7 mistakes you are making when cooking pasta


It may appear simple to cook, but the end results always leaves you disappointed and ready to shed a tear, when you see how mashy it has turned out.

Here are some reasons the interwebs blames for your poor pasta:
1. Your pot is too small

Do you use a small sufuria to cook pasta?

It turns out that if you add pasta to the little water in the small sufuria, you lower the water temperature. This forces it to now take longer to boil again, meanwhile your pasta is lying in the cold water and getting mushy and clumpy.

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When you use a smaller sufuria, the pasta has less water to cook in. This results in a higher amount of starch in the pot, which will cause your pasta to come out sticky after you drain the water. To be safe, always go for a big pot, even if you’re only cooking a small amount of pasta.

2. You leave out the salt

You’re slimy pasta (yuck) is this way because you didn’t put salt like the instructions told you.

If you read the back of your box of pasta, it will tell you to boil the pasta in salted water. How many of us think that it’s just wrong for pasta to cook with salt? What salt does is roughen up the pasta so it doesn’t come out disgustingly slimy.

3. You forget to stir

Once your water is boiling, be sure to stir your pasta in, as opposed to just dumping it and waiting until it’s cooked, so it doesn’t all sink to the bottom of the pot, or they will stick to the bottom of the pot, where they start sticking together, resulting in mushy pasta. No thank you!

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4. You pour out the cooking water

Once your pasta is cooked, hang on to a cup or so of the cooking water.

This water is now starchy and full of pasta flavor, and it just might come in handy. It’s important to keep the water to add later when you add sauce especially when it appears it needs some ‘thufu’  to take clumpy and dry sauce to a new level.

The water helps loosen up the sauce so it can coat every noodle, while the starch in the water helps it cling to the pasta better.

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5. You rinse the pasta

Cooking pasta is one of the easiest ways to throw together a delicious, home-cooked meal, so don’t add any extra steps.

Rinsing strips your pasta of some of that starchiness that will cling to the sauce.

There’s no need to rinse your pasta with water once it’s cooked. Simply drain it and add your sauce.

6. You make way too much

Most of us have large families and cook an entire box of pasta right?

Judging how much dry pasta to cook is tricky especially in an African family setting. Trouble is, heating up leftover pasta usually results in a sticky, gummy mess. When it comes to pasta, fresh is best, to avoid wastage.

7. You leave your pasta waiting too long before serving

Pasta needs to be served as soon as it’s cooked. Never make it wait in the serving dish.

While your pasta cooks, make sure to have a sieve ready in the sink so you can drain it as soon as it’s cooked. Once it’s drained, place your pasta in a warmed bowl and toss with warm sauce.

Are there other tips you use to make your pasta worth eating? Share by dropping comments below.


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Fun Fact: The metal drawer under your cooker is for keeping food warm


Slaps forehead, calls mum. Really?

All along I have been ignoring that metal drawer, thinking it’s a nuisance.

But according to one twitter user, we have all been using it the wrong way.


In a twitter reveal, it turns out many people have been using it for the wrong purpose. While most have assumed all along it’s a storage unit, Twitter user StepMom Marie left us stunned, saying it’s meant to keep food warm.



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The laundry hacks everyone needs to know

From how to iron shirts like a pro to the ingenious trick to remove red wine stains, here are the laundry hacks everyone needs to know.

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Don’t panic when this happens, instead get a damp cotton cloth and dab it on the stain to remove any excess. Then stretch the item taut over a bowl with the stain in the middle and secure with an elastic band. Pour salt over the offending area and leave for five minutes before carefully pouring boiling water on it from a height of about 20cm (this will flush it out). Then wash on as hot a cycle as the fabric can take and it’ll be gone.

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Fix your shrinking disasters by adding the item to a bowl full of warm water containing a capful of baby shampoo or adult conditioner to relax the fibres. After about five minutes, take it out, roll it up in a towel and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Lay on another dry towel and gently stretch back to the original shape. Leave to dry and it’ll be ready to wear again.


Getting out the ironing board is a faff, especially for just one item. So switch on your hair straighteners and use them instead.


