Tongs holding noodles out of pan
The Mantecare Method For Creamy Pasta Dishes
For a comforting dinner, a creamy pasta dish with a luxuriously velvety sauce can't be beat. To make your pasta recipe better, try the Italian cooking technique called mantecare.
"Mantecare" means "to mix until creamy." The technique involves adding some fat and starchy pasta water to your pasta at the last stage of cooking to create a creamy sauce.
To try it, cook your pasta al dente and then drain it, but save a cup or two of pasta water for your sauce. Put the pasta back in the pot, then add your sauce ingredients.
Cook the pasta in the sauce for a few minutes so the noodles can release their starches. Then, slowly add pasta water and a fat like oil, butter, or cheese, stirring constantly.
As the starchy water evaporates, the fat enriches the sauce and helps it cling to the noodles for a rich dish. Mantecare is the classic method for carbonara, risotto, and more.