With electricity, gas and food becoming more expensive, people around the world are looking for all sorts of tricks to save money: in Italy, for example, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Giorgio Parisi’s tip to save money on pasta cooking is going viral.
The method is really very simple. Bring the water to the boil, and when you add the pasta, and leave the stove turned on for 2 minutes. Then turn off the stove, cover the pot and let the pasta soften in the still hot water for about a minute longer than the normal cooking time, then drain.
According to Parisi, this method saves about 8 minutes of gas for each pasta cooking, which may not seem like a lot in itself, but is a significant energy saving on an annual basis. Add to this the fact that the average Italian consumes more than 20 kilos of pasta a year and it’s easy to see why this tip has been such a big success.
Of course, there were plenty of critics, especially among well-known chefs. Pasta is sacred in Italy and many chefs have vehemently defended the traditional cooking method.
One Michelin-starred chef, Antonello Colonna, explained that cooking it this way produces a rubbery pasta, while another well-known colleague, Luigi Pomata, called the trick simply ‘disastrous’.
According to food expert David Fairhurst, the most effective way to cook dry pasta is to start by pre-soaking it in cold water for two hours. Then you can cook the pasta in half as much water for a few minutes using a lid.