Some pasta lovers can’t imagine cooking pasta without rinsing it, while others completely skip this step. If you’re not 100% sure what to do with your pasta after it’s cooked, you can easily determine your next step based on the pasta dish that you’re preparing.
Yes: Cold Pasta Dishes
Rinsing is recommended when it comes to cold pasta dishes, most notably pasta salad. You don’t want your pasta to be warm for this dish anyway, so rinsing makes sense, especially since it will stop the cooking process and bring the temperature of your pasta down.
No: Warm Pasta Dishes
Rinsing pasta won’t do any favors to your warm dishes. If you’re planning to serve your pasta hot with extra sauces, avoid rinsing at all costs and just drain it instead. If you take this step, rinsing will strip your pasta of its starchy coating, making it difficult for sauces to get absorbed.
Yes: Stir Fry Dishes
If you’re planning to use your spaghetti and Asian-style noodles in stir-fry dishes, don’t forget to rinse them first. Draining the water won’t do the trick, and your pasta will become gummy and clump together, so it’s a better idea to rinse it.