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Pasta water


Gul_Dekar
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I guess for cooking more pasta. Just seemd like a waste of a lot of water to just dump it if I'm gonna cook pasta again 2 days later. (trying to be eco-friendly) And cant use it to water my plants since it'll salt the soil...which probably isnt a good thing. :hmmm:

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Well, I don't save and reuse the pasta water for pasta cooking, but on the eco-friendly front I often pour the still steaming pasta water on the wild grape vines or various other weeds that are always trying to grow over and strangle out desired plants in the yard. Boiling water kills.

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I wouldn't use it to make more pasta in. Something about it sitting around for a couple of days with water evaporating and concentrating any minerals doesn't sound very good to me. You can use it immediately to thin the sauce you're having with the pasta or probably save it to thin some other sauce that would benefit from a salt/starch combination with little flavor.

Bode

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i don't know how much pasta you make, but you'd likely save more water if you stop flushing at night when you pee. and turn the water off when you're brushing your teeth.

reusing pasta water will, at the very least, lead to very starchy water which will lead to very gummy pasta. ideally you want to use an infinite amount of water to boil pasta. but that's probably not smart.

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Even with the salt, sitting around for a couple of days, that starchy water might start growing interesting little beasties. At least, I might find them interesting but not enough to want to eat them or their metabolic by-products. :blink:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Well, I don't save and reuse the pasta water for pasta cooking, but on the eco-friendly front I often pour the still steaming pasta water on the wild grape vines or various other weeds that are always trying to grow over and strangle out desired plants in the yard.  Boiling water kills.

Use a small amount to add to your sauce.

If you reuse the entire amount for another batch, they'll be too much starch in the water and you'll end up with gummy pasta. This has the same effect as using too little water to boil your pasta.

Boiling water is great for killing weeds. What's even better is filling a garden spray bottle with vinegar. You can get vinegar super cheap at costco or cash and carry. About 1/5 the cost of a weed killer. Weeds can't handle the sudden drop in pH and they literally shrivel up and die within hours. I did this for a period of three weeks this past spring before selling my house and it allowed me time to work on other things to prepare the house for sale.

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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Even with the salt, sitting around for a couple of days, that starchy water might start growing interesting little beasties. At least, I might find them interesting but not enough to want to eat them or their metabolic by-products. :blink:

Funny that you mention it, but I was actually thinking of seeing what stuff would grow too. Did some Microbiology course last year myself. Maybe I'm just too bored... :rolleyes:

I dumped the water tho, but maybe could get a disposable container if I want to do the 'what microorganims like pasta water' experiment... :biggrin:

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Any water in which pasta, vegetables, anything but meat and dairy, is cooked, I drain into a bucket, let it cool and it gets poured onto the compost. In very dry weather a little is drizzled into the worm composting bins. It really accelerates the composting effect.

Now that the weather is cool, especially at night, there is steam coming off the compost heaps.

I have a special thermometer with a 24 inch probe to test it and it has gotten up to 145 degrees.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Scientists out there... or anyone more knowledgeable than I...

Would the saved pasta water work, in say, a sourdough starter due to the starch factor?.

I'm just wondering now since I've successfully used leftover boiled potato water for that purpose. Could that be a possibility?

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Just wondering why many folks here assume that there's salt in the pasta water.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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I take my low salt diet seriously. Seasoning pasta with salt is far from essential in my book these days.

Sorry that's probably a whole separate thread that I'm not inclined to start right now. I've just come to view salt from a different perspective than most folks & I was struck by the # of automatic assumptions that pasta water implies salt here.

Besides, I want to continue eating pancetta once in a while, & to me that means cutting salt from places where it's not absolutely essential. :smile:

Edited by ghostrider (log)

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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I take my low salt diet seriously.  "Seasoning" pasta with salt is far from essential in my book these days.

Sorry that's probably a whole separate thread that I'm not inclined to start right now.  I've just come to view salt from a different perspective than most folks & I was struck by the # of automatic assumptions that pasta water implies salt here.

I certainly wasn't commenting on anyone's dietary choices and restrictions. I guess I should have said, "barring sodium restrictions or other limitations, there ought to be." I think most people here (without such paramaters they must work within) salt their pasta water and assume others do the same.

