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(Telegraph)   Legendary foodie Harold McGee says your pasta cooking technique sucks, and that all you really need is a frying pan, cold water, and 10 minutes   ( telegraph.co.uk) divider line
    More: Obvious, Cooking, frying pan, pasta, interesting food hack, painless task, Boiling, Harold McGee, Kitchen Science  
•       •       •

2905 clicks; posted to Geek » on 16 Mar 2017 at 4:57 AM (31 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-03-16 12:25:41 AM  
I think I will try this...For SCIENCE!
 
2017-03-16 12:50:15 AM  
I live at 7,200 feet, and pasta takes about 12 minutes to cook. Don't believe me? Come to my corner of Arizona and I'll give you some 10-minute pasta. You want your spaghetti extra-crunchy?
 
2017-03-16 01:21:05 AM  
This is like 15 years old. I've tried it and it's 'meh'.
Yes...CAN...but should you? The pasta is more starchy if you use less water.
Try it yourself...if you like it fine. But I think it makes normal dried pasta too starchy.
 But don't leave the kitchen as it could boil dry if you have a decent stove.
 
IP [TotalFark]
2017-03-16 01:22:52 AM  
And no salt in the water?  Fark you.
 
2017-03-16 01:34:04 AM  

optikeye: This is like 15 years old. I've tried it and it's 'meh'.
Yes...CAN...but should you? The pasta is more starchy if you use less water.
Try it yourself...if you like it fine. But I think it makes normal dried pasta too starchy.
 But don't leave the kitchen as it could boil dry if you have a decent stove.


Basically it can work, but it's also a great way to learn from your mistakes. If you want to practice shopping for new pans or brush up on cleaning your stove it's a great idea.
 
2017-03-16 01:59:12 AM  

davidphogan: optikeye: This is like 15 years old. I've tried it and it's 'meh'.
Yes...CAN...but should you? The pasta is more starchy if you use less water.
Try it yourself...if you like it fine. But I think it makes normal dried pasta too starchy.
 But don't leave the kitchen as it could boil dry if you have a decent stove.

Basically it can work, but it's also a great way to learn from your mistakes. If you want to practice shopping for new pans or brush up on cleaning your stove it's a great idea.


Yeah, and what if your noodle don't fit into the pan all at once, i.e. spaghetti, linguini, etc.?
 
2017-03-16 02:47:00 AM  

optikeye: This is like 15 years old. I've tried it and it's 'meh'.
Yes...CAN...but should you? The pasta is more starchy if you use less water.
Try it yourself...if you like it fine. But I think it makes normal dried pasta too starchy.
 But don't leave the kitchen as it could boil dry if you have a decent stove.


But pasta is always "meh"
 
2017-03-16 02:51:54 AM  

Sid_6.7: davidphogan: optikeye: This is like 15 years old. I've tried it and it's 'meh'.
Yes...CAN...but should you? The pasta is more starchy if you use less water.
Try it yourself...if you like it fine. But I think it makes normal dried pasta too starchy.
 But don't leave the kitchen as it could boil dry if you have a decent stove.

Basically it can work, but it's also a great way to learn from your mistakes. If you want to practice shopping for new pans or brush up on cleaning your stove it's a great idea.

Yeah, and what if your noodle don't fit into the pan all at once, i.e. spaghetti, linguini, etc.?


Brush up cleaning your stove or get a bigger pan.

It's like a health care plan.

Sorry.
 
2017-03-16 03:06:41 AM  
Lately I've been using my wok to boil pasta. Love using it for carbonara or premavera.
 
2017-03-16 05:45:06 AM  
with an interesting food hack.

*close*

/overused and abused word
 
2017-03-16 06:17:51 AM  

alechemist: Lately I've been using my wok to boil pasta. Love using it for carbonara or premavera.


What about siliconara and postmavera?
Nyuk nyuk nyuk
 
2017-03-16 07:51:24 AM  
Legendary foodie?
 
2017-03-16 07:53:00 AM  

IP: And no salt in the water?  Fark you.


