People around the globe are extremely fond of pasta preparations and many of us prepare it at least once a week, if not more. While preparing it one has to be extra watchful to cook the pasta until al dente in order to get the perfect pasta dish. The water in which pasta boils is also of great importance and must be preserved to be used later in the dish. Read on to know why.
Pasta water is of great significance while preparing the pasta dish and must not be drained away after you cook pasta in it. By draining this valuable water you lose a chance to turn your everyday pasta to restaurant worthy dish!
It happens so, pasta is prepared with flour and while it cooks in water pasta releases starch in it that turns the boiling pasta water in to white and cloudy liquid. This cloudy pasta water is of great value to thicken and emulsify the pasta sauce.
To explain it further, remember how many of us have seen a delicious looking pasta bowl but with a watery puddle around the edge? Well, that puddle is a result of separated oil and water molecules in the absence of an emulsifier.
The starch in the pasta water acts as an emulsifying and thickening agent and blends the two repelling liquids or molecules together to create a homogenous mixture or what we know as the smooth and creamy pasta sauce. Apart from that, some of us believe this valuable water adds flavor to the pasta dish and makes it more appealing.
You may also choose to not rinse the pasta to have a nice starch coating over it that helps to bind pasta to the sauce. In case you prefer to eat pasta prepared with other variety of grains, such as many types of rice, lentils, beans etc., you may still use the pasta water in cooking as it will still have starch molecules present in it.
Surprisingly though, the positive effects of using pasta water can be seen in all types of pasta sauce, either tomato, Alfredo or pesto.
There are many ways to save this precious pasta water and you may choose any of the following.
- Remove a few cups of pasta water in to a bowl before you drain the pasta through a large colander.
- You may use a pasta strainer to strain the cooked pasta and reserve water to be used later.
- You may use tongs to remove long pasta such as spaghetti or fettuccine in to the cooking pan and save the pasta water for cooking the sauce.
- Spider skimmer ladle can be used to drain out the short strand pasta.