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Italian term for pasta that is cooked, but is not completely limp. It's still has a slightly resistance consistency when you bite into it.
An Italian phrase meaning to the tooth, which is used to describe the correct degree of doneness for pasta. It refers to pasta that is cooked firm and tender but never mushy. Pasta cooked al dente will hold up to any type of sauce that is used with it whereas pasta cooked too long may fall apart.