3 daily gestures for increasingly “green” pasta

3 daily gestures for increasingly “green” pasta

With minimal ecological impact from field to table compared to other foods, less than 1m2 global per serving and just 150 grams of CO2 equivalent, pasta is the prototypical green food. But we can do even more. Here are 3 daily gestures that make a difference for even greener pasta.

#1: KEEP THE LID ON THE POT (WHEN YOU BRING THE WATER TO A BOIL) – The pot should be covered to speed up the boiling of the water. When you throw the pasta in, the lid should always be taken off because the pasta will cook uncovered, unless we are making it in a pressure cooker or with passive cooking.

Using the lid saves up to 6 percent in energy and CO2 equivalent (CO2e) emissions. It also takes less time….

#2: USE THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF WATER (TODAY YOU NEED LESS THAN YOU THINK) – The right amount of water allows the pasta to cook evenly without sticking and with a perfect degree of saltiness. Grandma’s rule is that for every 8 ounces of pasta you need 1 liter of water. Today, the quality of pasta is higher than 40 or 50 years ago and it releases less starch in cooking, and we can even cook our 8 ounces of pasta in 0.7 liters of water … or even less if we are making a one-pot pasta, where the pasta is cooked risotto style along with its sauce. And even the recipe tells us how much water should be used. Cooking the pasta in less water will concentrate the starch and make it easier to bind with the sauce.

Using less water cuts energy consumption and CO2e emissions by 13 percent. The pasta stays good, and you also save 30% water …

#3: TURN OFF THE HEAT AHEAD OF TIME (PASSIVE COOKING CAN WORK WONDERS) – Another green method that saves gas and energy. With passive cooking, the pasta cooks with the heat on for only 2-4 minutes from when the water comes to a boil again. Then you turn off the stove and cover the saucepan with a lid to limit heat loss, leaving the pasta to steep in the water for the remaining time indicated on the package. This way the water will have been absorbed. Too radical a change? Actually, grandmothers also used it to cook pasta for soup. And today it is recommended to finish cooking larger formats, such as conchiglioni, fusilloni and paccheri to prevent them from breaking or losing their shape. In this case, simply turn off the heat a few minutes before the recommended cooking time and finish cooking with the heat off and the pot covered.

With passive cooking, the savings in energy and CO2e emissions are up to 47%!