If you're filtering your pasta in the sink, here's why you should stop doing it right away!
Cooking basic food like rice and pasta was one of the first things I learned when I started cooking as a little kid.
Although there are various techniques people use to get the best results, there is one thing that almost everyone does: drain the pasta water.
Almost every home has a sieve that is used to filter the pasta and drain the water in the sink. But if you use this method, it's time to stop because you've been making a big mistake all your life.
According to Bon Appetit, pasta water, or as they call it 'liquid gold', has a different and more effective use that will change the way you cook.
Apparently, they can be used to enhance the sauce and lift it to other heights that will bring the pasta to a whole new level. Confused? We'll explain.
During the pasta cooking process, the starch from the flour of which the noodles are made is formed in the water which makes them look a little murky and then we believe they can no longer be used.
But it turns out that this liquid is just what you need to make an emulsion, which turns into a smooth sauce with a perfect texture.
You must be wondering why emulsion is so important. Well, it makes a very big difference in the flavor and texture of your sauce. The process connects the oil and water together so that they don't separate in your plate and form an aqueous puddle at the bottom.
Adding one ladle of pasta water to your sauce will not only connect the oil and water, it will also flavor the sauce so you don't have to add flour, starch or cream - all of which dramatically change the flavor of the sauce.
This trick may be new to many, but many chefs, including Jamie Oliver, have long used this method to create fantastic pasta dishes.
The Serious Eats website conducted an experiment to determine whether people could feel the difference between plain sauce and sauce cooked with pasta water, and the pasta water sauce won bigtime.
Before you become overly excited, there are a few things you need to know that will help you get the most out of your pasta water.
The best thing about pasta water is that they work with any kind of sauce, be it tomatoes, alfredo or pesto.
Here are some important things to know while cooking and preserving pasta water:
1. Don't add oil to the water, it will just make your pasta greasy and make the sauce slip from the noodles.
2. For good liquid starch texture, make sure you use enough water when boiling the pasta. The rule of thumb is to use 3 liters of water for 250 grams of pasta.
3. Instead of filtering the water into the sink, use a pasta fork or tongs to remove the cooked noodles from the water. Then use a ladle to add some water to the sauce and create magic for your taste buds.
4. If you are the lucky ones and you have a pot that comes with a pasta strainer, then you can easily lift the strainer when the noodles are cooked, leaving the liquid gold for later use.
You can use the same technique when you cook other starchy foods like beans, whole rice, and lentils, and take your recipe to a whole different level.
Have you ever used pasta water in your sauces? Tell us in the comments!