Stop wasting water when cooking pasta

Tiberino black spaghetti flavored with squid ink

By Bob Difley

One of the aspects of boondocking that always made me feel a bit guilty was our excessive use of water. My wife, Lynn, and I are both very active physically – hiking, running, bicycling, paddling, etc. – and we both “required” daily showers after an active day – a big water user.

Another big water user is a fondness for pasta – that we ate three or four times a week – and where a big pot of water was required each time I craved spaghetti or tortellini. The used starchy water was not good for much and gallons of it got discarded. 

We did not decide to stop taking showers, but the other day Lynn discovered Tiberino Gourmet Italian pasta, dry packaged with flavoring included. She bought the Black Spaghetti (yes, black)  that required only 3 and 1/5 cups of water to cook – all of which was absorbed by the 8.8 ounces of pasta in the package. And it worked! When the pasta had cooked the allotted time it was not overcooked and there was no water remaining in the pot. No water wastage. And since the pasta is dried and vacuum packed (small package) you can easily stock up and store in a small space without fear of spoilage.

That alone is a good enough reason to stock the RV with Tiberino pasta, but it was not the only reason. The pasta recipes they create are unique and healthy. For instance, the Black Spaghetti Marinara is flavored with squid ink, capers, spices and paprika. I don’t think I had ever had black spaghetti before. And it was tasty, more traditional Italian than American, but still pasta. Other pasta recipes included Linguini with Pesto Genovese, Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms and White Truffle Olive Oil, and Whole Grain Penne seasoned with tomato-eggplant sauce, as well as others.

Besides pasta, the Tiberino line also includes rissotto, couscous and soups. You can learn more about these old world recipes (and buy) on the Tiberino website or on Amazon

You can find Bob Difley’s RVing e-books on Amazon Kindle.

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6 Thoughts to “Stop wasting water when cooking pasta”

  1. Marilyn R.

    If there is room in your freezer cook up a double (or triple) batch of pasta and freeze the extra in Ziploc bags – only a one time use of water and a reduction of time in the follow-up meals. A win-win situation!

  2. Sue

    Barilla has Pronto Pasta which is available at supermarkets. Same concept. There are also lots of one pot meals that are for pasta. We have used a Lasagne recipe for many years that doesn’t require pre-cooking of the noodles.

  3. Warren

    Check out the microwave Fasta Pasta — another way to save on water when cooking pasta in the RV. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000YT2XOI/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  4. Bob

    Lynne Puglise emailed me the following comment about saving water along with an alternative way to cook pasta.

    “Bob,

    “I have a few suggestions regarding your recent article. We recently attended the FMCA International rally in Perry, Georgia, where we would be without water or sewer services for almost a week. (Both were available but totally unable to handle the 3,000 RVs present).

    “Because we could not shower daily (there were two of us) in my Jayco Precept, we used disposable cloths made for bedridden patients. They require no soap or water and evaporate quickly so no towel is needed. They left us feeling clean and fresh. On opposite days we took GI showers.

    “Because our hot water is an instant system, there is still cold water in the lines when you turn the water on, so we placed a plastic pail in the corner of the shower and directed the cold water into it that we used to wash dishes (what few we had), we used mostly paper plates and plastic silverware.

    “We like pasta but found that if we cooked the pasta in the store-bought spaghetti sauce with water added as needed it took much less water. It took longer to cook, around 20-30 minutes because you are adding cool water and it took time for it to heat back up, but the spaghetti itself seemed to release more flavor cooking this way. It you want to add meatballs, buy the small frozen ones, cook them in the microwave, and add at the last 5 minutes. There is no water to throw away and if you cook it over low enough heat, the pan will be easy to clean.

    “We also use bottled water for drinking and cooking (mainly coffee).

    “None of this presented a problem and we emptied our holding tanks on the way home when we stopped at an RV park with full hook-ups.”.

  5. JIm Stein

    Any dry pasta can be cooked in a covered skillet with a few cups of water. The bit of starchy water left over is the base for a sauce with butter, herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, cheeses, and whatever else you feel like. 3 or 4 bucks versus 12.

  6. Betty Dagle

    This sounds really great. They have a variety of flavors. It’s a little expensive, but nice to keep in the camper pantry.

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