Wednesday 7 September 2022
The Italian scientist Giorgio Parisi, Nobel Prize in Physics in 2021, is at the center of a (small) controversy, on the other side of the Alps. He describes, on the social network Facebook, a rather baroque method of cooking pasta and destined to save , in full energy crisis. And it doesn’t happen.
Giorgio Parisi is a respectable scientist. This Italian physicist won the Nobel Prize, in his discipline, in 2021. He was awarded “the discovery of the interaction of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from the atomic to the planetary scale”, indicates the French Academy of Sciences, of which he is “One of its foreign associate members”. But it is not for his research work that the 74-year-old’s name has been making the rounds in the Italian and international media for several days: he suggested adopting a rather baroque method of cooking pasta, to save money in a context of energy crisis. And this does not pass, in a country where the theme of pasta and cooking is rather delicate …
But what is the method described by Giorgio Parisi? In a message posted on the social network Facebook, he suggests boiling some water, putting the pasta in it and then setting it on fire. “minimum, minimum”. And leave the pasta in the water, lid on the saucepan or stew, to cook it. It was Thursday 1 September 2022.
In his message, the physicist mentions a certain Alessandro Busiri Vici, who cuts the fire just after letting the pasta cook for two minutes in boiling water. Method he himself described on Facebook in late August. “You can also try”, comments the scientist who adds that the most important thing, in order to cook pasta with these methods, is to keep the lid on the boiling water container.
The method has generated many rather skeptical comments on social networks, indicates the Italian news agency Ansa, Monday 5 September. But not all are of this register, others are more positive.
Even the Italian chef Antonello Colonna reacted, in the columns of the newspaper The Republic . And he is not convinced. According to him, pasta cooked this way would be “gummy”.
“It’s not new”
It’s still. The method works, assures the Italian chemist Dario Bressanini to the Ansa agency. “It’s not new”, indicate. This scientist explains, in essence, that water does not need to boil but to be hot to cook a certain food. He also posted a video dedicated to the technique on the TikTok social network. Its title: “Put the pasta on and turn off the heat. ” It has been viewed 3 million times, has 267,000 subscribers on the platform.
@ dario.bressanini Fire-free pasta #pasta #cooking #chemistry #imparacontiktok #gluten ♬ original sound – Dario Bressanini
The theme is, in any case, one of the examples of the energy crisis that affects Italy like the rest of Europe, particularly in a context of war in Ukraine. On the other side of the Alps, as elsewhere on the continent, families, businesses and governments are looking for ways to save money as winter approaches.
In this context, the method proposed by Giorgio Parisi makes sense. In May, The Republic already, he has evoked a study, commissioned by the professional association Unione Italiana Food, and dedicated to the ways of cooking his pasta in a more economical and environmentally friendly way.
Among the tips: leave the lid to boil the water faster, use 700 ml of water per 100 g of pasta instead of the liter usually recommended in Italy, and… turn off the heat two minutes after the pasta has started cooking. Or the method already described by the Internet user Alessandro Busiri Vici on Facebook.