We should not use the strainer to collect the pasta, but we should use some hand utensil… so that we can keep all the pasta water.

There are many elements that influence the food waste in our home and, therefore, our economic situation. The origin of this waste has to do with poor planning, which causes us to buy (and cook) more than we need. When there is leftover food, you always have to try to give it a second chance before throwing it away… and for that you have to be creative.

One of the least known tricks to save money and get the most out of what we cook is to take advantage of the water in which we have cooked the pasta. Actually, the uses that we can give to this starchy water are many… so it would be a waste to throw it down the drain.

But of course, to be able to give any alternative use to the cloudy pasta water, we must first worry about preserving it . And for that, the best thing we can do is definitely forget about the strainer and always use a specific hand tool; like the spider-shaped pasta fork, which is ideal for spaghetti and tagliatelle.

1. Sauce binder:

The first of the uses that we can give to this cloudy water is as a binder for sauces. As you already know, when we cook the pasta, it ends up “contaminating” the water with its starch and with some valuable minerals and vitamins, such as magnesium or zinc. And starch is perfect for emulsifying any hot fat (olive oil, butter, pork fat, etc.) and making it a little more consistent and thick. In other words, the starch acts as a binder and gives the sauce a creamy and soft consistency.

The starchy water obtained from cooking pasta is very useful -for example- for making sauces |  Stock Photography

The starchy water obtained from cooking pasta is very useful -for example- for making sauces.

2. To soften the legumes:

Any dry legume that we want to cook, we must to prepare it in advance. Whether they are chickpeas, lentils or peas, the ideal is to leave them soaked overnight . This will reduce the cooking time required and will soften the skin of the beans substantially (also making them easier to digest). Instead of using the tap water to soften the legumes, we should use the salty water for the pasta. Not only will we be speeding up the process a bit and -in addition- we will be giving our legumes a different aromatic touch for every kind of food or recipe that we want to prepare.

3. To clean:

This cosmetic use of pasta water is usually quite surprising, because it is a cloudy liquid with an unappealing appearance. However, it can be used as a natural cleaning agent… suitable for descaling the most persistent dirt. We can use it, or, leaving the dishes to soak for a little time ; or, collecting a little pasta water and putting it in the fridge. After a few hours, we will be able to see how a kind of gelatin has formed that can be used to clean anything… without diluting it.

4. To water the plants:

Be careful . We cannot -under any circumstances- add too much salt water to a plant. Salt and plants are deadly enemies, because it compacts the soil and prevents plants from absorbing water. Therefore, if we want to take advantage of the minerals that have remained in the water to irrigate, we must decide in advance and not add salt.

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