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Reserved Pasta Water: Why Use Reserve Pasta Water

Why Use Reserved Pasta Water

A lot of pasta recipes call for using reserved pasta water in your sauce. The reserved water they’re talking about is the water you used to cook the pasta. That white and slightly white cooking liquid contains starch that comes from the pasta when cooking. That starchy water can be used later to adjust the thickness of the sauce you’re making.

The reserved pasta cooking water has more body and flavor than using straight water.

And reserved pasta water isn’t just for tomato sauce. It can also be used in pesto or other pasta sauces just as effectively. Try it in this recipe for eggplant, pasta and fresh basil

Sometimes a pasta sauce will call for “reserved pasta water”. So you don’t forget to save it, place a measuring cup in the colander and when you pour your pasta out of the pan to drain, pour some of the water in the cup and set aside.

 The picture below is how I remember to hold back and reserve pasta water in my kitchen.

Reserved Pasta Water

Reserved Pasta Water

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  1. Curt Walt

    Rita, my wife and I took your couples grilling class at JJ’s a few wks back and we had a question about pasta. I want to use the cajun shrimp with pasta, wasn’t sure what kind of sauce should we make for the pasta? Enjoyed the class and have made the Nutella bites a couple of times. Thanks.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Curt,
      I remember you both! For the cajun shrimp, I would make a light olive oil and garlic sauce for the pasta with perhaps a few chopped tomatoes tossed in. So glad you enjoyed the class.

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