Save water: Put less in the pasta pot

Food writer Harold McGee, writing in the New York Times’ Curious Cook column, has a suggestion for saving energy: Put less water in the pot when you boil pasta.
McGee says the standard recipe for cooking pasta calls for 4 to 6 quarts of water per pound of pasta.
He says experimentation convinced him that – with a little additional stirring of the pasta to keep it from sticking – you can get by with 1.5 quarts. He calculates that Americans cook a billion pounds of pasta a year, and could save “several trillion” B.T.U.s of energy, worth perhaps $10 million to $20 million at today’s oil prices, if they used less water and spent less time bringing it to a boil.
McGee doesn’t dwell on the water savings, but saving 4 billion or so quarts of water a year is not insignificant. And that’s why you are reading about pasta boiling in blog devoted to water. Go to the Times for McGee’s recipe.

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