Taste of Tribeca #6: When Applying Sauce, Use Your Noodle

john-sierp-by-tribeca-citizenIn anticipation of Taste of Tribeca*, the benefit for P.S. 234 and P.S. 150 on May 15, I’m asking the participating chefs for cooking tips. John Sierp of M1-5 and White Cloud Catering says there’s more to saucing pasta that mixing and serving.

Do you hate when you order pasta and get a plate full of red water on the bottom of your dish/bowl? Here’s a way to avoid that. When you cook the pasta, stop a minute or two before it’s al dente. Strain the pasta, reserving a cup of the pasta water. Put the pasta back in the pot (on low/medium heat), along with just enough sauce to coat it—you want to finish the cooking process by stirring the pasta with the sauce for the last minute or so; that way the pasta aborbs some of the sauce and flavors it. As you finish cooking the pasta in the sauce, add some of the pasta water as the sauce evaporates: The pasta will absorb the sauce/pasta water and the starch in the pasta water will help thicken the liquid. This also works well for serving family-style: When serving, add more sauce to each portion as you like. This way, everyone gets pasta with the right amount of sauce. And serve another helping of sauce on the side, so people can add it themselves as they wish.

*Tickets are on sale now at tasteoftribeca.org. Buy before May 1 and they’re only $35. Also, join the Taste of Tribeca Facebook group and you might win a T-shirt.

Previous Taste of Tribeca Tips:
• Tip #5: Prep Like a Pro (Marc Forgione)
• Tip #4: Fresh Pasta Shouldn’t Be Too Fresh (Giovanni Tenace of Roc)
• Tip #3: Back to the Cutting Board (Russell Moss of Cafe 92YTribeca)
• Tip #2: Method to the Mashedness (Henry Meer of City Hall)
• Tip #1: Bake Beforehand (Rachel Thebault of Tribeca Treats)


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