6 urban legends about pasta that we got tired of


6 urban legends about pasta that we got tired of

If you put the oil in the cooking water, stop it and read this list of urban pasta legends that shouldn’t exist anymore.

It is difficult to find an Italian or an Italian who does not know how to prepare a plate of pasta . Pasta is one of the basic ingredients of our diet and culture; if well seasoned, for example with vegetables, legumes and cheese, it constitutes a dish complete with all the fundamental nutrients. And it is also extremely easy to cook: for a pasta with tomato water, salt, oil, tomato sauce and the pasta itself can suffice. Yet even for such a simple preparation, urban legends – sometimes handed down from generation to generation, from the stove to induction – are not lacking. There are many false myths about pasta and almost all without scientific basis.

 

  1. Adding olive oil to the cooking water , so that the pasta does not stick, is completely useless. If in elementary school you did the famous experiment with oil and water, verifying that the two liquids have different density and specific gravity, you know that oil and water do not mix. Adding oil to the cooking water of the pasta therefore only serves to decorate it with rings of fat on the surface. To prevent the rigatoni from sticking, the only solution is to mix.
  2. The salt should be thrown away when the water is already boiling , otherwise the boiling time will increase. Here is some scientific basis: the boiling temperature of salt water is slightly higher. But really slightly: the difference is 0.17 degrees centigrade, practically imperceptible! Furthermore, adding salt, at any point in the preparation, increases the boiling temperature for the rest of the cooking time – the consumption of gas or electricity therefore remains the same.
  3. Before throwing the pasta, you have to wait for the water to boil vigorously . At sea level, water boils at exactly 100 degrees; at 1000 meters above sea level, boiling reaches 96. Yet the pasta in the mountains is cooked exactly like on the seashore: this is because the temperature required for cooking durum wheat pasta is about 80 degrees, not 100. Without a thermometer, it can be difficult to tell when the water on the stove has reached the correct temperature, but if it is simmering it has certainly exceeded the required 80 degrees. 
  4. Well cooked pasta is more digestible – actually the opposite is true. Pasta al dente requires prolonged chewing, leading to the release of more digestive enzymes; and releases starch more slowly, limiting the glycemic spike that follows carbohydrate ingestion. Pasta cooked to the right point (al dente, but not raw!) Is therefore ideal for digestion.
  5. It would be better not to eat pasta in the evening, because it makes you fat and makes digestion difficult – it depends. Clinical studies have led to conflicting and partial results: it is likely that the solution depends mainly on personal metabolism. Of course, if you exercise before dinner, an evening pasta dish is recommended; if, on the other hand, you want to keep your blood sugar under control, it is better to avoid it.
  6. As for the seasoning, a widespread belief says that to remove acidity from the tomato sauce it is useful to add sugar . In reality, sugar does not eliminate the acidic elements, but covers them with its sweetness: if you have used a poor quality tomato pulp and tried to save the situation with sugar, you have probably just ended up with sweet pasta al. tomato. Better to resort to baking soda: a single pinch should be enough to eliminate any acidity!

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