Monday, September 27, 2010

Seafood spaghetti in Tomato Sauce

I have not cooked spaghetti for long, until I read some tips on cooking spaghetti recently. Needless to say, I was tempted to try it.

I think everyone knows how to cook spaghetti, so I will only share some tips that I have picked up along the years, some of it which I have neglected but later re-discovered the importance of them. 

1. Avoid cooking too much of spaghetti
Do not laugh. It is a very common problem and I have heard it many times. "I always end up cooking too much spaghetti." A nice dish will turn to a bad one when someone has to stuff himself with the extra plate. A pack of 500g spaghetti is meant for 5 person serving. But if you are a small eater, or you like more ingredients than noodle(just like me), remember to reduce the amount further.

2. Add good amount of salt to the boiling water for cooking spaghetti
It is very important because the spaghetti will absorb some of the salt and have a taste of ocean. If not the result will be very bland spaghetti. Worst is this can not be corrected later by adding salt to the pasta sauce.

3. Use big cookware and sufficient water for cooking spaghetti
The boiling water need to fully cover the spaghetti. This is to make sure that all the spaghetti are evenly cooked. Remember to stir the spaghetti at the beginning and occasionally during the cooking.

4. Toss the drained pasta with olive oil
I thought that this is only to prevent sticky spaghetti.But since I am going to serve the spaghetti right away, there is no need to do so. This step was skipped until a Taiwan chef explained that the second reason is to let the spaghetti absorb the aroma of the olive oil. However, this has to be done while the pasta is still hot.

5. Ingredients that are going to make perfect red sauce or tomato sauce spaghetti
Since I am blogging about red sauce spaghetti, I will keep other spaghetti recipe for next time. :)
I should have tried to make my own tomato sauce. But anyway, I am still using the ready type from the shelf since it is more convenient. Even with the ready sauce, I will add extra ingredients to make it more tasty.

Garlic. The strong, sharp and spicy garlic taste is going to balance the sweet and sour tomato sauce.
Onion. It is going to give some natural sweetness to the sauce.
Mixed herbs. A must for tomato sauce spaghetti.
Black pepper. Not white pepper. Add some coarsely grinded black pepper during cooking and add again when serving.
Salt and Sugar. For seasoning.
Tuna in Can. A few spoons of it for thicker sauce. Normally I will dilute the tomato sauce(ready type) with 50-100ml water and later thicken with mashed tuna.
Seafood. Use all your favourite seafood, prawn, squid, mussel, scallop....
Cheese or Cheese Powder. I personally prefer melting some cheese in my spaghetti sauce. 

5. Toss the spaghetti with the sauce
Transfer the spaghetti to the sauce in your pan and toss it. Make sure that spaghetti is well coated with the sauce and serve it immediately. My old practice was to add the sauce to the spaghetti in serving plate. I was worried that all the sauce will be absorbed by the spaghetti and leave no more sauce if I were to toss it. I also thought that it was nicer to serve this way. But the Italians do it for a reason. It is easier to toss it in the hot pan then to mix it in the plate later.

The happiest thing in cooking is to have someone slurping the noodles and not forgetting to give nice comments in between the slurps. I had it last Saturday. Yipee! 

**Share with me your tips on cooking spaghetti if you have any.**


cariso said...

Looks really yummy! Thanks for sharing the tips!

Suting said...

soo sean,
what a post in time!!!
i am planning to cook spaghetti recently.
thanks ur tips~

soo sean said...

Hi Cariso, you are welcome. :)

Suting, glad to hear that! Remember to feedback ya. Let's see if it helps to make better spaghetti....

cloudyland said...

like your tips!
will try it next time when i cook spagetti

soo sean said...

Let me know the result ya, Wei Yun.

eatingtable said...

Actually u can use truss tomatoes to make the pasta source. Add in Italian herbs, pamesson cheese and fresh oregano leaves with salt and sugar. Add in scallops will be even more delicious. :)

soo sean said...

I am sure pasta sauce made from fresh truss tomato is very delicious. Just that for me, pasta is the substitution for instant noodle. I have pasta and ready pasta sauce in my kitchen all the time. Will try to make my own sauce when I am free. ;)