According to more than one Italian culinary aficionado and our Italian nonni, the magic of Italy is in the water, pasta water that is. The residual water known as l’acqua di cottura (the cooking water), used to boil the pasta is a key ingredient common to all pasta dishes. The cooking water helps the sauce adhere to the pasta better, adds moisture and makes the pasta creamy without adding too much oil or grease.
Mettere un pò d’acqua di cottura nella padella.
To make this magical moment happen always reserve a cup or so of your cooked pasta water and add (stirring vigorously) into the pan of almost cooked pasta. The ingredients used to make the pasta are given up to the water and the starch emulsifies with the seasonings and added water to create a beautiful rich sauce known in Italy as a cremina.