Cooking instructions will vary based on your personal taste. I recommend cooking the pasta between 11-13 minutes in simmering, lightly seasoned water.
Pro Tip: While my pasta is cooking, I usually have the sauce I am going to serve the pasta with, heating up in a sauté pan. I taste my pasta at the 10-minute mark and then transfer it to the sauté pan ( NEVER RINSE YOUR PASTA), so that the pasta can finish cooking in the sauce. This way, the pasta soaks up all the flavor of the sauce!
Beet Pasta– I like to go one of two ways with the sauces for beet pasta: light and ethereal or deep and voluptuous.
Light Sauce-Once the pasta is cooked, I transfer to a pan with a little pasta water. I drizzle in Olive Oil and toss the pasta until it becomes the pasta water emulsifies with the sauce. I finish it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and toss in fresh tarragon. I garnish the pasta with toasted pine nuts and orange zest to finish it off!
Heartier Sauce-Blue Cheese Fonduto: I start by reducing heavy cream by half with nutmeg, salt and pepper. I then add in grated parmigiano reggiano and further reduce until half again. Taste for seasoning and then fold in chunks of gorgonzola dolce. Reserve for later. I cook the pasta completely and then toss with olive salt and white pepper. Plate the pasta and then spoon the Fonduto over top of the pasta.
Spinach Pasta– This dish is one of the reasons my wife married me. Once the pasta is cooked gently toss it with some Olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the plate you are going to serve it on. While you are doing this have butter browning in a pan. Take a Hard Salty Cheese, like Ricotta Salata, and grate it over the pasta, then pour the bubbling brown butter over top of the cheese to melt it. Crazy good.
Durum Pasta– Going Basic here. Once pasta is almost cooked, transfer to a really good tomato sauce and finish cooking in the sauce. Finish with olive oil and 4 times as much fresh basil as you would think you need, as well as a handful of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.
Spelt Pasta- Cacio E Pepe. This is one of my favorite dishes for which I use pecorino crotonese from Calabria. I truly believe this is the best cheese for this dish. Start by toasting some freshly cracked black pepper in a pan. Once add a little olive oil to infuse the black pepper and some pasta water to stop the cooking process. Once your pasta is almost cooked transfer to the pan and finish cooking in the sauce. You can add a touch of butter if you would like to make the emulsion of the cheese a little easier, but if not simply use a little more olive oil and continue tossing the pasta while slowly sprinkling in the Pecorino Cheese. You should continue to toss the pasta in the pan until it is deliciously creamy and then once plated, I top the pasta with freshly cracked pink peppercorns, which adds a wonderful touch of sweetness.