# Cooking Pasta Question

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Biggskip, Jan 9, 2011.

1. ### whiteslashasianSenior member

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i think you meant salt.

i remember doing the calculations in intro to chemistry. there's a negligible amount of boiling point elevation

i'm not totally sure, but i think it's also supposed to decrease the size of bubbles to prevent the water from spilling over

Oops...thanks for catching that.

I remember doing the calculations in high school chem too. For a large pot of water (let's say 10 cups of water) you'd have to add something like 10 TABLESPOONS of salt to increase the boiling point by 5Â° F.

That's a lot of salt...

2. ### UkerSenior member

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Oops...thanks for catching that.

I remember doing the calculations in high school chem too. For a large pot of water (let's say 10 cups of water) you'd have to add something like 10 TABLESPOONS of salt to increase the boiling point by 5Â° F.

That's a lot of salt...

That's not a very large pasta pot =/ just over 2 quarts

3. ### whiteslashasianSenior member

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That's not a very large pasta pot =/ just over 2 quarts

Yah, I was just trying to keep the amounts nice and even. Should have left the "large" part out haha.

Either way, a LOT of salt is required to up the boiling point.

4. ### HartmannSenior member

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Does anyone add a teaspoon of olive oil to the pot before adding the pasta? I personally don't, but it's been suggested to me...

5. ### chobochoboRubber ChickenDubiously HonoredModerator

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Yup, the same argument used to be put forward for higher boiling points of soups with respect to scalds etc. The fact is that soups with that much salt would be inedible/ unpalatable.

6. ### ryoneoSenior member

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Does anyone add a teaspoon of olive oil to the pot before adding the pasta? I personally don't, but it's been suggested to me...

I do, it helps keep the pasta from sticking together.

7. ### BiggskipSenior member

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I do, it helps keep the pasta from sticking together.
I do the same. I've had positive results.

8. ### DesposSenior memberDubiously Honored

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Olive oil keeps the pasta from sticking but also keeps the sauce from staying on the pasta. Just let your sauce keep the pasta from sticking.

9. ### Master-ClassterSenior member

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should I drop in my pasta and leave it or keep stirring?

10. ### HartmannSenior member

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Olive oil keeps the pasta from sticking but also keeps the sauce from staying on the pasta. Just let your sauce keep the pasta from sticking.
Yeah I dislike when the sauce pools at the bottom of the bowl and you end up eating the wet noodles on top.
should I drop in my pasta and leave it or keep stirring?
Helps to stir, at least for the first few mins so it doesn't solidify together.

11. ### HitMan009Senior member

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There was an article on seriouseats that argued for the least amount of water. That way, it boils faster, returns to a boil faster after the pasta is added and more of the starches stay on the pasta which allows for better adherence of sauce. Also when you finish the pasta in the sauce, it makes for a slightly more smoother sauce because the pasta water added to the sauce can act as a thickening agent along with the surface starch on the pasta.

12. ### pebblegrainSenior member

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all these stupid &quot;Food Network&quot; techniques are lies.

If you want salty pasta, you can add salt afterwards. You don't need to add it to the boiling water. Salt does not change taste by boiling it

Pasta does not stick unless you are using a quart of water for 16 oz of pasta or something stupid like that. Or, do you guys not stir the pasta? Why would you prefer to wait 20 minutes to boil a stockpot of water rather than stir a smaller pot a few times?

Olive oil can also be added afterwards, duh. add a teaspoon afterwards instead of wasting 3 tablespoons on the boiling water which will be thrown away

Rinsing in cold water - it does stop the cooking but it also cools the pasta down. If you are eating the pasta right away and know how to properly cook it, you don't need to rinse. Rinsing only makes sense if you are storing cooked pasta for later

If you don't believe me, sit down and make it both ways, serve it to your wife or yourself, see if you can tell a difference.

13. ### itsstillmattThe LiberatorDubiously Honored

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Does anyone add a teaspoon of olive oil to the pot before adding the pasta? I personally don't, but it's been suggested to me...
I do with fresh pasta, which tends to stick more. I've never seen it done in Italy, but in France almost always. Of course, my experience with people cooking pasta in the former is none, while in the latter is a lot, so take it for what it is worth.

14. ### BritalianSenior member

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stuff I've learned/ been told from cooking it almost every day:
I have always found (and cooked) dried pasta integrale (whole wheat) fine. Takes a bit longer in my exp.
If one adds too much salt, it comes out in the taste of the pasta; if you think this tastes fine, you obviously like your food salty anyway.
Adding olive oilto the water is not necessary, (and a complete no-no, so they tell me). If you stir the pasta after adding to to the water (and then intermitently) to separate the pieces, it won't stick anyway.
Rinsing in cold water?! It should be served and eaten within seconds of draining so extra cooking is not really an issue, I'd say.

15. ### romafanSenior member

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I do with fresh pasta, which tends to stick more. I've never seen it done in Italy, but in France almost always. Of course, my experience with people cooking pasta in the former is none, while in the latter is a lot, so take it for what it is worth.

also w/ filled (e.g. ravioli) pasta which is more delicate and can break apart w/ the type of casual stirring that typically takes care of the problem...