My Pasta Sticks Together In Clumps

Hello, you're probably all sick of me and me questions by now, but if it wasn't for this site I'd be really in trouble! Widower with two pre-teens who take every opportunity to let me know that "it doesn't taste like when Mom made it" - and it doesn't! I follow the instructions on the packet but when it's ready it comes out in clumps, Doesn't seem to happen so much with shells and tubes, but it does with fettucine, linguine, spaghetti etc. (which of course are the ones they like!) Thanks again!



Wendy November 7, 2020
Way to go, you’ve got this!
I am a grandmother (and mom to a single mother) from Canada. I know the struggle is real.
Also, my condolences for your loss.
Miss_Karen November 7, 2020
Kudos to you! Being a single parent is the hardest job there is.
The only thing I can suggest is not to stir it too much because that releases the starch from the noodles and then you are making glue. (The Boy Scout version of this is referred to as 'Glop')
Wendy November 7, 2020
I sincerely hope this helps you:
There are a few reasons that long strands of pasta may clump.
Firstly, prepare your water. Make sure that you have a large pot and abundant water, not just enough to cover your pasta. Then salt the water, not a lot is necessary but a least a teaspoon for a family size pot of pasta. Do not add oil to the water. Make sure your water is at a full rolling boil before you add your pasta.
Secondly, when adding the pasta do not drop it in the water in a clump. Try to separate the strands. My technique is to grab a handful, then drop it in a spiral into the pot, then stir, grab another handful, add to the pot, stir. Breaking the pasta in half may be easier.
Finally do not over cook it.
If your pasta is ready before your sauce, you can toss with a little olive oil now to prevent it from clumping.
Never hesitate to reach out for help, you are doing the work of two people! It may never taste like Mom’s but your kids are so lucky to have a dad that tries!
My best wishes forward ❤️
Nancy November 7, 2020
Make sure water is boiling before adding pasta
Use lots of water
Include salt but just oil in the water
Stir constantly
Take pasta out of the water with tongs or strainer; don't necessaitly drain in more water.
Me too, best wishes.
P.S. if/when cooking schools reopen, maybe all three of you take courses. Same one together, or 3 different ones so you all learn more dishes.
Nancy November 7, 2020
"But not oil"
Scottolotto November 7, 2020
Thank you so much for your (and the other ladies') advice and kind words. I've just made it (again!) for lunch today (it's Sunday and we live in Australia) and it has turned out perfectly. I think my main error was not enough water and maybe not hot enough. Even got the nod of approval from the girls - feeling very chuffed! Thanks again and I'm sure you will be hearing from me again. Cheers!
Scottolotto November 14, 2020
Thanks for that, and it's a great idea which I have modified. I don't have the time to attend any courses and the girls are too young (10 and 12). However, we have a Housekeeper who, as amazing and indispensable as she is, is definitely no cook! She works Mon-Fri, but her only kitchen duties are breakfast and preparing the girls' lunches. I've offered to pay for her to go to classes so as she would be able to prepare our dinners before she leaves of an afternoon and she seems very interested - will see what happens. Thanks for making me think "outside the box!"
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