Add this to the list of things we thought we knew, but didn’t.
When it comes to maneuvering my way all over the kitchen, I can boldly say I do pretty well for myself. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not open to learning something new. The truth is that a lot of tend to do so well with the basics, but then go completely blank when the more advanced options come into play.
One of the things I love making the most is pasta. While it is simple, it is extremely tasty. A lot of us have certain flairs when it comes to making this dish, but if there is one thing that we can all agree on, it is the fact that you need to drain the pasta before it is ready to be eaten.
When you go to a lot of kitchens, you’ll find a colander. The pasta is originally supposed to go into the colander, then the water that was used in boiling the pasta is supposed to be drained away.
Well, if you’ve been doing this- and there is no doubt that we’ve all done this in the past- you need to stop immediately.
As it turns out, the cloudy pasta water that ends up going into the drain can be referred to by some people as “liquid gold”. Apart from the cooking of your pasta, this water has another use; apparently, it can be used to elevate the sauce that you pour over the noodles.
When the pasta is being cooked, the noodles’ starch is released into the water. That presence is one of the reasons for its cloudy appearance. If you think the water is unfit for everywhere, well you’d be very wrong.
The pasta sauce is what makes it so fantastic, and it is important for you to have a silky, smooth sauce that will be in just the right consistency.
The water from the pasta can be used or emulsification. Here is its importance:
Emulsification is capable of making a difference in the taste and reaction of the sauce. This process holds the water and the oil, so you don’t end up with something looking soggy.
If a ladle full of water is added to the sauce, it will do much more than just add the water and oil. The sauce will also be thickened and it will improve the taste of the sauce.
According to an experiment conducted by Serious Eats, this new method of cooking pasta actually does make a difference in taste. To wit, make sure to keep the following in mind when next you go making pasts with this new knowledge:
Don’t add oil. When you add oil to the pasta, you’ll make it greasy and the grease will most probably stick with the noodles.
Use sufficient water. Make sure to use enough water to boil the pasta. For every 250g of pasta, make sure to use 3L of water.
Quit the draining. Also, don’t drain the water in the sink. You can remove the noodles from the water with tongs or a pasta fork. Then, you can ladle some water into the sauce to elevate it.
Make use of the strainer. If your pot comes with its own strainer, then just lift it out after the noodles have been cooked. The liquid gold will remain, and you can use it at your discretion.
Apart from cooking pasta, these tips can also be used when cooking other starchy foods.