Salt, pasta, water

What us the purpose of adding just a pinch of salt to boiling pasta water?

  • Posted by: ddalley
  • December 13, 2016


PHIL December 13, 2016
Ddalley , it does make a difference , even on mac & cheese. You're not supposed to taste the salt , the salt is there to enhance the pasta flavor. That's why you use salt in baking also. If you prefer not to use salt , it's up to you. either way enjoy!
ChefJune December 13, 2016
Not "just a pinch" of salt. You want to make the water taste like sea water. It lifts the flavor of your pasta. And please choose Kosher or coarse sea salt. Using table salt for this adds unnecessary and undesirable chemicals to your pasta (water).
pierino December 13, 2016
I'll join the choir here. Pasta without salt added to the water tastes insipid.
PHIL December 13, 2016
You have to experiment and see what you like as to the saltiness.
CanadaDan December 13, 2016
unless you made pasta from scratch and put salt in it, there's no other opportunity to salt the pasta aside form salting the water since the pasta soaks up some water. and as Phil mentioned its way more than a pinch...after salting, the water should taste ocean-y
ddalley December 13, 2016
I can see tasting the salt if the pasta has no sauce on it, it not when covered in something like tomato sauce, pesto or, as I made last night, mac and cheese. I just don't eat plain pasta all that often to make it worthwhile.
PHIL December 13, 2016
Without salt the pasta will be bland. Also , you should add plenty of salt , not a pinch. 1 1/2 tablespoons per lb is recommended . I use more and usually just eyeball it. You're not going to eat all that salt as a lot goes down the drain when you strain the pasta. you can find an article on this site:
Recommended by Food52