Pasta without fire and microwaves: the “save gas” tips from the Nober Parisi prize and the chemist Bressanini

To cut the crazy bills, families seem more and more ready for anything. Also to question the recipe for cooking pasta handed down for generations. This is how we talk about cooking without fire, which involves turning off the stove once the spaghetti or penne are thrown away, thanks to a post on Facebook shared by the Nobel Prize in Physics, Giorgio Parisi. “Relata refero,” Parisi puts his hands on, explaining that he only reports things reported by others. But the system works, guarantees the chemist and science popularizer Dario Bressanini: “Now everyone is talking about it, especially on Twitter and Facebook because Parisi, the Nobel laureate, talked about it and has reached an audience that he had never reached before, but not it’s a new thing. And I didn’t invent it, it has been known for 200 years that it is not boiling water, seeing bubbles, cooking but simply the temperature of the water that transfers heat to pasta, boiled rice or a hard-boiled egg. . It is something that is very surprising because, by tradition, we have always been used to keeping the boiling point, even not using the lid ».

The method
As explained by Bressanini, “it is not the boiling of the water that cooks but simply the temperature”. The fire-free pasta method therefore involves boiling the water, adding salt, throwing the pasta when it is time, stirring, waiting for it to boil again and then turning off the heat. Close the lid tightly and do not reopen it until the cooking time has elapsed, which can be extended by one minute. And the dish is served.

The savings
But how much are the savings? “It is something that periodically stands out”, comments Bressanini, “now because there is a crisis and the price of gas has skyrocketed”. But “in my opinion – he continues -, when prices drop again, I hope soon, many people will forget it because the habit dies hard”. On economic savings “it is not that the bill is halved – he emphasizes -. Savings that can be moderate, a little or a lot, depending on the situation, but if something is useless it must not be done “. To save something more, the scientist indicates other possible measures: from using a kettle to-and here we are in the smell of “heresy”, as he recognizes-heating the water with the microwave. Also in these cases then you have to put the water in a pot, bring it back to the boil and salt it, then throw the pasta, mix and close with the lid until it is time to drain.

The esteem of the Italian Pasta makers of Unione Italiana Food
An estimate of what the savings could be with these tricks was made by Italian pasta makers of Unione Italiana Food. The study talks about “passive cooking”, with the fire off and with the lid on after the first 2 minutes of traditional cooking, and calculates savings in energy and CO2 emissions of up to 47%. According to the association, this method is adopted only by one in 10 Italians, while the healthy habits of using less water, 700 milliliters per 100 grams (as one in four would do) and always putting the lid on (nine out of ten).

The importance of this last aspect is also underlined by Parisi who writes on Facebook, sharing a post by Alessandro Busiri Vici: «The most important thing is to always keep the lid on, the heat is lost a lot by evaporation. After the pasta boils, I put the gas to the minimum, minimum, so that it boils very low without consuming gas ». «You can also try to turn it off», adds the Nobel laureate, «obviously in this way it consumes even less and I think the pasta will cook anyway. After all, pasta cooks well even in the mountains with water boiling at 90 degrees. The lid is essential ».

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