Why is jar pasta sauce so smooth? Why do mushrooms shrink when they cook?

Janiyah Green, Nylah Williams, Jazelle Minor, and Radiant Magnetic put the pasta in while they prepare Mushroom Bolognese during week 6 of the fall 2016 My Daughter's Kitchen cooking program at Wissahickon Charter School, Awbury.








"Why do we use the water from the spaghetti?" asked Nylah Williams. "Who has made flour and water into paste?" I asked. All hands shot up in the air. Well, that's kind of what adding the starchy pasta water to the sauce does. The starch makes the pasta stick better to the sauce. Jazelle Minor wondered: "Is that like the starch in your shirt?" 


Radiant Magnetic liked the fact that she made her own pasta sauce that wasn't from a jar, and wondered how the sauce in the jar "gets so smooth?" 


After enjoying the pasta, Janiyah Green wrote in her journal that she learned that "mushrooms shrink after they cook." She liked the dish, but thought that it tasted "wheaty."



​-- Lisa Krader, Debbie Skolnick