You might do it for a real reason or just because it seems like the right thing to do, but chances are you pour the water from cooking pasta down the sink.
I’ll hold up my hands and say I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. What are you going to do with it otherwise?
Obviously, I might stop doing that now that I know it’s a bad idea to throw away the water you used to cook pasta. Why? Well, let me tell you …
They say that the water, which they call “liquid gold,” makes the sauce that will go with your pasta taste better.
During cooking, the starch from the pasta leaks into the water, making it look cloudy. Since the water seems to taste bad, almost everyone pours it down the drain before eating the pasta.
But that would be a huge waste. Bon Appetit says that the liquid is just right for emulsification, which makes a silky smooth sauce with the right consistency.
To put it more simply, emulsification can change a lot about how your sauce stays together and tastes. It holds the oil and water together, so there won’t be a puddle of water at the bottom of your plate or bowl.
You can thicken your sauce by adding a small amount of pasta water. This is a good alternative to flour, cornstarch, cream, and other thickeners that can change the taste of your dish if you use too much.
So, the next time you make pasta, you might want to save the water and put it in your sauce. I did it at home, and I can say that it did make a difference.
Not aware of this? Don’t worry. We didn’t either.
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