Use your noodle: Are the following statements true or false?

By Kate Merker
Updated February 23, 2005
Credit: Keate

Adding oil to the boiling water prevents sticking.

False. The oil might prevent the water from foaming up, but it won't stop your spaghetti from sticking together. To keep the strands separate, make sure the water is boiling rapidly, stir the pasta occasionally as it cooks, and mix it with the sauce immediately after straining.

You should rinse your pasta after straining it.

False. You want your pasta to be slightly starchy (that is, sticky and flavorful) so the sauce stays glued to each noodle and coats it effectively. Rinsing will leave you with less flavorful pasta and a watery meal.

You should always salt the boiling water.

True. Pasta will be bland if it cooks without some salt. Add at least 1 tablespoon per pound of pasta to the boiling water.

Put these tricks to the test with kid-friendly spaghetti recipes.