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Finally clarified: should you quench pasta after cooking or not?


Probably one of the biggest issues when cooking pasta is the subsequent quenching: should you or shouldn't you?

Probably one of the biggest issues when cooking pasta is the subsequent quenching: should you or shouldn't you?

Do you belong to those people who always pour cold water over the hot pasta immediately after cooking or do you belong to the group who would never dare to do this step?

Now who is right?

The answer: both parties, because it depends on how you use the pasta. 

Should you quench pasta after cooking or not?


Find out here whether or not you should rinse pasta with cold water after cooking.

(icon picture)

© Panthermedia / IMAGO

The step of quenching pasta with cold water can be a good idea.

Rinsing with cold water rinses off the starch that comes out of the pasta during cooking and covers the noodles like a film.

This keeps the noodles from sticking together when served.

This advantage is also a disadvantage, because without the starch film, the sauce that is served with the pasta no longer sticks to the pasta as well.

In addition, the noodles cool down faster by quenching.

The result: lukewarm pasta. 

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With these dishes, it is still worth putting off the noodles:

  • Pasta Salad

    : If you're cooking pasta to serve later in a cold dish, it's worth deterring for two reasons.

    On the one hand, the cooking process is stopped by quenching and the noodles do not continue to cook.

    So they are perfectly al dente

    when eaten

    and not mushy.

    On the other hand, the noodles are cold faster and can be processed directly into a noodle salad.

  • Stir Fry:

    If you use spaghetti or other Asian noodles such as soba, udon, or rice noodles for stir fries, they should always be rinsed after cooking.

    Otherwise, the starchy film on the noodles would cause them to stick and clump together when frying.

    Rinsing the noodles will cool them down, but that's not a problem since they'll be reheated in the pan anyway.

  • Meal Prep / Storage:

    If you cook pasta in advance, then it also makes sense to rinse it off so that the pasta does not stick together.

Pasta knowledge: Which pasta goes best with which sauce?

Pasta knowledge: Which pasta goes best with which sauce?

For all other dishes, keep your hands off the cold water!

If you serve pasta hot with sauce, you should never rinse it, only let it drain briefly.

The starch film on the pasta is crucial for the sauce to stick to the pasta. 

Pro tip: why you shouldn't throw away pasta water:

As previously mentioned, pasta water is high in starch, which is perfect for thickening thin pasta sauces.

But did you already know the following tips on what you can do with pasta water?

▪️ Basis for

soups and stews

: The leftover pasta water gives stews and soups a certain richness, comparable to instant broth.

But be careful with the dosage, don't let the salty pasta water oversalt your soup. 

▪️ For baking

bread and pizza dough

: Pasta water can also be used instead of water.

The extra starch ensures more browning and a crispier crust. 

▪️ For


various types of vegetables: You do not need to add any additional salt to the water. 

▪️ To cook


: saves resources and the result is really tasty. 

▪️ For

watering plants

: Pasta water contains many minerals that have a positive effect on plant growth.

However, the pasta water must be unsalted for this.

If you'd like to put this advice into practice right away, then we recommend this easy recipe for spaghetti in a creamy pistachio ricotta sauce. 

List of rubrics: © Panthermedia / IMAGO

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2023-03-28

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