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How to Salt Pasta Water

Buongiorno and welcome to Lisa’s Italian Kitchen. Today we’re going to learn how to salt pasta water perfectly.

The first and most important thing about cooking your pasta is that you have to have your water really boiling furiously. Look at that beautiful roaring boil that’s what you want.

Now in Italy we never put oil in our pasta water and that’s because the theory behind oil in your water is that when you drain your pasta the pasta won’t stick. Well using any Italian pasta made with durum wheat flour, the pasta never sticks. When it’s made with durum wheat flour from Italy.

On the other hand you do want to flavor your pasta because of course if you’ve ever tasted a piece of raw pasta or even just drained pasta without any sauce you know it doesn’t really have much flavor. So we salt our pasta to give our pasta just a little bit of flavor. What we use is coarse Sicilian sea salt, this is available at every supermarket in the United States now.

I just take a nice full handful, toss it right into the boiling water and you’ll see it comes up to a roaring boil again. You’ll see the salt dissipate and then you put in your pound or a pound and a half of pasta and cook it according to the directions.

So, as always, buon appetito!


  • Lisa Caponigri

    Lisa Caponigri is the author of This is Sunday Dinner and Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?, published by Sterling Epicure. Both of Lisa's cookbooks brim with her memories of living in Italy, both as a child and as an adult raising her own family, anecdotes about her family, regional and seasonal Italian specialties, and all the advice needed to get a spectacular Sunday Dinner on the table, every Sunday of the year. She has developed a line of prepared foods and sauces called Lisa’s Italian Kitchen. Lisa debuted on HSN and has appeared on QVC. She has also appeared on a variety of television programs, including Seattle's New Day Northwest, Good Morning Toronto, Chicago's WGNLunchbreak, and New England Cooks, to name a few. Lisa is frequently consulted as an expert in Italian lifestyle and food. Lisa Caponigri lives in South Bend, IN and travels frequently to Italy to research the latest in "la dolce vita". Visit to learn more about Lisa!

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