Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
Science and cooking overlap – there’s no disputing that.
But when it comes to cooking Italian food, it’s official, you’re always going to upset someone if you change the rules… even if you’re a Nobel Prize winning physicist.
Yup, award winning scientist Giorgio Parisi recently shared his advice for how to cook pasta perfectly (and cheaply), but the tip didn’t go down well with everyone.
Italian Professor Parisi – who won the 2021 physics Nobel Prize for his “discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales” – said that turning the heat off whilst you’re half way through cooking pasta is the best way to ensure you have a “perfect” bowl of pasta whilst also saving the pennies.
The scientist, from Sapienza University in Rome, shared the historic tip from Alessandro Burisi Vici, saying: “The most important thing is to keep the lid on, a lot of heat is lost through evaporation. After boiling the pasta, I put the gas on minimum, so that it boils very little without consuming.
“You can also try to turn it off…Obviously, this way, less gas is consumed and the pasta is cooked evenly.”
Burisi suggests covering the pan with a lid and letting the residual heat do the rest of the work cooking the pasta, and the physicist says this can save “at least eight minutes of energy consumption.”
However, it’s safe to say that whilst he swears by the trick, some people aren’t so sure.
The Italian chef said that cooking pasta with the heat off can make it rubbery, adding that it would never be served in a top class restaurant like his.
READ MORE: 8 surprising health benefits of eating pasta
Meanwhile, chef Luigi Pomata agreed, simply adding that cooking pasta off the heat: “Would be a disaster.”
“Let’s leave cooking to chefs while physicists do experiments in their lab,” he added.
Some chefs might scoff at the method, but it is reported that the method could help people save 47 per cent of the energy they normally consume.
In the current climate, we certainly don’t blame anybody for saving the pennies…