ocal point/Shutterstock Pasta may just be the ultimate comfort food, except when it comes time to prepare it. Salt the water? Rinse the cooked noodles? The controversy abounds, so we’ve turned to two major names in the world of pasta: Chef Carmine Di Giovanni of New York’s Aunt Jake’s, and Glenn Rolnick, executive chef at Carmine’s. Their pasta palaces dot the culinary landscape from New York to Las Vegas, and they reveal, once and for all, the right way to prepare your noodles. These are the healthiest pastas you can try.
You don’t salt the water
salmon negro/Shutterstock Chef Di Giovanni, Aunt Jake’s: Absolutely yes, you should salt the water.
Chef Rolnick, Carmine’s: Yes, salt it—about one tablespoon of salt per gallon of water.
Salt is added to the water to improve the taste of the pasta, but if someone at the table is on a low-sodium diet, you can leave it out and let each person salt their own serving.
There’s another reason—a scientific one—to add salt to your pasta cooking water.
You add a splash of olive oil to the water
Africa Studio/Shutterstock Chef Di Giovanni, Aunt Jake’s: Oil is not necessary.
Chef Rolnick, Carmine’s: No oil—it will make the pasta gummy
Despite what almost everyone thinks, this is a major no-no, and nearly all famous pasta chefs agree. Oh, and make sure you use the right noodle shape for your sauce—here’s a guide.