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Should You Cook Pasta In Cold Water?

Twitter user @drive45music unknowingly started a pasta debate when he tweeted that his girlfriend makes pasta by adding uncooked pasta to cold water and then turning on the stove to boil water. This shocking method rattled the pasta community, where the majority do the traditional method of dumping the pasta into boiling water. Personalities such as Alton Brown and J.Kenji Lopez took the girlfriend’s side, weighing in on the rising debate, while Frankie Celenza explained that the cold water method can make the pasta noodles soggy. But what is the correct method for cooking pasta? The Huffington Post has the details: 

The traditional method seems to be the most foolproof, but if you’re still not sure which method is best, Celenza put the debate into perspective for us:
“Listen, you can do whatever you want, you will cook the pasta, it will cook. Heck, you could soak the pasta in water overnight like a bunch of shriveled chickpeas. But you could also get to work in the morning by hitching a ride on the outside of the last subway car of an express train and leaping off at the local stop that train doesn’t stop at. You’ll get there ― it just might not work consistently for you. That’s how I feel about the endless way people try to dream up how to cook pasta differently. It’s idiotic. We have too much time on our hands.”


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I cooked pasta from cold water years ago by accident because I just wasn't thinking to let the water heat up and boil first. No one died. I can't remember how I timed it but i just kept taking out a sample after awhile until the tenderness was right.
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I have been doing this for years. To add to the heresy I also only use enough water to have 2" over the pasta, and turn off the heat when the water starts to boil and just let the pasta cook in the hot water with the lid on for about 9 minutes. It uses about ¼ the amount of energy and is faster since you don't have to wait for the water to boil before cooking.There seems to be no detectable difference in the pasta that I can tell.
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