Why You Should Avoid Rinsing Your Cooked Pasta

There's really no other food as versatile as pasta, after all, there are so many different types of pasta noodles. Add that to the number of sauce variations and the dish being served either hot or cold, and you have an endless amount of pasta recipes at your disposal.

In case you want to know specifics, there are about 350 different types of pasta (via Italy Magazine) available in different shapes and sizes and picked accordingly based on how well they pair with sauces and toppings. Because of this, there's literally a pasta recipe for any occasion or the mood, whether you need a pick-me-up or if you're short on time and want a dish that's ready in half an hour.

There are so many tips and tricks on how to cook the perfect pasta, but at times, these hacks can get you in some gray water, especially since different types of pasta are cooked differently. One of the most notorious pasta arguments is whether or not to rinse your pasta. Some people claim the method helps but backed by some professional culinary advice, there's a good reason why you should actually avoid rinsing your cooked pasta.

Don't rinse the pasta if you want to serve it hot

The great debate of whether or not to rinse your pasta after cooking it has long been coming. You may have grown up seeing your family immediately douse that freshly boiled pot of pasta with some cold water in a colander before serving it. Others may look at you like you have two heads for even considering doing that. So, what's the right call? Well, it depends on how you want to serve it.

According to DeLallo, you never want to rinse your cooked pasta with cold water if you want to serve it hot. When cooked pasta comes out of the pot, it has a starchy build-up that allows the sauce to hold to the noodles. Obviously, this is a very important step when you're trying to make a warm pasta dish using any form of sauce like pesto, marinara, Alfredo, or traditional tomato. And if you're still not convinced when it comes to rinsing pasta, celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis lends her thoughts and screams "NEVER," (via YouTube).

Is there ever a time to rinse pasta?

And yet, the debate continues. There are many claims that rinsing your pasta can be helpful. According to Food To Impress, rinsing off your pasta for a cold dish can be beneficial, as it will rinse off the excess starch on the noodles, preventing them from sticking together as it cools. Additionally, rinsing your cooked pasta in a colander with cool water helps to uphold the noodles' "al dente" consistency.

Additionally, 12 Tomatoes also recommends rinsing pasta if you plan to serve your pasta in a cold dish — like pasta salad — and even when serving it as a side without sauce. If you rinse your cooked noodles with cold water straight out of the boiling pot of water, it will completely halt the noodles from cooking more, which is important when you want to add them as the base mixed with other ingredients.

Of course, if you want to try a more unconventional way of cooking pasta, Gordon Ramsay offers his way, which starts with cold water, salt, and olive oil and ends with pepper (per YouTube).