If there's anyone who's mastered pasta, it's Gennaro Contaldo. This legendary chef taught Jamie Oliver a trick or two about real Italian cooking, and now he's sharing his secrets with us. And it turns out there's even an art to boiling water...
But if you don't fancy cooking, that's OK too – we'll deliver Jamie Italian's perfect pasta to your door instead. Just type in your postcode to find your nearest Jamie's branch.
Gennaro Contaldo's ultimate pasta tips
1. Use top-notch ingredients
"Pasta is an incredibly simple dish but the quality of the ingredients makes a real difference. At Jamie's Italian, we make our dough fresh every day with organic eggs, finely milled 00 flour and some lovely semolina to give it body and texture. And we always use seasonal ingredients in our sauces."
2. Make a simple sauce
"Fresh, sweet cherry tomatoes, cooked up with some garlic, chilli and lots of basil complements a bowl of beautiful penne perfectly. You can't beat cherry tomatoes when they're in season, from June through to October."
3. Keep it classic
"Our Tagliatelle Bolognese is my favourite dish on the Jamie's Italian menu. The original recipe actually came from my Nona, so I love seeing it being served in the restaurants! We slow-cook our pork and beef mince with red wine – it's proper Italian comfort food."
4. Give it some bite
"Use vigorously boiling water with a pinch of the best salt you can find, and cook your pasta al dente. It might seem slightly undercooked but it means you'll chew it for a little bit longer, it will taste better and it's easier to digest."
5. Eat like an Italian
"Traditionally, Italians enjoy a small portion of pasta as a 'primi' – or first course – served with a fresh seasonal sauce to excite our taste buds before moving on to grilled meat or fish. We might eat pasta two or three times a week but we rarely eat a large portion as a main course."
Win a pasta masterclass with the man himself! We've got three pairs of tickets to Gennaro's private pasta-making class at The Jamie Oliver Cookery School to give away here.
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