Oprah Winfrey's Favorite Pasta Is An Oatmeal Sensation

When Oprah Winfrey's personal chef makes a mouth-watering creamy pasta without cream or butter, it's probably a dish worth checking out. On her recent Oprah Daily page, Oprah confessed to a forthright conversation she had to have with her private chef, Philippe Chevalier. Chevalier's characteristically French liberality with butter had Oprah informing him, "Although butter is bread's best friend, it is not mine."

At the same time, Oprah likes a creamy pasta. Where does that leave a chef who's striving for minimal Weight Watchers points (Oprah's been a Weight Watchers ambassador since 2015) while still delivering an enchantingly creamy pasta dish for the legendary talk show host?

Oatmeal, we're looking at you. Turns out, Chevalier starts his butter-free lemon pasta recipe by — in a surprise twist — boiling steel cut oats in water, and adding a bouillon cube for flavor. He then drains that liquid, now cloudy with a bit of starch released from the oatmeal, and pours it into his hot pan, right after sautéing his vegetables and right before adding grated parmesan cheese. By the time he adds his cooked pasta for tossing, the oatmeal water has helped to emulsify this mixture into a creamy, butter-free, flavorful sauce with better cling.

As if oatmeal's solution to high cholesterol and insulin spikes wasn't enough, now we find out even the water its boiled in becomes liquid gold? Here's a quick rundown to understand why.

Oatmeal is a heart-healthy emulsifier

Though he is French through and through, Chef Philippe Chevalier's use of oatmeal water may well be taking a page from Italian culinary lore. Using the starchy post-boiled pasta water to elevate a simple sauce into something special has been an Italian tradition since more or less the beginning of pasta.

Saving oatmeal water is a much newer trend, and it's not just used for cooking. TikTok creators have also been trying leverage oatmeal water as a fertilizer for plants, but unfortunately, experts say this won't actually give your plants the nutrients they need.

Even so, it's not a surprise we're all going a little gaga for oatmeal. Oatmeal has been shown to lower your bad cholesterol, called LDL. "L for lousy," cardiologist Leslie Cho explained on Cleveland Clinic's Health Essentials podcast. Even better, it can also boost your good cholesterol, called HDL. "H for happy," said Cho, since it vacuums up cholesterol that can then be flushed out of your system rather than settling into your arteries. It's also great at regulating blood sugar spikes, and studies indicate that oatmeal possibly modulates insulin levels for type 2 diabetics.

Trying to leverage oatmeal at every turn seems only logical, and from Oprah's vantage, using it to make her Butter-Free Lemon Pasta made all the creamy difference.