Every sauced pasta dish recipe I ever read calls for using the water in which the pasta was cooked for the purpose of thickening the sauce, as the water contains a lot of starch which helps the pasta adhere to the sauce

In this recipe, this step is skipped and the pasta is added without any water/starch

What was the reason for not using the pasta water? Or in other words, when should you not want to add pasta water? (other than in cold pasta dishes like salads)


1 Answer 1


The simplest answer is, if you need to dilute the pasta sauce, it’s better to use the cooking water.

  • Then if I get it right, pasta water is not used in this recipe because the sauce is already thick?
    – Dan B
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 12:48
  • Well... The chef didn't want to dilute the sauce as I said... It's a chunky sauce, it doesn't require adding water to thin it a bit.
    – zetaprime
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 13:20
  • It's not about diluting the sauce. It's about changing the consistency and its ability to stick to the noodles. Dilution doesn't happen (or at least doesn't have to happen) because the amount of water is small and rapidly evaporates if the pasta is finished at a high heat.
    – user50726
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 18:01

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