I have no doubt that this quick and simple staple is a familiar comfort to many, and yet, as a home cook who relishes the simple tricks that make my life in the kitchen more delicious, I credit it with something else as well: the simple yet revolutionary technique of toasting uncooked pasta.
Actually that’s unfair, because the credit should really go to my mom. I didn’t grow up in a household that valued ostentatious cooking; meat and three veg, simple stir fries, and one-pot pastas were our go-to dinners, and that suited us just fine. But it turns out that I never gave my mom the recognition she deserved, because embedded in these simple staples were the techniques that she used to elevate them—one of which is simply toasting your uncooked pasta. The result is a far more flavorful meal, turning the spaghetti into more than just a conduit for the sauce, but a contender for highlight of the dish in its own right.