After a few uses, towels often start feeling rough. It’s caused by a build-up of detergent, so cut down on the amount of washing powder you use and don’t add fabric softener. Instead, half a cup of white vinegar in the final rinse will strip away any detergent, leaving them beautifully soft. Fluff them up further by sticking a clean tennis ball in the tumble drier.

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Get your whites back to their best by bringing a pan full of water containing sliced lemons to the boil, taking it off the heat then popping in the clothes you want brightened. Leave soaking for an hour while the citric acid in the fruit lightens the material then wash like normal for brilliant whites. Drying in direct sunlight will also help as it naturally bleaches fabric.

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Garlic peeling hack goes viral on Twitter


Last time something about peeling went viral, was when we saw someone teaching the internet how to peel off pineapple.

On Sunday, Twitter user Twitter user @VPestilenZ shared a quick method to removing all the cloves from the head of garlic, and all it took was a paring knife.

‘As someone who makes a lot of Korean food, this is the best method for getting garlic peeled,’ the user wrote while sharing a video of the method.

The hands featured in the video seamlessly removed each clove of garlic from the peel before placing it into a bowl. All it took was inserting a paring knife into the bottom of the clove.

It appeared quick and painless compared to other gather methods — including purchasing a garlic press or shaking the cloves to remove the peel.

The hack quickly went viral after the Twitter user first shared it on Sunday, and the video has since been viewed more than 4.9 million times.

Chrissy Teigen — who has written two cookbooks and is known to require huge numbers of garlic cloves for her recipes — even appeared shocked by the viral hack.

She responded to the tweet with a lengthy ‘what’ to express her surprise.

Other people also commented on the video calling the hack ‘life changing’ and a ‘game changer’ for cooking all future recipes.


6 cooking staples every woman should have in the kitchen


Jessica Sepel, who is based in Sydney, shared her top cooking essentials, explaining that they make a ‘dramatic difference to her motivation to cook’.

‘It also saves me so much time and means my meals are always bursting with flavour,’ Jessica wrote on JSHealth.

‘I usually have these ingredients laid out near my stove or on my kitchen bench. I highly recommend doing the same.’

So what are the things to keep in your kitchen?


Commonly added to curries and on freshly seared fish, chilli flakes have the power to lift just about any dish.

Research has also revealed that red chilli flakes and other peppers help to stimulate metabolism and prevent fat storage.

‘A little spice makes everything nice! I love topping my meals with a pinch of chilli flakes to add an extra punch of flavour,’ Miss Sepel said.


When it comes to cooking, we are always looking for a balance between core flavour profiles, the nutritionist explained.

‘Fresh lemon juice has an acidic flavour which is one of the key elements. I use lemon juice to make a simple dressing and add some freshness to my meals,’ Ms Sepel said.

‘I also like to use the whole fruit by zesting the lemon and using the zest as a garnish on my salad, to make my lemon and herb chicken or on top of my morning porridge.’


This is an easy one to add to the pan with a little bit of olive oil to deliciously flavour just about any home-cooked meal.

‘Garlic always lifts a meal to the next level,’ Miss Sepel commented.

‘I love to sauté my vegetables in some freshly crushed or sliced garlic. Simple and delicious.’


For those who like their meals hot this additive is often used to flavour curries of all kinds.

But it can also be a wonderful additive to hummus, egg salad, popcorn and even dressings.

‘I add curry powder to my cauliflower rice, and use it to make a quick and easy curry with coconut milk or sprinkle it over my vegetables before roasting,’ Miss Sepel said.


‘A sprinkle of sesame seeds on top of a nourish bowl, sautéed vegetables or roasted vegetables not only looks beautiful but adds a nutty flavour that I adore,’ she explained.

They are extremely good for your skin and hair, and packed with copper, magnesium and calcium.

Adding them to the top of your takeaway sushi will also work wonders to the quality of your meal.


The addition of salt to a meal adds depth and also enhances the natural flavours.

‘I use sea salt which has a stronger flavour which means you need to use less,’ Ms Sepel explained.

Salt is essential for sustaining the hydration levels in the body.