Regular Dried Pasta vs. Egg Dried Pasta: Adjusting the Amount of Pasta Cooking Water

By Cook's Illustrated Published March 2015

If you substitute dried egg pasta in a recipe calling for regular dried pasta, you'll need to make some adjustments when it comes to the sauce.

Most supermarket pasta is made with just wheat and water. But many stores also stock dried Italian pasta made with eggs. In our recipe for Tagliatelle with Prosciutto and Peas, we found that swapping one for the other has implications on how much pasta cooking water you need to add to the sauce: When cooked, regular dried pasta absorbs a lot less water than dried egg pasta. This is because regular pasta is most often ​extruded through Teflon dies that create a smooth, glossy surface that makes it less permeable to water, while​ Italian-brand​ egg pastas​ are extruded through bronze dies that create a rougher, more permeable surface. So if you use regular dried pasta in a recipe calling for egg pasta, add about 30 percent as much water as the recipe calls for, and increase from there to achieve the right sauce consistency. The opposite holds true: If you substitute egg pasta in a recipe calling for regular dried pasta, reserve twice as much pasta cooking water and be prepared to add it generously to achieve the proper sauce consistency.

ADD MORE WATER: When using Italian dried egg pasta (such as Bionaturae or De Cecco), add extra pasta cooking water to your sauce.