Still not satisfied with Alex Guarnaschelli’s suggestion not to add olive oil to your pasta water? We dove deep and came across advice from Lidia Bastiench, an Emmy-winning public television host and cookbook author, also of Italian descent. Bastianch said (via Smithsonian), “Do not add – I repeat, do not add oil to your pasta cooking water! And that is an order!”
Smithsonian notes that olive oil can prevent pasta sauce from coating the pasta properly. Water and oil don’t mix, so when you pour the water in, you’ve created a layer of oil. This oil coats your pasta, preventing tomato-based sauces from sticking to the noodles. (However, the magazine notes that if you’re using oil-based sauces, like pesto, adding olive oil won’t prevent them from coating the pasta properly.) But there’s another fake. no pasta which will affect if the sauce sticks to it.
Smithsonian warns that if you want your sauce to stick, don’t rinse your pasta after draining it. The magazine turned to another celebrity chef for this rule, citing Giada De Laurentiis and her cookbook “Everyday Pasta.As De Laurentiis writes, “The starch on the surface gives flavor and helps the sauce stick.” If you put your cooked pasta under the tap, those starches wash down the drain—so don’t.
Yet there is one thing you should put in your pasta water, and it’s salt, which adds flavor. Understood?