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Wondering How to Cook Pasta Sustainably? Try Passive Cooking

Your plate of noodles requires a fair amount of energy to produce. Here's how to cook pasta sans unnecessary emissions.

how to cook pasta
Written by
Calin Van Paris
Whether you enjoy a
or omnivorous diet, pasta is a universal menu item. But learning how to cook pasta correctly can be challenging if you're a newbie in the kitchen.
If your pasta always comes out undercooked or overcooked—never perfectly in between—you're in luck. There's a lazy-chef solution that not only results in delicious pasta every time, but also reduces your
carbon footprint
. Enter passive cooking.

What Is Passive Cooking?

how to cook pasta
Though noodles themselves are relatively low-impact—especially if you keep your flour source in mind—boiling a pot of pasta actually requires an
average of 1.5 kWh of energy
Rather than using the fair amount of energy required to get your water boiling and keep it in the same state, passive cooking only requires the first step.
"What ends up happening is you cook your pasta in boiling water for two minutes,"
plant-based chef Max La Manna. "After two minutes, you're going to turn off the heat and cover with a lid."
After a few more minutes, depending on the pasta type, the noodles will be cooked to perfection. "It can reduce up to 80% of CO2 emissions and save energy," he adds.
Considering today's gas prices and your
stovetop's inherent emissions
, this little trick is actually a pretty big win. So spend less time laboring over your pot of pasta and more time enjoying it—your resulting plate will be just as delicious, and the planet will thank you.
Learn how to cook pasta of your own using this simple technique by following along with the instructions below.

How to Cook Pasta Like a Pro

how to cook pasta
1. Bring your water to a boil.
2. Once your water reaches its boiling point, add your dry pasta and stir to prevent sticking.
3. Cook for two minutes, switch off the heat, and cover.
4. To decide how long the pasta should sit in boiling water for, look to the packaging. If the pasta has an eight-minute cooking time, subtract two minutes and let it sit covered for the remaining six minutes.
5. Enjoy your perfectly-cooked pasta.