Given the cost of living crisis, we are all more conscious of the energy we are using in our homes.

And now, people are sharing a handy hack to reduce the time (and energy) it takes to cook pasta.

The ‘passive cooking’ technique involves boiling pasta for just two minutes, then turning the stove off and leaving it in the pot covered, until fully cooked.

Cooking your dinner this way can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% compared to cooking your pasta the regular way, according to pasta brand Barilla.

When you consider the fact that about 400 million portions of pasta are served every day, that’s a big cut in emissions.

Not convinced? If it’s good enough for chef Nigella Lawson, it’s good enough for us.

On her website, cooking guru Nigella says she always uses this technique – which she calls the Vincenzo Agnesi method – to cook pasta.

‘Bring your water to the boil, add salt, then tip in the pasta, stirring well to make sure it’s all in and not clumped together. Once the water comes back to the boil, let the pasta cook for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover the pan with a clean, thin tea towel (not a waffle-textured one) and clamp on a tight-fitting lid,’ she says.

‘Let the pasta stand like this for as long as the packet tells you to cook it normally. When the time is up, drain the pasta, remembering to remove a small cupful of cooking water before doing so.’

Of course, timings vary for different types of pasta, but Barilla has shared a handy graphic detailing how long you should leave your pasta to sit after boiling.

Spaghetti traditionally takes nine minutes to cook. When using the passive cooking technique it should be boiled for two minutes and left in the water covered for another eight, the brand says.

This will come in handy for when you’re making the family favourite, spag bol.

Fusilli takes slightly longer at 11 minutes, so boil it for two and then leave it covered for another 10.

This is exactly the same for penne rigate.

Tortiglioni usually takes 12 minutes, so boil it for two and then leave it covered for another 12.

Maccheroni is the quickest pasta to cook with a time of just seven minutes. So boil it for two and leave it covered for six minutes.

Farfalle takes an average of 10 minutes so boil it for two and then leave it covered for another 10.

Then voila, you’ve saved money and got a very yummy meal at the end of it. What’s not to love?

You could even give this technique a go with this delicious smoked chilli and vodka pasta recipe.

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