If there’s one person whose pasta advice you should trust, it’s Giada De Laurentiis. So when POPSUGAR chatted with Giada over the phone to discuss her amazing new line of pasta products from Williams Sonoma, we had to get some firsthand tips from the spaghetti queen herself. Knowing that the surprising ingredient Giada sometimes adds to pasta is chocolate (yes, really), I wanted to know what Giada’s everyday must-have ingredients for the best pasta are.
When I asked Giada, “What’s the one thing you always add to pasta?,” she responded without hesitation with not one but three crucial ingredients. “You should always add pasta water, for sure,” she said. “And make sure it’s pasta water seasoned very well with salt, because otherwise it doesn’t taste like anything. And then, the other two things: I always finish with EVOO [extra virgin olive oil], and I always finish with freshly grated parmesan. Those three things, I always do, without fail, no matter which pasta I make.”
Giada’s three essential ingredients might seem simple, but she’s the expert. Saving a stash of well-seasoned pasta water before draining the pasta ensures you have a salty, starchy liquid that will help the pasta cling to its sauce (especially sauces like carbonara and cacio e pepe), a drizzle of good-quality olive oil adds richness and flavor to a finished pasta dish, and parmesan cheese — well, you can never have too much freshly grated parmesan cheese. The next time you plan on making a pasta recipe for dinner, remember Giada’s three tips, and you’ll never serve an underwhelming plate of pasta again.