Turn off the gas to cook pasta: what is passive cooking?

This technique would reduce emissions related to cooking pasta by 80%. (©Nitr – stock.adobe.com)

We wanted to eat a plaster of pasta this Saturday, October 22. And at a time when energy sobriety must take an important place in our daily lives, we wanted to try cooking pasta with a technique we’ve been hearing about for a few days: passive cooking.

This means nothing to you ? We explain to you how it is possible to make spaghetti by quickly cutting the heat under the pan.

What does it consist of ?

Already what you need to know is that the volume of water for cooking does not change: about 1 liter of water for 100 g of pasta.

Then, classic, you have to salt the water, then bring it to a boil. As a reminder, with a lid on the pan, it goes faster and you are already saving energy.

When the water boils, remove the lid and pour your pasta into it.

So far, you haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary, but that’s where passive cooking comes in. You have to leave the fire on for two minutes under the pan, then turn it off completely and put the lid back on. above.

There, you have to leave your pasta in the pan with the water, but without fire below. As for the cooking time once you have turned off the heat, you should leave about ten minutes, or the time indicated on the package. Once that’s done, you have to drain them, and you’re done.

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If you have any doubts about the cooking time in the passive version, the Barilla pasta brand has released a dedicated guide.

Does it really work?

Yes, it even works very well. It’s just a little more time-consuming, because you have to add the two minutes compared to normal cooking (2 min with the fire + the normal cooking time for the pasta).

And if you manage to cook pasta by cutting the heat under the pan, it’s because it’s not the boiling water that cooks it: it’s the heat. Hence the importance of putting a lid on the pan once you have turned off the gas.

According to the Barilla brand, this method would save “80% of CO₂ emissions compared to the traditional method”.

And it’s good ?

For “classic” pasta, yes. That’s more than enough, you don’t feel any difference.

However, not everyone is of this opinion, especially in Italy where this method is decried and even triggered an outcry (a pastagate) when the Nobel Prize in Physics, Giorgio Parisi, defended it on social networks.

This solution cannot be used in high-level restaurants, because cooked like this, the pasta takes on a rubbery texture.

Antonello Colonna in the pages of the Italian daily La Republicca.italian chef

But while every watt is precious to ensure a warm winter, saving every bit of energy is important, especially when you consider that around 400 million servings of pasta are served daily.

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