Say I want to cook fresh pasta and I don't have access to a stove or hotplate. I can heat water with an immersion circulator. I can get close, but can't achieve a boil. What is the lowest temperature needed to cook fresh (water and/or egg based...but not dried) pasta? While I provide the circulator as an example, this is less of a modernist technique question and more of a science of cooking pasta question.

  • 3
    Thanks @Jolenealaska. There is one response in that discussion addressing fresh, which references a paper examining polymerization of gluten in dried pasta. While the abstract (all I have access to) mentions that the researchers studied protein polymerization first using fresh pasta, and provides a temperature range of 60 - 68C for two reactions, it is mainly a paper about dried pasta. So, for me the questions then becomes does protein polymerization = "cooked" as we would experience it in a finished dish?
    – moscafj
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 17:12
  • 1
    @Paparazzi so far, it sounds like temps at or above 140F (60C) are necessary anyway.
    – moscafj
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 17:18
  • 1
    In the highest village in Italy water boils at around 92C Wikipedia - high altitude cooking, 2000m. They can probably eat decent pasta. Can your circulator do that?
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 19:38
  • 2
    @ChrisH sell that method of preparation to hipsters as ancient mountain pasta before some other yahoo does it :) Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 9:22
  • 2
    @rackandboneman Nice idea, but you can have that one -- my file of daft hipster business plans is getting rather full and I still don't want the compulsory beard.
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 9:51

2 Answers 2


Cooking pasta at a full rolling boil (100°C at sea level or less at higher altitudes) is just conventional, it is not the boiling the cooks pasta but the temperature:

pasta cooking is influenced by three factors: water penetration inside the pasta, gelatinization of the starch (it normally occurs at a temperature between 60°C and 70°C for wheat starch) and the denaturation and consequent coagulation of gluten (at 70°C-80°C). A temperature above 80°C for a certain time (slightly longer than what you'd need at 100°C to compensate for the slower penetration of water into the pasta) should guarantee a perfectly cooked pasta.

This is the same for dried pasta and for fresh pasta; fresh will cook in less time, and you should probably taste it during the cooking process to find the right texture.

The rolling boil helps to keep the pasta well separated and to avoid sticking, but a water circulator would probably take care of that too


From Ask the Food Lab: Can I Start Pasta In Cold Water?

Even if it loses its boil, the pasta will still continue to cook so long as it's kept above 180°F/80°C or so.

  • 2
    I don't think this answers the question -- they're talking about dried pasta. With fresh pasta, you need to gelatinize the outside of the pasta quickly, so it doesn't turn into paste.
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 1:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.