A pot of cooking spaghetti

In cooking, al dente (/ælˈdɛnt/, Italian: [al ˈdɛnte]; lit.'to the tooth'[1]) describes pasta or rice that is cooked to be firm to the bite.[2][3][4] The term also extends to firmly-cooked vegetables.[5]

In contemporary Italian cooking, the term identifies the ideal consistency for pasta and involves a brief cooking time.[6][7] Molto al dente is the Italian term for slightly undercooked pasta.[2][8] Undercooking pasta is used in the first round of cooking when a pasta dish is going to be cooked twice.

According to the American Diabetes Association, pasta that is cooked al dente has a lower glycemic index than pasta that is cooked soft.[9] When cooking commercial pasta, the al dente phase occurs right before the white of the pasta center disappears.[4]

See also

Al dente at the Wikibooks Cookbook subproject The dictionary definition of al dente at Wiktionary


  1. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b Hazan, Marcella (20 July 2011). Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking - Marcella Hazan - Google Books. ISBN 9780307958303. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Al dente: definition of al dente in Oxford dictionary (American English) (US)". Oxforddictionaries.com. 11 August 2014. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  4. ^ a b Sinclair, Charles (January 2009). Dictionary of Food: International Food and Cooking Terms from A to Z - Charles Sinclair - Google Books. ISBN 9781408102183. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  5. ^ Cooking glossary: Al dente. Waitrose. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  6. ^ Moliterno, Gino (11 September 2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Italian Culture - Google Books. ISBN 9781134758777. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  7. ^ Capatti, Alberto; Montanari, Massimo (13 August 2013). Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History - Alberto Capatti, Massimo Montanari - Google Books. ISBN 9780231509046. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Penne a la vodka Recipe Text | Rouxbe Cooking School". Rouxbe.com. Archived from the original on 16 April 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Glycemic Index and Diabetes: American Diabetes Association®". Diabetes.org. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2014.