The next time you make pasta, instead of waiting for a huge pot of water to boil before you add pasta, consider starting with cold water and a large frying pan to get the pasta cooked perfectly, quickly, and with just enough pasta water left in the pan for a sauce to go with your meal.
Harold McGee, author of The Keys to Good Cooking tells CHOW that you can save time, energy and water by adding the pasta to the pan, pouring over six cups of cold water (starting with cold water will keep the pasta from sticking) and turn up the heat. Stir the pasta regularly, but it will cook in a fraction of the time required to boil a large volume of water and then cook the pasta in the boiling water.
As a bonus, when you’re finished, you’ll have just enough thick, starchy pasta water left in the pan when you remove the pasta that you can use for a butter and cream sauce or garlic Parmesan sauce. Better yet, add some cheese, butter, and black pepper and use it to make Cacio e Pepe, one of my favourite quick pasta dishes.
I’m not sure I’d use this regularly in preference to cooking pasta correctly, but it’s an interesting variation. Have you tried this pasta method before? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.