The pasta hack that could save you time and money trends now
It's often said that to tell pasta is cooked you should throw it at the wall and see if it sticks.
That is one thing, but given that the UK's love affair with pasta sees us spend around £4,690,000 a week making it, is there a more cost effective way to cook the Italian delicacy?
Well, according to scientists at Nottingham Trent University there is an optimum method that could save you up to 6.5p per serving.
It involves first soaking dried pasta in cold water for two hours, then cooking it in simmering – but not boiling – water at 176°F (80°C) for one to two minutes.
Process: Scientists at Nottingham Trent University say there is an optimum method to cook pasta to save time and money. It involves first soaking dried pasta in cold water for two hours, then cooking it in simmering – but not boiling – water at 176°F (80°C) for one to two minutes
There are two processes that occur when pasta is cooked: firstly, the rehydrating and softening of it within ten minutes, and secondly the heating of it to cause proteins to expand and become edible
1. Leave dried pasta to soak in cold water for two hours
2. Add it to a saucepan with 500ml of water in it
3. The water should be simmering at around 176°F (80°C)
4. Put a lid on the saucepan to quicken the cooking process
5. Cook it for 1-2 minutes
In terms of volume of water in the saucepan, the scientists calculated that using half of the standard one litre amount was more cost effective while also not comprising the texture of quality of the pasta in any way.
The first thing the experts looked at was what happens to pasta when it is cooked.
There are two processes which occur at the same time: firstly, the rehydrating and softening of dried pasta within ten minutes of cooking it in boiling water, and secondly the heating of it to cause proteins to expand and become edible.
The research estimated that when taking into account that the standard cooking method is to put 100g pasta into 1 litre of boiling water for ten to 12 minutes, the cost of doing so is 12.7p per serving on ceramic hobs, 10.6p on induction hobs and 7p on gas hobs.
Nottingham Trent scientists therefore looked at how they could reduce this cost by breaking down how much energy is used during the cooking process.
They estimated that a massive 60 per cent is used to keep the water boiling, meaning that any way of reducing the cooking time would have a big impact on the overall cost.
That's where the two processes are important.
The first one, the hydrating of the pasta, doesn't actually require heating at all. All it needs is the water.
Therefore, the scientists said, rather than boiling in water for 12