"Al dente" or "Dante Aligheiri"? Al dente is an Italian expression regarding how to prepare pasta. It should have a bit of resistance when you bite it, but not so much that it's hard. The trick is to remove the pot from direct heat before the pasta is ready, and let the pasta soak in the still-hot water until you achieve the desired consistency. The "Dante Aligheiri" answer, well, that one's a bit more complicated.