How much do you save if you cook the pasta over the heat and with the lid on
The passive cooking technique, also relaunched on Facebook by the Nobel Prize in Physics Giorgio Parisi, reduces the use of gas or electricity, with a saving in the bill of about 44.6-kilowatt hours in a year.
“This is the third time I’ve tried and I have to say it works“. Giorgio Parisi, Nobel Prize in Physics in 2021, is also considering cooking pasta over the heat, a technique loved by many chefs and now very topical because it allows reducing the use of gas (or electricity, for those with an electric or induction hob), with significant savings in the bill.
The technique, also known by the name passive cooking, is very simple and involves the use of the lid, which is essential both to reduce the boiling time of the water and not to disperse the heat during preparation, without affecting the organoleptic properties.
of the pasta, which does not lose its character, although it requires a few more minutes of cooking than those indicated on the package. Savings estimates can clearly vary from person to person, but even this small and unexpected change in habits, together with all the tricks to responsibly manage consumption, allows us to reduce the cost of gas and electricity.
How to prepare the pasta with the fire off
Cooking pasta with the heat off is really easy and even simpler than traditional cooking because there is not even the risk of water overflowing from the pot during cooking. So let’s take a pot with a lid, put the water (of the “right” amount we will talk about later), place it on the stove and proceed as follows:
- We bring water to a boil (keeping the lid on the pot to speed up the time), put the salt, and throw the pasta.
- We hold ignited the flame for 2-3 minutes – in which we will have the resumption of boiling – and then we turn it off.
- We close the pot with the lid again, letting the pasta cook for about 1-2 minutes more than the time indicated on the package.
- Drain the pasta and season it to taste.
“At least 8 minutes of gas savings! – underlines Professor Parisi in his post on Facebook –. Without wishing to multiply for Italian families, I think it is news to be divulged, that we should change habits and it is not necessarily a bad thing”.
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The secret, as explained by the experts from de The Silver Spoonlies is being able to maintain a water temperature of not less than 80 ° C – as occurs during passive cooking – to allow the gluten of the pasta to coagulate, or to correctly complete the chemical process following rehydration, during which water is absorbed by the starch granules that swell (gelatinization) and then firm up again thanks to coagulation. The lower the temperature is compared to the boiling point, the more time this operation takes: for this reason when cooking with the fire off, the pasta requires 1-2 more minutes of cooking.
How much do you save compared to traditional cooking
A recent scientific study promoted by the Italian Pasta makers of Unione Italiana Food calculated the energy needed to cook 200 grams of pasta in a conventional way (with the pot uncovered and the fire lit) and how much we can save by cooking over the heat. The first difference is made by the use of the cover in the boiling phase, which allows an initial saving of 6%, which can be extended to 13% if, instead of cooking the pasta in the classic liter of water for 100 grams, we use 700 ml every 100 grams.
Going then to passive cooking, after the first two minutes of traditional cooking, turn off the heat and keep the lid on so as not to lose heat. a saving of 47% in terms of energy and CO2 emissions. In economic terms, considering an average annual consumption of 23.5 kg of pasta per person, every Italian would save up to 44.6-kilowatt hours in a year to which are added 13.3 kilos of CO2 and 69 liters of water.
By comparing these numbers for the entire Italian population, we would save at least 350 million lowattora enough to illuminate football stadiums for all the next 24 seasons of Serie A, Premier League, Spanish Liga, and Bundesliga, and up to 2.6 billion kilowatt hours in a year (equal to a century and a half of football at night in Europe, including cups), in addition to preserving 4,100 m³ of water, enough to fill 1,640 Olympic-sized swimming pools, and up to 776 kilotons of CO2, equal to the emissions of a car that completes 21 round trips between Earth and the Sun.