Cooking pasta with no salt added

Here is an urban myth that needs to be debunked: you must add salt when making pasta.Guess what? Water will still boil and pasta will still cook even if you add no salt! There are different schools of thought regarding how much salt you should add to water when making pasta — among the folks who are not concerned with the amount of sodium they consume. The most common rule is that you add enough salt for the water to “taste like the sea”. It is very possible that this is one way to achieve a full rich flavor. However, if you strive to eat low sodium meals adjustments must be made.

But first, let’s remove one unhelpful consideration. Even though salted water technically boils faster, the difference in time is hardly significant. It takes over 10% of salt in a solution to make water boil noticeably faster (see this link for scientific proof). That aside, there are many people who simply never add salt to their pasta. In fact, some amateurs are blissfully unaware of this pasta cooking tip. If low sodium diet is your goal, why not try preparing pasta in unsalted water? Keep in mind that certain dishes do not rely on pasta being salty. If you are using a lot of pepper, oil, garlic and onion, there might not be much to lose to begin with when doing away with salt. Otherwise, consider a few simple trials. Pasta is notoriously inexpensive. You can easily cook up three or four small batches over the course of an hour and find out exactly the amount of salt you and members of your family just can’t live without. And if you enjoy experimenting with your noodles, consider some of the many salt substitutes available.

Bottom line: if eating foods low in sodium is your goal you can and will find a way to use less salt when cooking pasta.