#AtoZChallenge: Cooking Terms – A is for Al Dente

A-ZTo cook something Al Dente means to cook it only until there is a slight resistance when bitten into but not to the point of being limp, soft, or overdone.   It usually, but not always, refers to the cooking of pasta.  Pasta cooked to “Al Dente” has a lower glycemic index than pasta cooked until it is soft.  When cooking commercial or boxed pasta, you cook just until the lower (or first) cooking time.

Cooking times for Al Dente pasta vary depending on the specific pasta in question, anywhere from 7 – 14 minutes.  An example would be Spaghetti/Linguine/Fettuccine:

  • Angel Hair:  8 minutes
  • Spaghetti: 9 minutes
  • Linguine: 9 minutes.
  • Fettuccine: 12 minutes

The word Al Dente comes from Italian meaning “To the Tooth”

al dente Look up al dente at Dictionary.com1935, Italian, literally “to the tooth,” from Latin dent (see tooth).



Related Terms:

  • The term “Molto Al Dente refers to slightly undercooked pasta.
  • The term “Al Forno” refers   to pasta dishes that are cooked twice.



Join me on an A to Z Journey of Cooking Terms throughout the month of April.


5 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Cooking Terms – A is for Al Dente

    • To be honest, not sure – on quantity I don’t think so since cooking times seem to work out the same whether full box or 1/2 box. Can’t really say o quality since we’re always using Barilla here 🙂


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