The secret to creamy pasta without adding fat and calories? Pasta water! Think twice before you pour it down the drain.

A few of my favorite pasta dishes, like baked ziti, call for adding anywhere from 1/4-1/2 a cup of the reserved pasta water, but I never knew why. Now I do-- it adds a great creamy finish to the dish without piling on extra dairy products.

This awesome recipe calls for adding 1 cup of the good stuff, so grab it before you drain and don't worry if a few noodles get in the mix; you'll be adding it right back to the sauce anyway.

Fettuccine with Smoky Turnip Greens, Lemon, and Goat Cheese
By Ashley Kappel and Ashley Kappel