Here's why you should avoid draining pasta in the sink at all costs

Pasta is generally known as a simple dinner solution. But you could be making it all wrong -- and I’m not talking about just overcooking it and getting that mushy gross texture.

Cooking experts tell The Huffington Post that by draining your pasta water through a colander down the sink you are throwing away "liquid gold!" Please, don’t mistake this liquid gold for the other liquid gold like the wood cleaner or organic milk.

15 PHOTOS
14 Myths About Cooking Pasta
See Gallery
14 Myths About Cooking Pasta

Read on for the biggest myths about cooking pasta.

Myth: You Should Rinse Pasta.

Truth: Rinsing the pasta isn't necessary unless you're adding it to a cold salad.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Myth: You Should Add Oil To The Water.

Truth: Adding oil to pasta water will actually make the pasta more slippery and keep the sauce from sticking to it. You should, however, add salt to your pasta as it boils for extra flavor.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Myth: All Pastas are the Same.

Truth: Most dried pastas in the store are made from wheat flour and water. In Italy, pastas are required by law to be made with durum wheat. There are dried egg pastas which are different from wheat-flour pastas. Cooking one pound of angel hair (capellini) pasta yields a lot more pasta than cooking one pound of spaghetti because angel hair pasta absorbs more water and bulks up.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Myth: It's All About the Sauce.

Truth: Americans tend to drown their pastas in sauce, believing that if a little bit is good, then a lot will be better. However, in Italy, chefs tend to emphasize the pasta, not the sauce. The sauce enhances the flavor of the noodles and not the other way around.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Myth: Always Drain Well.

Truth: Don't stress about thoroughly draining the pasta. A little bit of leftover water can actually add to the quality of the sauce.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Myth: You Can Pair Any Pasta with Any Pasta Sauce.

Truth: Pasta shape and size is crucial to making a dish turn out delicious. Meaty sauces will overwhelm delicate pastas. Heavy sauces are great for thicker pastas like fusili and lighter sauces work with thinner noodles like linguini.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Myth: Cook Pasta Uncovered.

Truth: Covering the pot makes water boil faster and then once you add the pasta, you can cover it again. The Silver Spoon, one of the most influential Italian cooking books, recommends cooking pasta with the lid on top.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Myth: Rely on the Package Directions.

Truth: The package directions make for good guidelines, but testing a cooked noodle will always provide you with a better assessment.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Myth: Using A Colander Is The Best Way To Drain Pasta.

Truth: Pouring the pasta into a colander is fine if you have the strength to lift the heavy pot, but a good old strainer works fine too.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Myth: Fresh Pasta Is Always Better.

Truth: Many foods are better when fresh like produce and coffee, but dried pasta is totally fine. Fresh pasta is ideal for making lasagna and ravioli, but other varieties work perfectly well with dried pasta.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Myth: Salting Pasta Water Makes It Boil Faster.

Truth: Kind of, but not really. Adding salt to boiling water increases the boiling point of the water. Increasing the boiling point means that the water will reach a higher temperature and should cook the pasta better. However, to achieve this effect, you'd need to add 230 grams of salt to a liter of water, which would only raise the boiling point by 2 degrees Celsius and that is way more salt than anyone wants in their food! The good news is that adding salt to boiling water does flavor the water, which the food then absorbs. So, salting pasta water does enhance flavor, but not really the boiling process.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Myth: Pasta is Done When It Sticks to the Wall.

Truth: Pasta is done when it tastes done. Aim for an al dente taste, which means that the pasta is still slightly firm. According to Rachael Ray, the longer pasta cooks, the more gummy its texture gets, so if it sticks to the wall it might be overcooked.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Myth: Breaking Pasta Will Make It Cook Faster.

Truth: The rate at which pasta cooks depends entirely on the diameter and thickness of the noodle. If you're not cooking with a deep pot though, make sure to fully submerge the pasta.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Myth: Eating Pasta Makes You Fat.

Truth: It's not technically carbs that make you gain weight, just extra calories, which means you could gain weight eating too many carbs, proteins or fats. Dieticians recommend eating pasta in moderation. Whole wheat pasta contains more fiber and nutrients than white pasta, so it is definitely a more nutritious choice and will increase satiety.

Image Credit: Getty Images

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The Huffington Post reports that since pasta is made from flour, the starch it releases into the water as it cooks is useful for creating the perfect pasta sauce!  That cloudy water works as an emulsifying agent and can be used to make your sauce thick because no one likes runny sauce!

Experts say pasta water can make most sauces less greasy and give it a silky texture. Yum!

9 PHOTOS
Pasta names you're probably mispronouncing
See Gallery
Pasta names you're probably mispronouncing
Fusilli

The Wrong Way: Few-silly

The Right Way: Foo-zeel-ee

The spiral shape really holds onto the Parmesan cheese. 

RELATED: 15 Cheese Names You’re Probably Mispronouncing

Photo: Getty Images

Orecchiette

The Wrong Way: Or-reh-shetty

The Right Way: Or-ay-key-et-ay

This ear-shaped pasta is perfect with pesto.

Photo: Getty Images

Tagliatelle

The Wrong Way: Tag-lie-ah-tell

The Right Way: Tah-leah-tell-ah

A flat or cylindrical noodle, typically found drowning in Bolognese sauce.

Photo: Getty Images

Bucatini

The Wrong Way: Buck-a-tiny

The Right Way: Boo-cah-teen-ee

It walks and talks like spaghetti but is hollow—and slightly thicker. 

Photo: Getty Images

Penne

The Wrong Way: Pen-ay

The Right Way: Peh-neh

This ridged pasta really works overtime to absorb the sauce.

Photo: Getty Images

Pappardelle

The Wrong Way: Pepper-del

The Right Way: Pa-par-day-lay

It’s tagliatelle’s slightly bulkier cousin.

Photo: Getty Images

Fettucine

The Wrong Way: Feta-cheen

The Right Way: Fay-tuh-chee-knee

It’s all about the creamy sauce.

Photo: Getty Images

Farfalle

The Wrong Way: Far-fall

The Right Way: Far-fall­-ay

Bow-tie pasta is the cutest.

Photo: Getty Images

Gnocchi

The Wrong Way: Guh-no-chee

The Right Way: Neh-yo-key

Think of it as little pasta pillows. Yum. 

RELATED: The One Pasta Recipe You Need to Know

Photo: Getty Images

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story