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Barilla wants to convince the Italians

Barilla, with its media power, launches a campaign to promote the passive cooking of pasta.

Still with passive pasta cooking?

Summary of previous episodes.

Passive pasta cooking: what it is and how to do it

The 4 stages of passive cooking

Passive pasta cooking, also known as off-the-fire cooking, limits the actual cooking time of pasta in boiling water to two minutes.

Then the fires are turned off and, by putting the lid on the pan, the cooking time indicated in the package of the chosen dough shape is achieved passively.

We sketch:

  • 1 – When the water boils, the pasta is discarded;
  • 2 – After 2 minutes the stove switches off;
  • 3 – Put the lid on while waiting for the right cooking time.

And the counter thank you.

The counter maybe yes, but the pasta?

Sorry, didn’t we already classify passive cooking to burn less gas as gross culinary murder guilty of turning pasta into rubber?

The approval you don’t expect

You will remember that at the beginning of September, the Italian Nobel Prize in Physics, Giorgio Parisi, shared a post with the recipe for cooking pasta over an off heat.

The Italian scientist’s status and hefty bills driving up fares, with the accompanying nightmare of rationed gas, had made his culinary proposition as viral as a video of kittens on TikTok.

But Parisi’s was certainly not a birthright.

On Scatti di Gusto, as on the whole cooking internet, there has been a long discussion about passive cooking of pasta. This our recipe for Cacio e pepe with passive pasta cooking dates back to 2018, so to speak.

Does pasta become rubber with passive cooking?

However, Antonello Colonna responded to the culinary proposal of the Italian Nobel Prize, not exactly the first to come. Colonna may have picky tastes, but he’s an acclaimed master chef, as well as a well-known TV face.

The chef and entrepreneur of Labìco had proposed cold-cooking pasta, a method he considered better because it avoids the harmful rubber effect.

Just when the Italians, despite a possible saving on the gas bill, seemed convinced to put aside the passive cooking of pasta because it does not guarantee the same yield as the traditional one, Barilla arrives.

And what is the Italian pasta giant up to?

Barilla rides on the Passive Pasta Cooking Cart

The Barilla Campaign

Reopen the facade with a social campaignwhere, by forcing the rhetoric of “ecological revolution” (just that), she encourages Italians to turn to the planet “a small gesture of love”.

Like, how? Practice passive cooking of pasta.

Says Barilla: does it look like a little pasta dish to reduce consumption and “fight climate change”?

Just think that 438 million servings of pasta are served every day around the world (IPOI International Pasta Organization Ipo data).

Therefore, according to the multinational pasta company, even a small daily gesture can have an impact on the environment if it is done by everyone.

As in the Parma pasta factory they are used to supporting theses with numbers, they make an estimate of the Italian pasta makers of the Unione Italiana Food talking about the possible savings by adopting the technique. Savings in energy and CO2 emissions would reach up to 47%.

Barilla is also trying to shelter itself from criticism from Italians, who are very sensitive about pasta and criticism of passive cooking, because it makes spaghetti and macaroni take on a rubbery texture (consistency of the surface).

Jacopo Malpeli accompanies Barilla’s social campaign.

According to the chef of the Osteria del Viandante in Rubiera (Reggio Emilia), with passive cooking the pasta is less stressed than traditional cooking. This has repercussions on a lower dispersion of starch and gluten, useful elements for “risotto” pasta.

In the end, according to Malpeli, the pasta would come out perfectly al dente and with all the nutritional properties retained.

Cooking time for each format

The right cooking times for each Barilla format

It’s not enough. As in any cooking technique worthy of the name, respecting the timing is essential in the passive cooking of pasta.

For this reason, on its website, Barilla has compiled a table with the cooking time ideal for all its formats, studied and tested.

We thus learn that, for an optimal yield of n.5 spaghetti, 9 minutes of traditional cooking and 2 + 8 minutes of passive cooking are necessary (2 with the stove on, 8 with the stove off).

For the penne rigate it goes to 11 minutes of traditional cooking and 2 + 11 of passive cooking. Etc.

Finally, for its campaign on the benefits of passive cooking of pasta created in collaboration with TOILETPAPER, the magazine of artist Maurizio Cattelan, Barilla also unveiled the gadget.

In Parma, they are careful not to leave behind the digital natives who are starting a family.

The device is called “Passive Cooker” and, in the very international parlance of the pasta factory, is an ecological “smart device” equipped with a card and a temperature sensor that “dialogues” with an application dedicated mobile.

It works like this.

Barilla’s “passive cooker”

1 – The passive cooker is applied to the lid of any pan and associated with the smartphone;

2 – When it detects that the water is boiling, it is advisable to discard the pasta;

3 – After 2 minutes, the device warns you to turn off the stove;

4 – The “passive cooker” indicates when the pasta is ready.

How much can you save with passive pasta cooking?

In short, Barilla has jumped on the bandwagon of passive pasta cooking without saving energy (oops!). Will he be able to convince the Italians?

In the light of the calculations that someone liked doing it is not obvious that he will succeed.

Cooking the pasta out of the fire would bring a saving ranging from 1 to 2.5 centimes, when it is good.

Is it worth it given the risk of turning the macarone into rubber?

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