Why You Should Save Some Pasta Water To Reheat Mac And Cheese

As far as miracle ingredients go, humble pasta water offers a surprising amount of solutions to a number of culinary problems. Leftover pasta water has proved to be a boon for numerous endeavors, from thickening your pasta sauce to watering your plants. But what if it could also help you rescue one of your favorite comfort meals from the dreary state of leftover stodginess? That's the hypothesis behind adding a bit of pasta water to your leftover mac and cheese

While the dairy-rich cheese sauce makes this iconic pasta dish delicious, it can also become overly thick after chilling in the fridge. Instead of just muscling through this less-than-ideal texture, consider loosening things up with a bit of pasta water. The water itself will relax the thick sauce while the lingering starchiness helps keep things creamy. It also helps keep the seasoning consistent, as plain water will dilute the pasta mixture. So how should you go about bringing this helpful hack to your kitchen? 

Reviving your cheesy leftovers

To start, make sure to season your water with plenty of salt, so that when you add this water back to your mac and cheese, it won't dilute the flavor. Once you've boiled your macaroni, reserve a cup or so of pasta water and let it cool completely. As you put up your leftover mac and cheese, place your pasta water in its own container. 

The next time you're craving your mac and cheese, simply reheat the mix on the stovetop and stir in your leftover pasta water. Begin with a few tablespoons, checking the consistency before adding more. If you forgot to season your pasta water, don't panic. You can also correct any bland flavor at this time with a bit of salt and pepper. As an added bonus, you could re-top your mac and cheese mix with a bit of freshly shredded cheddar and pop it under the broiler for a few minutes. Now you've got a mac and cheese that packs the same textural pleasures as its fresh counterpart.