We Tried the Viral Pasta-Straining Hack That’s Taking Over the Internet
It's not quite as genius as it sounds.
We've given out a lot of pasta advice over the years, from stirring your noodles as soon as you add them to the water to not rinsing them after straining. One suggestion we've truly never thought of? Placing your colander inside the pot, then turning the entire contraption upside down.
But that's exactly the tip that has the Internet in a frenzy. Twitter user @Daibellaaa posted a series of photos she saw on Facebook that illustrated the technique. The photos suggest that we’ve all been using our colanders wrong: instead of placing the colander in the sink, we should be inserting it into our pot, and then pouring the water out through the colander, leaving the pasta in the pot.
But before we embraced the hack, we decided to try it out in our test kitchen. After cooking our spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water, we rested our colander inside the pot, then turned it upside down and poured the water out. And while it worked, we couldn't understand why it was so genius.
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For starters, it doesn't actually save you any time. You're still straining pasta over a sink. Plus, there’s really no reason that it’s helpful to have the pasta in the pot, rather than in the colander. In fact, the noodles became pretty squished after having been pressed against the colander. Our favorite method of cooking pasta is finishing it in a skillet with sauce (like marinara or pesto), olive oil, or butter, and adding fresh herbs, lemon zest, cheese, etc. So it really doesn't matter where your pasta is after it's been cooked because it should ultimately end up in a skillet.
Secondly, we doubt that everyone's colanders fit inside their pot. We have an abundance of colander and pot sizes in our test kitchen, so we were able to put together a matching pair. But in our home kitchens, we have one or two pots for cooking pasta and one colander.
If you ask us, the best pasta hack is utilizing the starchy water the pasta is cooked in. Before you strain (however you decide to do so), use a ladle to scoop out the water and pour it into a liquid measuring cup. Then, add a little bit at a time to thicken your sauce. The starchiness of the water will also help your noodles cling to the sauce, and we all know that's the best part of pasta night.
This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.