When you cook pasta, you’ll want to add some salt to your water. This will season the pasta as it cooks and help to avoid your end dish becoming bland.

If you’re also adding some of your pasta water to your sauce (which you should be) then this will affect the overall seasoning of your dish too. When this pasta water reduces it will concentrate the saltiness, so you don’t want it to be too salty.

I often read online that your pasta water should be as salty as the sea.

The sea has a salinity if approximately 3.5% so this would mean that for every 100 grams of salted water you would have 3.5 grams of salt and 96.5 millilitres of water.

For ease we could just say that for every 100ml if water you should add 3.5 grams of salt, which is around three quarters of a teaspoon. For 1 litre of water you would need around 6 teaspoons.

That’s a lot of salt! For me, this is too much and will leave your pasta distinctly salty.

When we add salt to the pasta we are aiming to enhance the flavour of the pasta, we are not aiming to make it taste of salt.

I’d therefore suggest going for about half that amount of salt, a salinity of around 1.75%. So for every litre of water you should add 3 teaspoons of salt.

However, it comes down to personal taste, so try starting with this amount and then next time you can add more salt (if you find it a little bland) or less salt (if you can taste it on the pasta).


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