Al dente

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Carbonara penne served al dente

In cooking, al dente /ælˈdɛnt/ (Italian pronunciation: [al ˈdɛnte]) describes pasta or rice that is cooked to be firm to the bite.[1][2][3] The etymology is Italian "to the tooth".[4]

In contemporary Italian cooking, the term identifies the ideal consistency for pasta and involves a brief cooking time.[5][6][6] Molto al dente is the culinary term for slightly undercooked pasta.[1][7] Undercooking pasta is used in the first round of cooking when a pasta dish is going to be cooked twice.

Pasta that is cooked al dente has a lower glycemic index than pasta that is cooked soft.[8][disputed ] When cooking commercial pasta, the al dente phase occurs right after the white of the pasta center disappears.[3]


The term is used in reference to cooking vegetables, such as green beans or brussels sprouts, though this is often misunderstood as meaning that instead of being cooked all the way through, they still have a slightly raw (fresh) taste to them, generally desirable in cooking. It could be interpreted as cooking them until they almost lose their raw taste, as a way to avoid overcooking them.[9][10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking - Marcella Hazan - Google Books". 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  2. ^ "Al dente: definition of al dente in Oxford dictionary (American English) (US)". 2014-08-11. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  3. ^ a b "Dictionary of Food: International Food and Cooking Terms from A to Z - Charles Sinclair - Google Books". Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  4. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  5. ^ "Encyclopedia of Contemporary Italian Culture - Google Books". Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  6. ^ a b "Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History - Alberto Capatti, Massimo Montanari - Google Books". 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  7. ^ "Penne a la vodka Recipe Text | Rouxbe Cooking School". Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  8. ^ "Glycemic Index and Diabetes: American Diabetes Association®". Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  9. ^ "Can Bacon Save Green Beans? Yes, but it Isn't Pretty". Restaurant Widow. 2006-08-08. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
  10. ^ "Access". Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Brussels Sprout Saute Recipe from". Retrieved 2014-08-18.

External links[edit]