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Harold McGee, author of Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes, shares a handy way to speed your pasta dinner along. Plus it's ecofriendly!
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TRANSCRIPT Most traditional recipes for making pasta tell you to start out with lots and lots of water and heat it up to the boil before you add the pasta. Turns out that you don't need to do that. You can save a lot of time, a lot of water, a lot of energy by starting out with cold water and a frying pan. Put the pasta in the frying pan. Pour a quart and a half or so of water on top of the pasta. Turn on the heat and, because the pasta is cold, the pasta won't stick to itself at the very beginning. When it's done you have pasta that's perfectly cooked and you have a thickened liquid that you can use to make all kinds of sauces.
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