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Adding Starch to Pasta Water


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I understand the dynamics of using the pasta cooking water to

add starch and substance to various pasta sauces. 

However, I often use this whole wheat pasta which doesn't

put as much starch into the water as more conventional pasta. 

What might be a good way to add some starch to the water?  Thanks!

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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How about adding barley water?  Strain the thick liquid from cooked barley, freeze it in an ice cube tray, and add as needed to the pasta sauce. Pearl barley should cook up quickly, but unmilled barley may add more nutrients to the liquid.  I haven't tried this, but probably will next time.

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2 hours ago, Shel_B said:

I understand the dynamics of using the pasta cooking water to

add starch and substance to various pasta sauces. 

However, I often use this whole wheat pasta which doesn't

put as much starch into the water as more conventional pasta. 

What might be a good way to add some starch to the water?  Thanks!

 

 

You could add some starch!

 

Corn starch, potato starch etc.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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I keep pasta water in the fridge if I know I'm going to cook pasta again in a day or two. 

Using less water also helps. 

Otherwise, I think potato starch is the best in giving texture and thickness, but you should make sure it doesn't clump. 

You can also make a water based roux and add it to the sauce. Very similar effect. 

 

And by the way, does anybody else find starchy pasta water to be really tasty? (if it's not overly salty) 

Edited by shain (log)
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~ Shai N.

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2 hours ago, shain said:

Using less water also helps. 

This.

If I know I'm going to want pasta water for sauce, then I make sure to cook it in the smallest possible amount of water.  I often use that brand and it seems to work fine.

Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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2 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

This.

If I know I'm going to want pasta water for sauce, then I make sure to cook it in the smallest possible amount of water.  I often use that brand and it seems to work fine.

 

 

I usually cook a single serving of pasta in one quart (or less) of water ... I don't measure precisely, but, in any case, I sometimes want starchier H2O than I get.

 ... Shel


 

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37 minutes ago, Shel_B said:

 

I usually cook a single serving of pasta in one quart (or less) of water ... I don't measure precisely, but, in any case, I sometimes want starchier H2O than I get.

Ah, I use less than half that amount of water if I'm wanting starchy water.

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3 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

Ah, I use less than half that amount of water if I'm wanting starchy water.

 

Coincidentally, I was looking at This Recipe on Serious Eats earlier, and they showed making the spaghetti in a skillet, with, obviously, very little water.  A comment was that the extra starchy water contributed to making an excellent sauce.  So, there you have it ... less water than even I was using.

 

Interesting how things have changed.  It was always important to use lots of water, now we are using a minimal amount of water.

 ... Shel


 

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I think there's more bs written on cooking pasta than anything else. That said, my personal preference is more water rather than less. No matter what amount of water, the most important things are choosing the correct pasta and pulling it out at the right time from the cooking water. As it continues to cook, this is before it gets to the stage at which you want to eat it.

 

Agree on using potato starch to add more starch. Don't add it to the boiling water as it will clump: mix it with water in a separate container and then add it. mind you, if you are not going to add it to the sauce when you combine the sauce and pasta adding any starch is a waste of time (and starch).

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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Better still Shel_B, as per Serious Eats, soak your spaghetti/pasta in enough water to cover until supple (re-hydrated) and then finish cooking in the sauce for the spaghetti/pasta. Use the soaking water if necessary to thicken the sauce.

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Why not get the best of both worlds and use 2 pots? 

 

In one pot, prepare the pasta by boiling in lots of water.  

 

In another pot or saucepan, prepare the thick "pasta water" by boiling a little pasta with very little water.   This saucepan will now have the thick "pasta water" that you are looking for.

 

Simply add the thick "pasta water" to whatever sauce you want, and then add the sauce to the pasta!

 

 

 

 

Edited by torolover (log)
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