Giada De Laurentiis’ top tips for cooking the perfect pasta include using an ingredient she calls ‘gold’

Giada De Laurentiis has a few simple tips for cooking the perfect pasta and one of her biggest takeaways is keeping the pasta water in rather than throwing it away when draining the pasta. The Food Network star whips up a quick sauce full of flavor, but also has some suggestions for curing the pot sauce.

Giada De Laurentiis | David Becker/Getty Images for Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit

Giada De Laurentiis shares her tips for perfect pasta

De Laurentiis shared her simplest pasta tips in a TikTok video which she later shared on Instagram. The Food Network star keeps things simple when it comes to making pasta, and there are some steps in the process that are totally game-changing.

De Laurentiis’ short and sweet video had everything it needed to elevate your pasta game. “How to make the perfect pasta,” she said in voiceover as the video showed a pot of boiling water. “Boil your water. Add salt,” she said. And don’t skimp on the salt. “Add LOTS of salt – make it taste like the sea.”

She advised skipping the olive oil in the jar, saying, “Olive oil? No, never.” Then she added the pasta and cooked it.

De Laurentiis pasta sauce is so easy to make. She combined olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, pepper in a pan.

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Food Network star recommends saving pasta water

When the pasta was done cooking, she used a colander kitchen tool to remove it from the water, rather than draining it in a colander in the sink.

De Laurentiis also offered a big tip: “Don’t strain your pasta water.”

She placed the pasta in the sauce and kept the pasta water warm, pouring it into the sauce to dilute it to the right consistency. “Pasta water is gold,” she shared.

When the dish was finished, she exclaimed, “Now delicious pasta!”

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Giada De Laurentiis’ tips for improving potted pasta sauce

De Laurentiis also offers easy ways to make a pot of store-bought sauce more delicious. In a 2020 Giadzy post, the Food Network star shared “tips for taking marinara from good to great!”

“Let’s face it — in a perfect world, we’d make homemade pomodoro every night, but in reality, we reach for the store-bought jar of marinara quite often,” De Laurentiis explained. “While there are plenty of great sauces available at the grocery store, sometimes we find the need to amp up the flavor a bit.”

De Laurentiis said tasting the sauce first helps identify how to amplify the flavors.

The Food Network star likes to “build up the flavor” by cooking the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes before adding it to the sauce. She also adds sprigs of basil for the “quintessential sweet Italian flavor” and a crust of Parmigiano Reggiano for a “rich, salty flavor.” De Laurentiis also likes to add heat with chilli paste or red chilli flakes.

A little butter can also add a creamy texture to the sauce. “Giada swears by adding a tablespoon of butter to her tomato sauce at the very end,” the post notes. “Even a small amount of butter can completely change the texture of the sauce, making it more velvety and creamy!”

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