The shape of pasta influences the flavor of the dish. Dense shapes with wrinkles or folds allow more sauce to cling to the pasta surface, which adds both flavor and texture to your dish. The bow tie shape of farfalle noodles catches sauce and seasoning in the center folds of this pasta's unique shape. Farfalle works well in both warm dishes and cold pasta salads. Cooking farfalle so it's al dente, or has a firm texture, helps the pasta hold its shape and allows sauces to cling to it more easily.
Fill a pot with water. Use 2 qt. water for every 1/2 lb. of farfalle pasta.
Add 1 tsp. salt for every 2 qt. water, if desired. Salt isn't necessary, but it adds flavor to the final dish.
Bring the water to a boil over medium high heat. Add the pasta when the water comes to a boil.
Place a lid on the pot and bring it back to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a rapid simmer.
Simmer the pasta for 11 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander at the end of the cooking time. Add the drained farfalle to your dish, and prepare it according to the instructions in the specific recipe.
Taste a piece of pasta before draining to ensure it's cooked sufficiently. Properly cooked farfalle is firm and gives minor resistance when you bite into it, but it isn't hard and doesn't have a gummy texture.