Saturday, February 28, 2009

Can Pasta Save the Environment?

Hey Divas, I read an interesting New York Times article (click here) that asks the $50,000 culinary question, what do we use so much water to cook a comparably small amount of pasta? After all, it's a lot of work filling up the pan, lugging the heavy thing over to the stove, then waiting impatiently for it to boil, not to mention finally pouring the scalding hot water down the drain while trying to avoid inflicting third degree burns on yourself and the Adorable Monster curled up at your feet! OK, I know I sound like a culinary coach potato. I mean, who complains about boiling pasta, one of the easiest homemade meals known to mankind, ranking above frying an egg, but below casserole? Even my cooking-challenged friends can deftly whip up a box of Mac N Cheese!

Well, the author of this article shares my sentiments, reasoning that boiling pasta in less water shouldn't have a negative effect. In practice, I have to agree with her, even if my Italian grandmother is currently rolling around in her grave. See, I regularly turn a blind eye to the directions on the pasta box, and pour only enough water to easily cover the pasta. It heats quicker, is easier to drain, and truthfully, it's better for the environment (small steps count, people!). The only downside seems to be that you have to stir the noodles a little more frequently to discourage clumping or sticking to the bottom of the pan. In her research and experiments she comes to the same conclusion. Pasta needs a minimum amount of water to cook properly, but not the excessive amount usually demanded on the packaging. So go ahead, reduce your carbon emissions, one box of pasta at a time!

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