Starting pasta in cold water?

Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
Starting pasta in cold water?
3
Fri, 05-10-2013 - 7:23pm

This was actually fascinating to me.  I read an article yesterday (by someone as obsessed as I am) about starting pasta in cold water, and not a lot of it.  My soul breathed a huge sigh of relief, since I have secretly pulled the drapes and dimmed the lights and cooked pasta this way for decades Embarassed, just because I think it is terrible to waste so much water and energy using the huge pot.  

In brief, the formally trained pasta chef was astonished to find that pasta that was started in a small pot of cold water, or even SOAKED and left in the fridge, then just briefly simmered or even just tossed into hot sauce was JUST as perfect as pasta that was dropped into 6 quarts of boiling water.  

This will not work for your angel hair or for fresh pasta.  But check out the article and think about this idea of keeping soaked pasta on hand in the fridge to just toss into hot sauces on busy nights.  

In my restaurants, I did cook pasta to al dente, then kept it in the fridge in a tub with a wet towel on top.  As ordered, I would put the pasta in a strainer under hot running water and it was perfect.  The same technique worked for heating rice in small amounts.  

What do you think about this?  http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/05/ask-the-food-lab-can-i-start-pasta-in-cold-water.html

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Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Mon, 05-13-2013 - 1:02pm
That's very interesting! My dh and I disagree about this, but then he doesn't start it in cold water. He'll fill the pan with hot, throw in the pasta and put the pan on high heat. It never turns out as well, and seems to clump together. I would like to try this method though, love the idea of not having to wait for a pot of water to boil.

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Mon, 05-13-2013 - 1:04pm

That's very interesting!  My dh and I disagree about this, but then he doesn't start it in cold water.  He'll fill the pan with hot, throw in the pasta and put the pan on high heat.  It never turns out as well, and seems to clump together.  I would like to try this method though, love the idea of not having to wait for a pot of water to boil. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2004
Fri, 05-24-2013 - 9:37am

Ihave always been told never to use hot tap water  for rinsing or cooking in and that the cold water was safer. I have no problem boiling water for pasta and well  most pasta we eat is home made and fresh.