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Old 12-07-2017, 06:13 AM   #1
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Putting water into hot oil? (Pasta)

Quick question on a recipe for Pasta Algio e Olio.

I've seen a lot of videos on youtube where chefs add some of the pasta water to the oil and garlic that has been cooking (or is currently cooking on the burner and is very hot):

(2:04 in)

(1:59 in)

How are they able to put that water in without the oil going crazy and becoming a fire hazard? I tried to make the recipe and put in just a bit of water and the oil started bubbling the water everywhere. Any tips? Is it possible the water I had removed from the pot was just lukewarm and not hot? I was always under the impression you never add water to oil, no matter the temperature.


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Old 12-08-2017, 04:33 AM   #2
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I don’t even pretend to know the science behind this, but it’s always been my experience that if you add the cooked pasta to pan and let it absorb some of the oil, then add the “pasta water” at the end, there’s little to no spattering or alarming bubbling.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:12 AM   #3
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I do what Joel does. Add the pasta first.

My guess with the videos is the the oil isn't super hot and that's why it doesn't spatter all over the place. In the first video you see the guy actually turn the flame down after cooking the garlic on the oil. The oil should never be super hot as it could burn the garlic.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:59 PM   #4
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I don't see any difference between adding pasta water to oil and deglazing a pan with wine. If the pan is too hot it will spatter, and most likely the garlic will be burned. Remove the pan from the heat for a bit to let it cool a little, and add just a bit of liquid to cool the pan before adding the rest. Or you could add the pasta first, as others have said.
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Old 12-08-2017, 04:10 PM   #5
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Cooking is dangerous. Try to be brave.

Deglaze with water or broth, be careful.
Deglaze with alcohol, be fearful.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:51 PM   #6
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I have done this many times, but like others have said, you add the pasta water AFTER the pasta is in the oil and stirred. Adding pasta water to a pan of hot oil by itself will get a little violent. Once the pasta is incorporated into the oil, a little pasta water added will not create and drama.

I don't know how much difference the added pasta water makes with Algio e Olio. I've gone with it, and without it, and haven't been able to make a definitive judgement on the finished product. It tastes good to me, either way.

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oil, pasta, water

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