I think I just made an ASS out of ME this time. Sorry! :smile:

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I take my low salt diet seriously.  "Seasoning" pasta with salt is far from essential in my book these days.

Sorry that's probably a whole separate thread that I'm not inclined to start right now.  I've just come to view salt from a different perspective than most folks & I was struck by the # of automatic assumptions that pasta water implies salt here.

I certainly wasn't commenting on anyone's dietary choices and restrictions. I guess I should have said, "barring sodium restrictions or other limitations, there ought to be." I think most people here (without such paramaters they must work within) salt their pasta water and assume others do the same.

I think I just made an ASS out of ME this time. Sorry! :smile:

Naw I think I was being an ass.

I just miss the days when I could throw salt on anything without thinking about it.

My palate really has changed over the last year. It's weird.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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ghostrider, do you salt the pasta at all? Just wondering.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

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Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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No I don't. Oddly, I'd stopped salting the pasta water a couple years prior to my heart attack. I'd seen a cooking show that maintained it didn't help the water maintain its temperature when you added the pasta, & I tried not using the salt & found that the flavor didn't seem to suffer, to my taste - it was different but still good - so I just took a "why bother" attitude at that point.

These days the only things to which I add salt are brown rice & oatmeal. The flavors just don't work without a pinch.

Everything else - meats, veggies - it's over. No more salt. That was actually the easy part, the hard part is the notion of no more soy sauce & having a whole range of Chinese & Thai etc. dishes out of reach.

Still, I enjoy some pancetta once in a while & dine out with a bit of attention to what I order. And life goes on, that's the big thing.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Even with the salt, sitting around for a couple of days, that starchy water might start growing interesting little beasties. At least, I might find them interesting but not enough to want to eat them or their metabolic by-products. :blink:

2 words: Pseudomonas culture.

2 more words: very BAD

A pseudomonas outbreak will shut down a food or pharmaceutical processing plant faster than you can say "Holy rotting root vegetables, Batman!"

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Scientists out there... or anyone more knowledgeable than I...

Would the saved pasta water work, in say, a sourdough starter due to the starch factor?.

I'm just wondering now since I've successfully used leftover boiled potato water for that purpose. Could that be a possibility?

*takes off chef's toque, replaces with mad scientist's hat (it's like a chef's toque, only orange and green)*

The answer is yes, although the salt levels in the water would inhibit (although probably not prevent) fungal growth. In my experience the water used for cooking pasta is saltier than that used for boiling the humble spud.

The oil that most people add to their pasta water would also interfere with fungal growth.

For sourdough starters, you really can't beat the bloom on the skins of organically-produced grapes - I find it works a treat.

*dons chef's toque again*

Oh, and while we're here, salt your bloody pasta water - otherwise I'm not coming around for dinner.

Edited by culinary bear (log)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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Take off the toque... or leave it on ... all the better :wink: .

Thanks for the answer to my quandry on someone else's thread.

I have to admit to being lazy... never tried the grape skin way of making starters... strictly yeast based :unsure: .

For the record.. yes, I do salt my pasta water... and I don't use oil in the water. I don't find it makes a matter either way.

Come around for dinner anytime... just give me advance warning :biggrin: .

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I haven't looked into the science of it, but for years I have been refrigerating or freezing my (salted) pasta water for later use. No one has died of it yet. Sometimes I boil pasta in the pasta water again if I am making a dish that calls for overcooked pasta -- hey, some people like certain dishes cooked this way! But most of the time I use the pasta water in baking my semi-weekly loaf of sandwich bread. I hate to waste anything in my kitchen.

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Take off the toque... or leave it on ... all the better  :wink:  .

Thanks for the answer to my quandry on someone else's thread.

I have to admit to being lazy... never tried the grape skin way of making starters... strictly yeast based  :unsure:  .

For the record.. yes, I do salt my pasta water... and I don't use oil in the water. I don't find it makes a matter either way.

Come around for dinner anytime... just give me advance warning  :biggrin:  .

I never oil the water, but if I'm making a large batch of pasta for reheating later in a chauffon, I'll oil the iced water I plunge the hot pasta into. This stops the pasta sticking together in storage.

The grape-skin method is very workable; I've had four separate starters using the method and they've all produced very good bread. One is now over a year old. If you like, I'll put a thread together in the baking forum.

How much notice do you need? :)

Edited by culinary bear (log)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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