LIFESTYLE

The Best Way To Cook Pasta, According To Scientists

Put down that oil.

22/03/2017 10:00 GMT

Scientists have revealed the perfect way to cook pasta and it seems we’ve all been making some schoolboy errors.

According to researchers from The American Chemical Society, to make the perfect pasta you must always add salt to your water but you should never throw in olive oil.

In the latest YouTube video, scientific consultant Kyle Nackers says that this can all be explained through simple science.

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According to Nackers, there are only three core ingredients in pasta: eggs, water and flour.

As a result, there are only two main chemical components: starch (which is a carbohydrate) and proteins. This simple make-up means it’s fairly simple for scientists to work out the best way to cook pasta.

“The cooking process is all about manipulating the protein and starch interactions to get that perfect al dente pasta,” he says. 

Nackers recommends keeping pasta at a “rolling boil” or stirring your water so the pieces don’t stick to each other in clumps.

He also says there is little point in adding oil to pasta water.

Some chefs claim that oil will prevent pasta from sticking to each other while others believe it will stop the sauce from coating the pasta sufficiently.

But according to Nackers, adding oil makes little to no difference to the end product, so you may as well skip this step and save yourself some money.

“Most of any oil you put into the pot will be washed away when you pour out the cooked pasta and water. If any is left, it will not add much effect on sauce stickiness,” he says.

He adds that you’d be a fool not to add salt to the water: “Salt is our main flavour enhancer and if you were to enter a food competition without salt, you wouldn’t last very long.”

When your pasta is soft, Nackers recommends adding some of the salty, starchy water you’ve created to your sauce to improve its texture and flavour. 

Finally, he says you should never rinse pasta under a tap after cooking because you’re “rinsing off all the sticky starch” that helps coat your dinner in delicious sauce. 

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