Why Alton Brown Doesn’t Add Oil to His Pasta Water

published Oct 25, 2012
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Remember back when Good Eats was a new TV show? We sat wide-eyed staring at the television; it was like science class in high school (if we had been paying attention). One moment that still rings clear every time I boil water happened in the pasta episode, way back in the very beginning. Did you know Alton is strictly against adding oil to his pasta water? Want to know why?

Alton is a stickler when it comes to pasta. He believes that 4 servings of pasta should be boiled up in no less than a gallon of water, salt should always be added, and oil should never grace the pot. Why is this?

Although oil helps to control the water and keep it from boiling over, it also reduces the amount of sauce that can stick to the noodle. It sits on top of the water just waiting for the pasta to be poured out and before your delicious sauce gets a chance to stick to those starchy pieces of goodness, the oil you added to the water is already preventing it.

Makes sense, right?

If you missed the pasta episode of Good Eats, there are videos and a transcript over at the Good Eats Fan Page:

Read More: Use Your Noodle Transcript at the Good Eats Fan Page

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