That was my first thought. You have one chance to get salt in the pasta and that is when you boil it. And if you salt the water in your frying pan, it is going to be too salty to use in any sauce.

This "hack" reminded me of this useless product:

img.fark.net

Except while this one is useless for making anything other than gummy pasta, it does at least work for storing uncooked pasta.
 
2017-03-16 08:02:21 AM  
Why would anyone ever make spaghetti when you can make ziti instead?
 
2017-03-16 08:47:04 AM  
I started cooking pasta with cold water (and salt) but just enough water to be about an inch above the pasta.  Adds about 8-10 minutes to the cooking time if i used a rolling boil.  But i noticed it was a little more gummy, and not a nice Al dente

You also have a nice thick starch filled water that is good for making a sauce with.
 
2017-03-16 08:54:31 AM  
Gluten is the main ingredient in the semolina wheat from which good quality pasta is made. This is what allows the pasta to be ductile and why overcooked pasta can get tossed out. It's better simply to be gentle with all food and not cook it quickly at high heat but over just a minimum boil for a bit longer, stirring often.
 
2017-03-16 08:57:10 AM  
Why start with a flavorless starchy base? You'll never make a great sauce or gravy starting with the liquified starch. Begin instead by browning/searing your savory ingredients, deglaze with some broth or water, and then add in the right amount of dry pasta. It is a world of difference.
Here is an easy, one-pan recipe that exemplifies this technique. Quick, delicious, and no weird ingredients you have to search high and low for just to use for one meal.
http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2014/08/one-pan-orecchiette-with-sausa​g​e-and.html
 
2017-03-16 09:02:02 AM  
Ftfa
When it's done, you have pasta that's perfectly cooked and you have a thickened liquid you can use to make all kinds of sauces.

So I cook the pasta, then I start on the sauce?
 
2017-03-16 09:12:00 AM  
He boils his pasta in water.  Revolutionary!
 
2017-03-16 09:25:03 AM  
Will this work with organic, gluten-free oat bran pasta?  It's the only type my delicate constitution can tolerate.
 
2017-03-16 09:29:43 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: He boils his pasta in water.  Revolutionary!


My thought as well.
Such an amazing feat.
 
2017-03-16 09:32:43 AM  
Been cooking my pasta in vegetable oil this whole time!  Thanks for the tips, revolutionary foodie man!
 
2017-03-16 09:48:44 AM  

IP: And no salt in the water?  Fark you.


Where does he say this?
 
2017-03-16 10:01:48 AM  
There is an even better way...

img.fark.net
 
2017-03-16 10:18:57 AM  
Who the fark makes sauce out of pasta water base? I've been broke before but I've never been that broke.

Here's a real tip: Never fully boil your pasta. Take it out al dente and then heat it the rest of the way in the sauce. It will absorb the flavor of your sauce as it finishes cooking.
 
2017-03-16 10:21:48 AM  

optikeye: This is like 15 years old. I've tried it and it's 'meh'.
Yes...CAN...but should you? The pasta is more starchy if you use less water.
Try it yourself...if you like it fine. But I think it makes normal dried pasta too starchy.
 But don't leave the kitchen as it could boil dry if you have a decent stove.


I was kind of thinking there would be way too much stratch left in it. I only need a cup of pasta water worth of stratch for my sauce to stick, not the entire batch worth.

/might do it in a cinch, but not if i can do it regular
 
2017-03-16 10:38:57 AM  

Plissken: Why start with a flavorless starchy base? You'll never make a great sauce or gravy starting with the liquified starch. Begin instead by browning/searing your savory ingredients, deglaze with some broth or water, and then add in the right amount of dry pasta. It is a world of difference.
Here is an easy, one-pan recipe that exemplifies this technique. Quick, delicious, and no weird ingredients you have to search high and low for just to use for one meal.
http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2014/08/one-pan-orecchiette-with-sausag​e-and.html


Thanks...that looks tasty!

