Pasta is one of the few dishes almost every one of us can handle quite well without too much struggle. We might use different styles to cook it, but as a final stage of the preparation the very last detail of the elaborate process before the pasta is served is draining the water off. But rather than just flush the water from your pasta down the drain, there is a way to make better use of it.
Those that are in one the secret calls the cloudy pasta water that many others flush down the drain “liquid gold” because it serves a higher purpose if you know your way around is. Instead of pouring the starchy liquid away, you can actually use it to elevate the sauce that you will use to eat the noodles.
Like most starchy food, starch is released into the water when you cook pasta. This is responsible for the cloudy appearance of the water. While you might want to quickly dismiss this water as useless, you might want to re-think that after this.
Every pasta lover will agree that the Pasta is just as important as the sauce. It is quite important that asides having a well-cooked pasta, you also get a smooth sauce made to the perfect consistency to eat it with. That’s where the challenge lies for most people. But you can make use of the water from the pasta to emulsify the sauce for the silky smooth consistency. By emulsifying the sauce, you not only alter its taste but also how it reacts.
It helps to hold the water and the oil together. So instead of having a puddle under the sauce, all the sweetness is held together and you can enjoy it with your pasta. Normally what most people do to thicken the sauce is to add cornstarch or extra flour. But waste your flour when you can simply alter the taste with the pasta water.
This little trick is secret many professional chefs have been using for many years to make delicious pasta dishes. It’s sure and tested that has been proven to produce better tasting sauce than normal sauce cooked without using pasta water.
Here are some important tips you should keep in mind the next time you decide to make some pasta or any other starchy food like brown rice, lentils or beans.
1. Don’t add oil – most people erroneously believe that adding oil to your pasta while cooking prevents it from sticking together. You will be surprised to find out that it does the exact opposite. It makes the water greasy and this makes the noodles stick together.
2. Use enough water – always ensure that you are using enough water every time you boil pasta. It is recommended that you use about 3L of water for every 250g of pasta you cook.
3. Stop Draining – as mentioned, do not drain the water from your pasta into the sink. Instead, you can use a fork or pasta fork to remove the noodles from the water. From the water left you can ladle some into the sauce for that special touch to your sauce.
4. Use the Strainer – not everyone has a pot that comes with a strainer. But if you do have one, then lucky you. Just lift it out and the water is left behind for your use.