Water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource around the world. We're told to limit showers, reuse bath water and rely on natural rain to clean our cars. But nobody really talks about cooking.
If you regularly cook pasta for you and your family, that's quite a lot of water you're wasting. Welp, it turns out there's a very practical reason to save some — helping the environment is just a bonus.
Reheating leftover pasta can be tricky. Splashing it with a bit of water can help loosen things up, but if you really want to revive a clump of stiff, dried-out pasta, you’ll need to save a little bit of your original cooking water.
This tip, from Food52, makes a lot of sense. Just as the starchy liquid can be used to make creamy sauces (without any cream), it can breathe new life into a sad pile of noodles by providing moisture and helping everything re-emulsify.
Next time you make pasta, pour at least a cup of the water into a jar or some other resealable vessel. Then, when you go to reheat your pasta, add a couple of tablespoons (or more) of the starchy water, then gently heat everything in a pan on the stove, stirring occasionally until your meal is restored to its former glory. (You can also use the microwave, just cover it loosely and stir every 30 seconds until it’s hot throughout.)
This article has been updated since its original publication.
A big ol’ pot of beans, simmered in a flavorful liquid, is a pretty solid building block for any sort of meal plan. Beans are filling and cheap, but no matter how much you like a particular legume, bean fatigue can start to set in after your third bowl. But there’s a very easy way to spruce up your next bowl of beans—just treat them like pasta.