PASTA WATER: THE SECRET WEAPON

Seattle chef and author Ethan Stowell explains how to harness its power.
[1] Salt boiling water before adding your pasta. Not until it's as "salty as the ocean," as some say, but until it's seasoned like soup to bring out the pasta's flavor.
[2] Reserve a little liquid before draining the pasta.
[3] Make sure your sauce is a little dry, not soupy. Add the pasta. Then add a tablespoon or two of the starchy leftover water, which acts like a roux or thickening agent. It'll make the sauce a little creamy and moisten the noodles.

WHEAT DONE RIGHT

Though technically healthier, whole-grain pasta out of a box is usually ghastly, so look for packaged pasta made from farro, an ancient variety of wheat. It's a new chef favorite, and Latini makes an exceptional one. Or better yet, pick up some fresh bigoli, which has been crafted from whole wheat for centuries.



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