Treat Leftover Pasta Water Like Seasoning For Your Sauce

Treat Leftover Pasta Water Like Seasoning For Your Sauce

You probably know already to save some of that water when you drain freshly cooked pasta: It’s full of starches that make a rich, flavorful sauce. What you may not know is that salty water packs quite a punch, so if your sauce needs some salt, add it in the form of your pasta water.

Image from D. Sharon Pruitt

The important tip here is to remember that the pasta water itself is salty, so you don’t want to overseason your sauce. In fact, it’s better a little underseasoned, so the pasta water can bring some salt to the party. When ladling in the pasta water, consider how much salt your sauce actually needs, since the water acts as additional seasoning.

If your sauce is already salty enough but you need that starch to make everything rich and smooth, you can still take advantage of the starchy pasta water as a binder, just dilute it with a little fresh water first, and you’ll be good to go.

7 Pro Tricks I Learned From a Restaurant Pasta Station [epicurious]


  • Who cooks the pasta before making the sauce?

    I always make my spaghetti bolognese sauce the night before having it, it makes it better for some reason.

    • I don’t make a from scratch pasta sauce, but I do start the pasta first, the problem is because I make a point of hiding a lot of vegetables in the sauce to make it healthier I also get a lot of moisture that needs to be simmered off. Adding water doesn’t seem like something I’d want to do.

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