Pasta is one of those delicious, easy dinners that is almost impossible to mess up. You simply add salt to boiling water, cook your pasta until it's al dente and then drain. Or so you thought.
In actual fact, top chefs agree that you should be saving the pasta water, rather than draining it down the sink, and adding a small portion back to mix into the sauce. The salty and starchy leftover water will cling to the pasta, giving the sauce a creamier texture. Australian chef Stephanie Alexander is a huge fan of the method, telling Good Food that she also never rinses the pasta strands with water after straining.
'It is always a good idea to spoon out a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water moments before you drain the pasta in case you need to thin a sauce or help a thick sauce such as pesto blend evenly with the hot pasta.'
In a similar way Scott Conant, who runs New York's Fusco restaurant, adds a splash of pasta water to his tomato sauce for the 'perfect' flavour.
'Thanks to the addition of the pasta water it's salted well but not too much; it's more like a broth,' he told the New York Post. 'As you cook it and it reduces, it doesn't become too salty.'
He also fries sliced garlic with a handful of crushed red pepper, adds a handful of sliced tomatoes and throws in a pinch of salt for the perfect tomato sauce.