Whether you have hours to prepare or need a quick meal in between work and evening commitments, pasta is a reliable source to keep you full and satisfied.
Due to it being such a kitchen staple, there are various ways to prepare your favourite spaghetti or penne – but are you getting the most out of your comfort meal? One chef doesn’t think so.
Scott Conant, head chef at New York’s Fusco restaurant, believes there is a very specific formula when it comes to preparing pasta. Known as the “Maestro of Pasta,” Conant shared his secrets with My Domaine.
If you’re used to pouring out your boiling water after cooking your pasta, you’re apparently missing an important step. Rather than draining your noodles in a colander and getting rid of the used water, save it.
Add a bit of the water to your pasta sauce, whether it’s tomato or cream based, and voila — perfect sauce.
Conant also recommends not boiling your pasta to the minute to reach al dente perfection, but to remove it from the boiling water a bit sooner, then add it to the sauce to allow it to finish cooking, resulting in ideally-prepared pasta.
In the video, Conant takes a tight handful of bucatini pasta and pops it in boiling water for just under 10 minutes. He prepares his pasta sauce while the water is boiling. Once the tomatoes begin to melt slightly in his pan (with a pinch of salt, garlic and red pepper), he instructs that this is the bet time to add a tablespoon of the pasta water to the sauce.
“Thanks to the addition of the pasta water it’s salted well but not too much; it’s more like broth. As you cook it and it reduces, it doesn’t become too salty,” he said.
Once the sauce is prepared – and a handful of basil is added – he pours the drained pasta into the sauce along with another tablespoon of the water. As for the perfect pasta to Conant? It’s not about using over-the-top ingredients and methods.
“It’s just about simplicity.”