How and when to strain pasta
It’s all too easy to cook pasta to perfection and then ruin everything in the last step because you don’t know how to strain it properly. Straining is just as important as all the other skills that go into making a pasta dish. First of all, you should strain pasta the moment it is cooked to the desired degree. Don’t just take it off the heat: it will continue to soften in the warm water.
In the case of long pieces of pasta, you should forget about the colander and use that large toothed spoon with holes that you’ve got in the kitchen and remove the pasta bit by bit. For short pieces of pasta, use a colander, but don’t leave the pasta too long or else it might get lumpy and dry out. A few good shakes and a couple of minutes is enough.