How much water do we need to boil the pasta? How much salt? Is the salt necessary? Or can I add just a bit, or maybe nothing and then add it just to the sauce?
WHAT TO DO BEFORE COOKING THE PASTA
•Put water in a pot
•Turn on the flame
•Add the salt ( now, not while it’s boiling)
•When the water boils , put the pasta
Why does it have to be done this way?
Because… It’s the pasta who is asking for it!
WHY DOES THE WATER HAVE TO BE SALTED?
The salt have to be put in the water so that the pasta absorbs it while rehydrating, the absorption will be even in quantity. If we do not salt the water, the starch and the gluten will absorb bland liquid, and the sauce will make add flavour only to the pasta’s surface.
WHEN TO ADD THE SALT?
The salt has to be added after turning on the flame, while the water is heating up. Who adds the salt when the water is already boiling is wrong. Let’s see why.
Who adds the salt while the water is already boiling says that is to save time. Which is not completely wrong, because salted water boils faster: indeed , salt increases the water’s density , increasing also the boiling temperature. But we explained it just earlier , pasta must be cooked in salted water. Otherwise,the time saved not salting the water in the beginning, it’s “wasted” after , as we will have to wait the salt to melt properly, mixing in a uniform way to the water.
Here you have the rule to understand how much salt to put in the pot…
HOW MUCH SALT, HOW MUCH WATER?
The recognised rule it’s this one:
1.000 g. (water, 1 liter )/ 100 g. (Pasta) / 10 g. (Salt, 1 teaspoon)
Be careful! The amount of salt it’s proportional to the amount of pasta, not to the amount of water.
Do you not believe it? Try this experiment: 2000 g. Water / 100 g. Pasta / 20 g. Salt. If you are able to eat it , then good for you , for me it’s way too salty.
ROCK SALT OR FINE SALT?
Let’s reflect about this: there is not much difference between 10 g. of rock salt and 10 g. of fine salt, they’re still 10 grams of salt. However it’s better to use rock salt, do you know why?
In the big crystals of salt, the NaCl (sodium chloride/ salt) concentration it’s higher. In simpler words, the big crystal is saltier than the fine one because has more salt molecules.
Because of a concentration’s diversity principle, rock salt it’s always used by the best chefs to cook pasta, salting of meats and preservation.
DOES THE WATER HAVE TO BOIL?
We have guests for dinner– We have to make a good impression. The sauce is ready. The pot is on the fire. Wa have already salted the water, following the rule. Here you have some tips to cook the pasta and avoid that when you serve it will be broken or overcooked:
Why does the pasta not cook at 100°C, but at a slightly lower temperature?… To understand at what temper the pasta cooks – Assuming to cook at the sea level, so that the atmosphere level it’s 1, and to use salted water – the explanation it’s very simple, you just have to reflect on the pasta’s composition. Simplifying, durum wheat flour is made by a carbohydrates part (starch) and from a protein part (gluten) seven times smaller than the carbohydrates part.
There are more components, but they are not important to understand how to cook it.
The cooking of pasta has 3 objectives:
•Rehydrate the dehydrated product (starch and gluten);
•Gelatinise the starch granules
•Denaturate the protein matrix (gluten coagulation)
The starch’s rehydration can’t happen in cold water, because it only starts to absorb water when the temperature It’s higher than 30-35°C.
The starch only gelatinises between 80 and 85° C. The rehydration of gluten happens before the rehydration of starch, however , it’s coagulation happens at 90-96°C, after the gelatinisation. Therefore, pasta cooks between 90-96°C, when the gluten coagulates.
Tip n. 1 – When the water boils, add the pasta.
Tip n. 2 – Lower the flame, so that the temperature stays between 90-96°C , so we don’t waste heat and we don’t risk to damage the pasta.
Tip n. 3 – Cook it with love = without stressing it too much. Stir it gently and avoid that it sticks to the bottom of the pot.
If the pasta it’s good enough it won’t stick to the bottom and the excess starch will go away when you will drain it.