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al dente

Order your pasta al dente at an Italian restaurant, and it'll be firm when you bite into it. Many people prefer al dente spaghetti to soggy, overcooked noodles.

The term al dente is almost always used to talk about food, particularly pasta. Most experienced cooks prepare rigatoni, fettuccine, macaroni, and other kinds of pasta so that it's still al dente when it's served. Al dente is Italian, and literally means "to the tooth," from a Latin root word, dent, or "tooth."

Definitions of al dente
  1. adjective
    cooked so as to be firm when eaten
    Synonyms:
    hard
    resisting weight or pressure
Word Family
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