As to the salt in the water thing, I've never quite gotten that. I've been personally cooking pasta (always dry, prepackaged) for more than 40 years, and cannot taste any difference between adding salt to the water, and not. YMMV, of course.
 
2017-03-16 10:40:24 AM  

tjsands1118: optikeye: This is like 15 years old. I've tried it and it's 'meh'.
Yes...CAN...but should you? The pasta is more starchy if you use less water.
Try it yourself...if you like it fine. But I think it makes normal dried pasta too starchy.
 But don't leave the kitchen as it could boil dry if you have a decent stove.

I was kind of thinking there would be way too much stratch left in it. I only need a cup of pasta water worth of stratch for my sauce to stick, not the entire batch worth.

/might do it in a cinch, but not if i can do it regular


How did you spell starch wrong twice? Or is that like the "vodak" of food?
 
2017-03-16 10:41:56 AM  

iron_city_ap: There is an even better way...

[img.fark.net image 425x239]


I don't know what this is, but I love it.
 
2017-03-16 10:56:52 AM  

adj_m: Who the fark makes sauce out of pasta water base? I've been broke before but I've never been that broke.

Here's a real tip: Never fully boil your pasta. Take it out al dente and then heat it the rest of the way in the sauce. It will absorb the flavor of your sauce as it finishes cooking.


You don't use the starch water as a base, you just throw a little bit in at the end, right before you put the pasta in it (which is indeed the right way to finish the pasta); it helps the sauce thicken and better adhere to the pasta. Start with a quarter cup or so and increase until it's just right.
 
2017-03-16 11:12:10 AM  

ArcadianRefugee: with an interesting food hack.

*close*

/overused and abused word


This.

"Food hack" is something that involves the Heimlich maneuver.
 
2017-03-16 11:20:04 AM  

optikeye: This is like 15 years old. I've tried it and it's 'meh'.
Yes...CAN...but should you? The pasta is more starchy if you use less water.
Try it yourself...if you like it fine. But I think it makes normal dried pasta too starchy.
 But don't leave the kitchen as it could boil dry if you have a decent stove.


Christ, my neighbor's wife will boil water for an hour before she remembers she was going to cook pasta, then she drops the pasta in and sets the timer and walks away to watch Friends for the 555883473692154874121th time. After it goes off a few times the yelling starts.
CHECK THE PASTA!
WHAT!
CHECK THE PASTA!
YOU'RE COOKING IT!!! YOU CHECK IT!!!
FARKING ASSHOLE! , CHECK THE PASTA!


lovely family.
I can hear them a mile away.
 
2017-03-16 11:31:24 AM  

Plissken: iron_city_ap: There is an even better way...

[img.fark.net image 425x239]

I don't know what this is, but I love it.


Weber cooks.

Weber Cooks - Spaghetti (w/ Chef Steven Reed) [Official Video]
Youtube 7hF41qPkJxs
 
2017-03-16 11:34:08 AM  

optikeye: This is like 15 years old. I've tried it and it's 'meh'.
Yes...CAN...but should you? The pasta is more starchy if you use less water.
Try it yourself...if you like it fine. But I think it makes normal dried pasta too starchy.
 But don't leave the kitchen as it could boil dry if you have a decent stove.


THIS..
 
2017-03-16 11:47:11 AM  

Manfred J. Hattan: adj_m: Who the fark makes sauce out of pasta water base? I've been broke before but I've never been that broke.

Here's a real tip: Never fully boil your pasta. Take it out al dente and then heat it the rest of the way in the sauce. It will absorb the flavor of your sauce as it finishes cooking.

You don't use the starch water as a base, you just throw a little bit in at the end, right before you put the pasta in it (which is indeed the right way to finish the pasta); it helps the sauce thicken and better adhere to the pasta. Start with a quarter cup or so and increase until it's just right.


Ah that makes more sense, gotta say I didn't read very carefully after the phrase 'food hack'. Personally I prefer to add in some kneaded butter, or if I'm feeling fancy, egg yolk, but to each their own.
 
