how to cook penne pasta on stove

For me, cold winter nights have one silver lining: pasta, the ultimate comfort food. Making pasta dishes is always an excellent choice to celebrate cozy nights. I feel a special connection with penne pasta. It’s a popular choice for its satisfying texture and ability to pair well with various flavors and sauces.

Penne pasta is a popular type characterized by its cylindrical shape with diagonally cut ends, creating a tubular appearance. Its shape allows sauces to cling to its surface, making it versatile for various pasta dishes.

Alluring? Of course…! Who else will not? 

So, without any further holding, grab your pen and notebooks and start noting “how to cook penne pasta on stove”?

This Italian penne pasta recipe is fast and easy and uses minimal ingredients for a perfect weeknight dinner that tastes like it came from a restaurant.

How to cook penne pasta on stove:

Cooking penne pasta on the stove makes it more authentic, rich, and flavorful than cooking it in the oven or crock pot. Following these steps will make your penne perfect and taste fantastic every time.

Things you need:

  • A large pot
  • Water
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Pasta
  • Pasta strainer

Step-by-step instructions to cook penne pasta:

  • Choose the right pot: Take a large pot (4-6 quarts per pound of pasta) to ensure enough space for the pasta to move and cook evenly. 
  • Use enough water: Add enough water to the pot to submerge the pasta thoroughly.
  • Bring water to boil: Put a sizeable water-filled pot on the stove and set stove heat from low to medium. Bring the water up to a boil and overheat.
  • Salt the water generously: Add salt to the boiling water before you put in the pasta. Aim for 1-2 tablespoons of salt per liter of water. This flavors the pasta itself rather than just the sauce.
  • Add penne and set the time: Next, add penne to the boiling salty water and follow the cooking time suggested on the pasta package, but start checking for doneness a minute or two before the recommended time.
  • Stir occasionally: Stir the pasta soon after adding it to the boiling water to prevent it from sticking together. 
  • Cook penne for 11 minutes: Check for doneness a minute before the recommended time. But by cooking penne pasta for 11 minutes, nothing couldn’t go wrong. 
  • Strain penne: Drain excess water by putting penne pasta into pasta strainer
  • Add sauce to the pasta: For the best flavor, transfer the drained pasta directly into the sauce & finish cooking it for a minute or two. It allows the pasta to absorb some of the sauce’s flavors.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to perfection and Enjoy your delicious pasta creations! Happy Pasta!

You can also use the same white sauce pasta veggies recipe and Indian-style macaroni pasta.

Umm, don’t know?

Well, worry not because you can find both recipes on this website just by clicking the link.

 How do you determine if penne pasta is cooked to perfection?

Cooking delicious penne pasta involves checking its texture. The standard cooking time for most pasta is 8+ minutes. However, more significant shape cuts like penne could require 10 to 12 mins. You may need to check every minute after 8 minutes if you want perfect al-dante(which translates from Italian as ‘to the tooth) and not mushy pasta. Pasta should be al dente cooked through but still firm to the bite. 

Italian bonus tips to make flavorful penne pasta:

  1. Different pasta shapes work better with certain sauces. For instance, thicker pasta like rigatoni or penne holds up well with chunky sauces, while thinner pasta like spaghetti works excellent with lighter, oil-based sauces.
  2. Although the pasta will be seasoned with salt in the boiling water, it will need more salt before serving. According to Italians, the water should be as salty as the sea. You can add 1-2% of salt to pasta water. This means about 1/2-1 tbsp (10-20g) of salt for each liter of water. 
  3. Reserve some pasta water, save a cup of starchy cooking water, and don’t discard it all! This starchy water helps bind the sauce to the pasta and creates a richer flavor. 
  4. Traditional Italian pasta is never too saucy. You can even hide pureed vegetables in the sauce for picky eaters. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you cook pasta on a stove?

It is easier and faster to cook pasta on the stove. Add water and salt to a pot and bring the water to a high boil. Now add pasta to boil water and stir occasionally. Cook according to the time written on the pasta packet. Drain excess water.

How long should you boil penne pasta?

As a rule of thumb, the smaller pasta takes less time to boil. Even large penne or rigatoni should be at most 11 or 12 minutes. Pasta should be al dente cooked through but still firm to the bite. Al dente is the goal – slightly firm to the bite. 

What is the ratio of water to penne?

Dried pasta needs to absorb a lot of the boiling water it’s cooked in and can double in size, so it needs plenty of water. A good rule of thumb is three times the volume of the pasta in water. Another rule for cooking penne pasta is 1, 10, or 100, or 1 liter of water and 10 grams of salt for every 100 grams.

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