Grandma’s Pasta Water out the Window

If culinary school is teaching me anything it’s that cooking isn’t a culinary bible according to grandma.  Chicken doesn’t have to be washed, butter won’t kill you and this article from Serious Eats tells me that pasta does NOT have to be cooked in a large pot.  This is quite fitting as I was on the train this morning prepping from class tonight on starches. 

The article pretty much debunks every myth about why pasta needs to be cooked in a large pot.  And a little secret, I’ve definitely cooked pasta in a small crowded pot and I’m still here to tell the tale.  The gods of Italian cookery didn’t strike me down with a wooden spoon. 

Some interesting highlights:

  • When adding the pasta to boiling water in a larger pot it will take longer to return to a boil due to the larger surface area. Thus making the pasta cook longer and ruining any chances of a nice al dente noodle.   I’m always so anxious to eat that this is a good deal for me!  I think aside from the digestive benefit of a dente noodles I think I’ve grown accustom to the texture because I can never wait long enough! 
  • Myths about the pasta sticking together in a small pot don’t really apply.  You need to stir a few times in the beginning no matter what size pot you have. 
  • The water that remains from cooking pasta in a smaller pot is more starchy which is very helpful in binding the pasta to a sauce and can also be used as a thickening agent. 

Keep in mind the author’s ‘final notes’ as this method doesn’t exactly apply to all.

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