2017-03-16 12:00:45 PM  

adj_m: Who the fark makes sauce out of pasta water base? I've been broke before but I've never been that broke.

Here's a real tip: Never fully boil your pasta. Take it out al dente and then heat it the rest of the way in the sauce. It will absorb the flavor of your sauce as it finishes cooking.


Why would I want to keep cooking my pasta after it's al dente?
(... and how much sauce do you use?)

Keeping some of the water for the sauce is pretty standard for things like carbonara, less so for a tomato based sauces.
 
2017-03-16 12:00:51 PM  

adj_m: Who the fark makes sauce out of pasta water base? I've been broke before but I've never been that broke.


I've seen several Italian-American recipes that call for using pasta water to "thin out" thicker sauce, but not as a base.  Rarely calls for more than a ladle or so of water - not too much.
 
2017-03-16 12:09:32 PM  
I'm quite sure I'm not alone in being tired of assholes telling me that I'm using a product wrong, eating something the wrong way or cooking something incorrectly.

This is pasta, not particle physics.
 
2017-03-16 12:30:24 PM  

Joe Satin: Legendary foodie?


Yeah... he is...

Harold McGee's "On Food and Cooking" single handedly changed cooking... Alton Brown's work is based on McGee's work...
 
2017-03-16 12:31:05 PM  
Cooking short cuts like a risotto w/ a smaller, thinner amount of sauce is over 20 years old. Hell, it was on America's Test Kitchen weeks ago.
 
2017-03-16 12:34:07 PM  

Trocadero: Cooking short cuts like a risotto w/ a smaller, thinner amount of sauce is over 20 years old. Hell, it was on America's Test Kitchen weeks ago.


And his book came out in 1984... over 30 years ago...
 
2017-03-16 12:48:51 PM  

Stone Meadow: Plissken: Why start with a flavorless starchy base? You'll never make a great sauce or gravy starting with the liquified starch. Begin instead by browning/searing your savory ingredients, deglaze with some broth or water, and then add in the right amount of dry pasta. It is a world of difference.
Here is an easy, one-pan recipe that exemplifies this technique. Quick, delicious, and no weird ingredients you have to search high and low for just to use for one meal.
http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2014/08/one-pan-orecchiette-with-sausag​e-and.html

Thanks...that looks tasty!

As to the salt in the water thing, I've never quite gotten that. I've been personally cooking pasta (always dry, prepackaged) for more than 40 years, and cannot taste any difference between adding salt to the water, and not. YMMV, of course.


How much salt are you adding? If you can't tell the difference, I'm assuming that it's not enough.

The correct answer is "quite a darn bit of salt".
 
2017-03-16 01:21:46 PM  

Cortez the Killer: Stone Meadow: Plissken: Why start with a flavorless starchy base? You'll never make a great sauce or gravy starting with the liquified starch. Begin instead by browning/searing your savory ingredients, deglaze with some broth or water, and then add in the right amount of dry pasta. It is a world of difference.
Here is an easy, one-pan recipe that exemplifies this technique. Quick, delicious, and no weird ingredients you have to search high and low for just to use for one meal.
http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2014/08/one-pan-orecchiette-with-sausag​e-and.html

Thanks...that looks tasty!

As to the salt in the water thing, I've never quite gotten that. I've been personally cooking pasta (always dry, prepackaged) for more than 40 years, and cannot taste any difference between adding salt to the water, and not. YMMV, of course.

How much salt are you adding? If you can't tell the difference, I'm assuming that it's not enough.

The correct answer is "quite a darn bit of salt".


Up to a teaspoon to the water in a 8-qt stockpot.
 
2017-03-16 01:29:36 PM  

Stone Meadow: Cortez the Killer: Stone Meadow: Plissken: Why start with a flavorless starchy base? You'll never make a great sauce or gravy starting with the liquified starch. Begin instead by browning/searing your savory ingredients, deglaze with some broth or water, and then add in the right amount of dry pasta. It is a world of difference.
Here is an easy, one-pan recipe that exemplifies this technique. Quick, delicious, and no weird ingredients you have to search high and low for just to use for one meal.
http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2014/08/one-pan-orecchiette-with-sausag​e-and.html

Thanks...that looks tasty!

