Why You're Treating Pasta Water Completely Wrong
If you were to ask us, there's nothing more gratifying than a bowl of homemade pasta. Perfectly simple and cozy, it's the food that we turn to again and again. If you too are a pasta devotee (welcome, friend!), you'll want to listen up. Turns out, that little acknowledged water you're cooking your tasty pasta in is some kind of liquid gold.
Added to sauces, the starchy pasta water serves as a binding agent and transforms sauces into velvety dreams. But in order to get the most out of it, you'll probably need to adjust the way you boil your pasta in the first place. Despite popular gospel, you really don't need to cook your pasta in a giant pot of water, suggests the experts at Cooking Light. It's wasteful, for one, and actually totally unnecessary. It's also robbing you of an amazing byproduct ingredient.
Instead, add just enough to cover the dry pasta in the pot and make sure to give it a couple of good swirls while cooking to loose any tangles or stuck-together pieces. What you'll be left with is a substantially more concentrated, slightly viscous liquid just begging to be put to use. Adding a few tablespoons to your pasta as it finishes cooking with the sauce will bind the sauce to the pasta and improve the flavor and texture of your final result.
Then, and here's the real kicker, save the rest of that good and concentrated liquid gold pasta water for future cooking exploits. Treat it like a stock, freezing it in small batches or ice trays. Your soups, stews, risotto, and even gravy will surely thank you.
Learn how to make handmade pasta in Mastering Pasta.
Do you save and put to use your pasta cooking liquid? Tell us below.