I always thought my family was weird for putting the pasta into the cold water and letting it boil up that way, but apparently, that’s also how famous chef and host of “Good Eats,” Alton Brown, does his pasta.
His preference for the cold water pasta method goes back all the way to his 2015 blog. According to Brown, he isn’t too keen on the traditional method of boiling the water and then adding the pasta. Not only does his cold water method reduce cooking time, but it also helps to produce great pasta water that you can then use to either flavor or thin out some sauces.
In order to start, simply grab your preferred type of dried pasta – whether its penne, rigatoni, or another – then dump into the water. Alton doesn’t say anything regarding long noodles like spaghetti or fettuccine, but other bloggers have, saying it’s totally normal to use. My mother used to put spaghetti in just like that so I can also vouch for it. The only thing is definitely don’t use fresh pasta or else you’ll end up with a culinary mess.
According to Alton, 8 cups of water is plenty to cook a 1-pound box of pasta. Just add the cold water and pasta into a large pot, cover, and set over medium-high heat. Once the water boils, reduce from a boil to a simmer, and then cook the pasta 4 more minutes until the pasta is al-dente. Then remove it using a slotted spoon or pour it into a strainer and enjoy in your favorite sauce.