If there is one thing that cannot be taken away from the Italians, it is their expertise when it comes to pasta. And yet, a Nobel Prize winner tried to question their cooking, with a view to reducing energy consumption.
All this started with a good intention, but his nationality, as Italian as it is, did not save him from the controversy, immediately triggered by his proposal. Indeed, Giorgio Parisi, Nobel Prize in Physics in 2021, described on his Facebook page a more economical way to cook pasta.
Do not forget to leave the lid
Giorgio Parisi advises to boil the water, then, once the pasta has been immersed in it, to reduce the heat to a minimum. “The most important thing is to always keep the lid on, the heat is lost a lot by evaporation. After boiling the pasta, I put the gas on minimum, minimum, so that it boils very low without consuming gas”.
The scientist cites another method, consisting even of extinguishing the fire completely. As his post suggests, with the heat, kept by the lid, the pasta can cook that way. Except that the subject is not the easiest to discuss in Italy, and his proposal quickly caused a reaction.
The Italian news agency Ansa reports that the reactions on social networks are strong, but also questions the chemist Dario Bressanini who claims that the system works. “We have known for 200 years that it is not the boiling of water, seeing it bubbling, that cooks but the temperature of the water, which transfers heat to the pasta,” he explains.
The chef versus the physicist
But even if science has spoken, the method leaves more than one Italian wary. Italian columnist Massimo Gramellini quotes chef Antonello Colonna in an op-ed for Corriere della Serra, having reacted to Parisi’s proposal with skepticism, believing that “Alla Parisi” pasta would be too “rubbery”.
And to put on the table his reflection on the “pastagate”: “I would be tempted to believe Colonna for the same reason that, in a possible dispute between the chef and the physicist about black holes, I would tend to trust in Parisi”.
Between saving energy or eating pasta cooked according to the rules of the art, you will have to choose… Or test, and form your own opinion.
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