How to Finish Pasta the Right Way

There’s pasta. And then there may be sauce. Put them in combination and you have got dinner. Simple as that, proper?

Not precisely.

Most pasta aficionados will inform you that the perfect approach to do it’s through completing cooking the nearly-done pasta on the warmth in its sauce with somewhat of the pasta-cooking water. According to that line of pondering, the starchy pasta water is helping to bind and thicken the sauce, and in some instances—equivalent to buttery or oily sauces—emulsifies it right into a creamy, non-greasy coating. Here, we resolution the query: Does pasta water truly make a distinction for your sauce?

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33 thoughts on “How to Finish Pasta the Right Way”

  1. I have found a method for making spaghetti all'aglio e olio that takes this method to the extreme, and it works incredibly well. Recently, I saw a video by ItaliaSquisita on five methods for making pasta, and one of them was a method called "Pasta risottata" (see this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK3FC1cQPKg&t=176s ) where all of the pasta starch is retained. The pasta gets cooked like risotto, adding boiling water and letting it absorb into the pasta, rather than boiling it, and reserving a little bit while tossing the rest. Incidentally, the starch released by durum wheat pasta is the same as risotto rice: amylopectin.

    If you make aglio e olio using the risottata method, the resulting emulsion is super creamy, and can hold even more oil because there is so much more starch. Give it a try. Also, with so little water, boiling the water takes hardly any time.

    The only thing I do differently is that instead of boiling a whole pot of salted water to act as "broth" that I ladle in, as shown in the video I linked, I put in only as much salt as I would want to eat (since none of the water gets discarded) and I use a pour-over kettle that I've brought to a boil to introduce the water to the pasta as it is needed.

  2. Thanks for that last comment about adding water when the emulsion breaks. I never realized why I would have such greasy bottom when I cook it for so long with starchy water. With your comment I realize that I overcooked it and lost water too much. Eureka!

  3. If you're making an "all day" pasta sauce in a crockpot, how would you go about finishing the noodles? Adding them to the crockpot near the end? Transferring some of the sauce into a pan for the noodles?

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