home or Register


Lidia Bastianich is an Emmy award-winning television host, best-selling cookbook author, and restaurateur. She has held true to her Italian roots and culture, which she proudly and warmly invites her fans to experience.
 
more about lidia ›




What we mean when we say "al dente"
The literal translation of “al dente” is “to the tooth,” but it means much more than that to a...
 
see previous tips ›
see next tips ›


Appearance on Dr.Oz
Lidia will be appearing on Dr. Oz Monday March 23th cooking and giving tips on cooking healthy food. Be sure to check your...
 
Celebrate Spring with Lidia
Lidia is celebrating spring with her new book and is having a book signing dinner at Lidia’s Kansas City and Lidia’s...
 
Lidia on the Better Show
Lidia be appearing on the Better Show on March 12th preparing dishes from Egg-Citing Farm Adventure. Be sure to check your local...
 
see all latest news ›

Food Books and Dvds Tableware

Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking
Lidia brings viewers on a road trip into the heart of Italian-American cooking.
buy now ›
read more ›

LIDIA'S
Enjoy Lidia's pastas and sauces!
buy now ›

Lidia's Stoneware Collection

buy now ›


Sign up now for access to
recipes, tips, and more!



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Becoming a member of the Community Table is easy and free!
Please fill out the required fields below.
*required fields

sign in information
about you


Welcome to the Community Table. Please sign in to
access your recipe box, photos, discussions,
and personal settings.



Forgot password?
Not a member? Join now!
July 20, 2015
What we mean when we say "al dente"

The literal translation of “al dente” is “to the tooth,” but it means much more than that to an Italian. Al dente is a sensation of slight resistance, generated by the pressure of chewing, and it is a very important part of the overall enjoyment of food, especially pasta and rice. It is as hard to describe as it is easy to recognize. Pasta and rice cooked al dente will be tender and not at all raw tasting, but with a firm texture and even a little “snap” at the center. It is easy to tell pasta or rice that has been cooked al dente by cutting through a piece of it crosswise and looking at it. In long pasta shapes, like spaghetti and linguine, there will be a dot of white at the center; in round pasta shapes like ziti or penne, there will be a faint but clear ring of white around the center of the pasta. Rice for risotto that has been cooked al dente will have a pure white dot at the center. Of course, you can cook your pasta and rice however you enjoy them most!