The other day I came across long sticks of uncut ziti pasta. I'm sure there's a real Italian name for such things, but I'm affectionately calling it pool noodle pasta. They were giant wobbly worms and were a real treat, but there was only one problem, they absorbed so much salt from the pasta water that they were inedible — and folks, this isn't my first rodeo.
I'm a self proclaimed carb-o-holic, so I'm not exactly new to making pasta. My entire life I've lived by two philosophies when it comes to salting pasta water and it's never (ever) failed me before.
• Make the water as salty as the ocean
• The pasta will take what it needs and leave the rest in the behind.
Never has this failed me. Until last night. I was so excited to try to eat these long noodle strands. They boiled, they were tossed with the sauce in the pan and then into the serving bowls they went. My husband, the good man that he is ate as much as possible while I ate a few noodles and then few a few to the dog (seriously, have you ever watched a dog eat a noodle, it's fantastic). The photo above is the sad pot that I couldn't bear to throw out... because that means admitting defeat.
It was a total fail. It's not like I care that I ruined some expensive bag of pasta (it was only $1), but the fact that a tuna sandwich is now on the menu for lunch instead of tasty leftovers is kind of a bummer. Have you ever had this happen? Am I a lone duck? Is there really such a thing as too much salt in your pasta water? Anyone?
TIPS ON SALTING PASTA WATER FROM THE KITCHN
• Dinner Tip: "Salt the Pot, Not the Pasta"
• Quick Tip: The Best Way to Cook Pasta
• Does Salting Pasta Water Have Any Scientific Merit?
• Forgot to Salt the Pasta Water? Take a Tip from Chez Pim
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)