Save Your Pasta Water!

Saving the pasta water is one of the most beneficial kitchen tips you’ll ever get. You’ll see it in some of my recipes so keep it on hand. Once you start using it then you’ll be saving this stuff like it was gold. Whether you’re using gluten free or not, the pasta water will be thick and starchy, and when you add a tablespoon of salt and oil to the boiling water it has even more rich flavor. You can use this leftover water to add back to the pasta when you’re tossing it with a sauce that needs to be loosened up, or to a garlic oil so that the pasta becomes silkier. You want the pasta to always be soft, not to be sticky, or drenched with a heavy cream sauce that isn’t spreading well to all the strands, and that’s where this stuff comes in without taking away richness and flavor.

A few tablespoons of this stuff can do the job, and a little more depending on what you’re mixing it with. Pasta water can also cut down on the amount of oil you need to use in recipes (you can replace 1/3 of the called for amount of oil with this instead), it tastes and holds much better than plain water, and is great for savory. Put the strained pasta in a skillet with the sauce, and add a little bit (2 tablespoons) at a time while tossing until you get the desired consistency. I love to also stir fry with it, or add some herbs into it and use it as a broth for making vegetable stews, or to rice and grain dishes. Just strain the pasta over another pan and pour that into tupperware or a glass bottle and keep refrigerated. It can last a few weeks and even be frozen for extended periods of time.

I find that the pasta water is great for replacing nut milk or another liquid in savory creamy sauces/dressings. This will enable it to still taste good and remain thick and undiluted, but also to counter the sweetness that nut milks can naturally have that offset savory flavors, not to mention the thickeners added in store bought vegan milks that can have an aftertaste. Keep it on hand and be sure to experiment with it.

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