Cooking pasta is perhaps one of the first things you learn when you want to master the kitchen department. I mean, it’s one of the basic skill you should know when you want to make something quick and easy. Especially if you’re a student, or working long hours.
So what are the basic skills that they teach you when cooking pasta? I mean, everyone has their own way of doing things. Their own techniques in achieving the best results. But there’s one thing that everyone does the same. That’s draining the pasta.
Everyone, since the beginning of pasta time, has a colander that they use in order to drain the pasta water. This water usually goes down the sink. Believe it or not, you should stop doing that immediately. According to various sites, including Bon Appetit, throwing this water down the sink is a huge mistake.
Why, you ask? Well, according to cookinglight.com, the water that you boil your pasta is actually a convenient by-product that makes your pasta dish more delicious. Are you shocked as much as we were? It’s pretty crazy.
The site notes that the water that you boil your pasta in becomes a by-product that not only makes your dish more scrumptious but also improves the flavor and texture of the sauce. It essentially binds the sauce to the pasta.
So what’s the science behind all of this? Well according to Bon Appetit, while the pasta cooks, the starch from the flour of the noodles seeps into the water, which makes it look foggy. This “gross” appearance, makes us believe that there’s no use for it. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Bon Appetit calls this pasta water “liquid gold” because it helps elevate the sauce that will add a ton to your noodle dish. If you think this is a new thing that people are doing, you are mistaken. Chefs have been doing this for a while now.
So how exactly do you go about using this pasta “gold” water? Well, cookinglight.com says that you should only use as much water as you need to cover the pasta as it boils. The noodles won’t stick together, as long as you continuously give them good stirs during the first two minutes of cook time.
The site continues, noting that once the pasta is done, the starch content is going to be perfectly concentrated in the pasta water. Then what you do, according to the site, is “ladle a few tablespoons of it into the pasta as it finishes cooking with the sauce in a separate pan, which helps the sauce adhere to the noodles and gives the sauce itself a gloriously silky texture.”
At this point, you’re probably wondering if people actually notice a difference between a pasta water sauce and not. Serious Eats actually did an experiment to test if people can tell the difference between the two. Turns out, they fully could tell which sauce was made with pasta water. According to Serious Eats, there are a few crucial steps that you need to remember.
The first is that you shouldn’t add oil to the water. That’ll just make your pasta super greasy and make the sauce slip off the noodles. The second, for you to get a good starch to liquid consistency, you need to make sure you’re using enough water while boiling the pasta. The site notes, that you have to use three liters of water for every 250 grams of pasta.
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