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The Common Mistake To Avoid For Perfect Gluten-Free Pasta

cooking gluten-free pasta
cooking gluten-free pasta - Zapylaiev Kostiantyn/Shutterstock

Although there are many varieties of gluten-free pasta available today made from nearly every other grain and legume besides wheat, the lack of the springy gluten protein makes getting a great cooked pasta texture challenging. Once you find a gluten-free pasta with a taste you love, there are a few cooking mistakes to avoid that can ruin the texture, like overcooking or not rinsing off the starch when it's finished. One mistake that you might not have considered can lead to a clumpy mess in the pot: It's important to stir gluten-free pasta frequently as it cooks.

The starches used to make gluten-free pasta absorb water very quickly, making the pasta sticky. Then, the pasta begins to dissolve slightly in the heat, adding gummy starch to the pasta water. Keeping the water moving with a long slotted spoon helps to move the pasta around, keeping it from adhering to itself and the pot during cooking. Stirring when you add the pasta to the boiling water is not enough to keep it from sticking — plan to stay near the pot and stir once or twice every minute for the best results.

Read more: 44 Types Of Pasta And When You Should Be Using Them

Getting The Best Gluten-Free Pasta Is All About Managing The Starch

boiling gluten-free pasta
boiling gluten-free pasta - Nopadol Uengbunchoo/Getty Images

Breaking up clumps of pasta with frequent stirring also helps ensure the heat of the boiling water is evenly distributed through your cooking pot so that all of the pasta cooks more quickly. Keeping gluten-free pasta in its cooking water for the shortest time possible cuts down on sticking by lessening the amount of starch released because it's simply in the water less. Test the pasta frequently when the cooking time is nearly done to be sure you're not missing the perfect al-dente point.

Another tip you might want to add to your gluten-free pasta cooking technique is adding a bit of oil to the cooking water before the pasta enters the pot. This is frowned upon for regular wheat-based pasta (which is less likely to stick together in the first place) because the oil deposited on the pasta can prevent the sauce from clinging properly. But, oil can add another layer of anti-clumping protection, coating the gluten-free pasta to keep it from releasing too much starch as you stir during cooking.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.