Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Cooked enough to be firm but not soft: pasta al dente.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. firm (used of pasta which is cooked just right)

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of pasta cooked so as to be firm when eaten

Etymologies

Italian : al, to the + dente, tooth.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Italian al (“to the”) +‎ dente (“tooth”). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Add the pasta, stir, and cook until al dente, 11 to 12 minutes.

    One Big Table

  • The notion of al dente was still a long way in the future.

    Delizia!

  • When the pasta is al dente, drain through a colander, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

    smitten kitchen | zucchini strand spaghetti | print template

  • Usually, what I like to do is to steam the beans, longer because I don't like al dente and again that's a personal taste and serve only the fava beans, without the outer skin drizzled with olive oil, salt pepper and cumin.

    Weekend Herb Blogging #99

  • Check the rice before the last addition to see if it is done rice should be al dente, not mushy.

    Asparagus and Meyer Lemon Risotto | Baking Bites

  • There were so many different courses: antipasto, soup, and spaghetti—al dente, of course—with tomato sauce.

    The Good Life

  • The queen of al dente made soft spaghetti tonight.

    Remember Me, Irene

  • Add the spaghetti and boil until al dente, about 11 minutes.

    NY Daily News

  • When they are chewy and fluffy, no longer al dente, they’re done.

    Day of Honey

  • what is it with people who have terrible taste in italian food? on of my best friend claims to LOVE italian, and every time i see her we go to have the worst italian food i've eaten in months. people, learn about al dente, for god's sake!

    Mini-review: Amedeo's

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Comments

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  • Literally a moment ago I said to Mrs Yarb "do you think there's ever been anyone called Al Dente?" After a brief silence I fired up wordie and lo!

    November 28, 2008

  • Unfortunately did not survive his encounter with cannibals, as described in Schwarzer et al.

    November 28, 2008

  • famous pasta-loving Italian dentist.

    November 28, 2008