As to the salt in the water thing, I've never quite gotten that. I've been personally cooking pasta (always dry, prepackaged) for more than 40 years, and cannot taste any difference between adding salt to the water, and not. YMMV, of course.

How much salt are you adding? If you can't tell the difference, I'm assuming that it's not enough.

The correct answer is "quite a darn bit of salt".

Up to a teaspoon to the water in a 8-qt stockpot.


Try multiplying that by around 6 to 8.
 
2017-03-16 02:05:46 PM  

Gandalf_is_dead: Stone Meadow: Cortez the Killer: Stone Meadow: Plissken: Why start with a flavorless starchy base? You'll never make a great sauce or gravy starting with the liquified starch. Begin instead by browning/searing your savory ingredients, deglaze with some broth or water, and then add in the right amount of dry pasta. It is a world of difference.
Here is an easy, one-pan recipe that exemplifies this technique. Quick, delicious, and no weird ingredients you have to search high and low for just to use for one meal.
http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2014/08/one-pan-orecchiette-with-sausag​e-and.html

Thanks...that looks tasty!

As to the salt in the water thing, I've never quite gotten that. I've been personally cooking pasta (always dry, prepackaged) for more than 40 years, and cannot taste any difference between adding salt to the water, and not. YMMV, of course.

How much salt are you adding? If you can't tell the difference, I'm assuming that it's not enough.

The correct answer is "quite a darn bit of salt".

Up to a teaspoon to the water in a 8-qt stockpot.

Try multiplying that by around 6 to 8.


Ohh...
 
2017-03-16 02:25:34 PM  

Gandalf_is_dead: Stone Meadow: Cortez the Killer: Stone Meadow: Plissken: Why start with a flavorless starchy base? You'll never make a great sauce or gravy starting with the liquified starch. Begin instead by browning/searing your savory ingredients, deglaze with some broth or water, and then add in the right amount of dry pasta. It is a world of difference.
Here is an easy, one-pan recipe that exemplifies this technique. Quick, delicious, and no weird ingredients you have to search high and low for just to use for one meal.
http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2014/08/one-pan-orecchiette-with-sausag​e-and.html

Thanks...that looks tasty!

As to the salt in the water thing, I've never quite gotten that. I've been personally cooking pasta (always dry, prepackaged) for more than 40 years, and cannot taste any difference between adding salt to the water, and not. YMMV, of course.

How much salt are you adding? If you can't tell the difference, I'm assuming that it's not enough.

The correct answer is "quite a darn bit of salt".

Up to a teaspoon to the water in a 8-qt stockpot.

Try multiplying that by around 6 to 8.


You put nearly a quarter cup of salt in your pasta water?
 
2017-03-16 02:29:17 PM  
Pasta water should be quite salty, but if you are used to it not so salty and enjoy it, that's much healthier! Though I'm wandering if your sauces are saltier to compensate?
 
2017-03-16 02:50:53 PM  
Who has a frying pan that will hold 2 liters of water?   I wouldn't really consider that a "pan".
 
2017-03-16 04:14:48 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: I live at 7,200 feet, and pasta takes about 12 minutes to cook. Don't believe me? Come to my corner of Arizona and I'll give you some 10-minute pasta. You want your spaghetti extra-crunchy?


Flagstaff?
Here in Phoenix, I've noticed water boiling pretty quick..
/// for the quickness
 
2017-03-16 05:20:58 PM  

weege001: ecmoRandomNumbers: I live at 7,200 feet, and pasta takes about 12 minutes to cook. Don't believe me? Come to my corner of Arizona and I'll give you some 10-minute pasta. You want your spaghetti extra-crunchy?

Flagstaff?
Here in Phoenix, I've noticed water boiling pretty quick..
/// for the quickness


White Mountains. Flagstaff is three hours away.
 
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