Can I Reuse Pasta Water?

Good Questions

Q: I just boiled half a kilo of pasta in about 2.5 liters of water. Since the quality of tap water is not good for cooking we buy mineral water. I hate to see 2.5 liters of water go down the drain after the pasta is boiled.

Is it a good idea to freeze this water and reuse the next time I boil pasta?

Sent by Rashmi

Editor: Rashmi, the problem with reusing pasta water is that it will draw off more and more starch from the pasta. So eventually the water will get quite cloudy and thick with starch. We think that perhaps you could reuse it once or twice, but after that it probably wouldn't be good.

You could also reuse the water in other ways, like watering plants, or cooking rice.

Readers, any ideas on this? Any experience with reusing pasta water?


Related: Quick Tip: The Best Way to Cook Pasta

(Image: Faith Durand)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.