasta are convenient for quick dinners, and have a longer shelf life so you can stock up, so it really comes down to your personal preference regarding convenience versus flavor. Homemade pasta typically has a higher concentration of eggs and water, giving it a more unique texture and a fresher taste, reports Bricco Salumeria, and it allows you to experiment with new flavors if you make fresh pasta at home.

Once your homemade pasta is ready to cook and eat, you may have to make an adjustment to your typical cooking time as fresh pasta should not be boiled for the same amount as dry.

How to achieve al dente

Since fresh pasta is already a different consistency than the dried pasta we often buy at grocery stores, it makes sense that cooking it would be different as well. Fresh pasta is already hydrated and it only takes a few minutes to cook — two to three should achieve the perfect al dente consistency, per Spizzico Italian Kitchen. Al dente translates to "to the tooth," and it is when the consistency of pasta is firm enough to hold its shape, but still chewy.

The Daily Meal reports that the cook time for fresh pasta will vary based on the noodle thickness, and your personal preference for how chewy you prefer it. They recommend anywhere from 90 seconds to four minutes, but note that al dente typically only takes around two.

Once you have cooked your pasta to the perfect consistency, toss it in with your favorite sauce, add a little bit of fresh grated Parmesan, and enjoy your home-cooked meal.