Have you made too much fresh pasta for your spaghetti bolognese or too many pasta sheets for your lasagna? Well, it doesn’t need to go waste because it’s super-easy to learn how to store it all in the fridge or freezer!
There’s nothing quite like fresh pasta prepared at home with a pasta roller and, in our opinion, you can never make too much pasta. You can keep it fresh for a few days in the fridge, or by freezing fresh pasta, you can enjoy it for months.
Let’s take a more detailed look at how to store fresh pasta in the fridge or in the freezer!
Okay, so you’ve rolled up a large batch of fresh pasta dough and have painstakingly shaped that dough into your favorite pasta shapes, be it penne, fettuccine, or macaroni. But, you’ve got far too much for one meal, so what can you do with the leftovers?
Before you cook them up, you can transfer your leftovers to a resealable container or to a ziplock bag. Make sure they’re sealed in tight, and then you can easily refrigerate fresh pasta for 2 to 3 days.
After 3 days in the fridge, your raw pasta is going to start looking a little funky. It’ll start to oxidize and could look a little green or grey in color. Not very appetizing, to say the last. It’s also going to start attracting unpleasant molds, bacterias, and growths in the refrigerator, and you’re going to want to dispose of it rather than cook it.
Try to use your fresh pasta within 2 days of preparing it for the freshest results. You can add a little flour to the pasta shapes while they’re in storage, and try to keep them airtight to keep out any mold for as long as you can.
When you’re cooking your pasta after storage in the fridge, do so as you normally would. Simply bring a large pot of lightly-salted water to the boil and cook your pasta for 3 minutes before straining in a colander.
But what if you’re not going to cook up your pasta within the next 2 or 3 days? What if you’ve simply made far too much pasta, but you don’t want to eat pasta for 2 days straight? Well, your other option is freezing pasta.
Pasta freezes surprisingly well, and you can keep it frozen for up to 3 months before you need to start eating it. Storing homemade pasta in the freezer is often a much better option than storing fresh pasta in the fridge because the freezing process allows you to hold in all that flavor for longer.
You could even prepare large batches for storage, knowing that freezing homemade pasta can be done for months at a time. You’ll need to transfer your pasta shapes to resealable containers or zip lock bags for the best storage option in the freezer.
For the best results, make sure your containers are completely airtight. You can also dry the pasta out slightly before placing it in the freezer. This ensures that there’s no leftover moisture from the preparation process.
If you are storing pasta in the freezer for later, then don’t forget to store it in batches. There’s no sense in preparing several meals’ worth of pasta only to store it all in the same container.
Rather, divide up your pasta into meal-sized portions, and place each portion into a separate container. This means that you can defrost as little or as much pasta as you like; you don’t need to defrost the entire amount in one go!
When it’s time for you to use your pasta, you don’t need to defrost it. You can simply place it straight into a large pot of lightly salted, boiling water. It will take a minute or two extra to cook, in comparison to unfrozen pasta. It’s not recommended to refreeze your pasta once it’s defrosted or been cooked through.
In addition to storing it in the fridge or freezer, you can also greatly extend its lifespan by drying the pasta out. This is how pasta is generally sold in the store, dried out, and in packets. Once dried, pasta can be stored indefinitely (for years at a time even).
The most effective method is using a dehydrator, but of course, not everyone has a dehydrator in their home. You might have a pasta drying rack, which makes the job easier. If you do, simply leave your pasta to dry on the rack in the driest location you can find in the kitchen.
The most common method of drying pasta is to arrange your pasta shapes onto a large baking tray. Make sure that no pieces are touching when you do this. Again, you can leave your pasta in a dry location, such as a cupboard or perhaps the oven (although don’t turn the oven on!).
Pasta takes around 2 days to full dry out.
So how long does homemade pasta last? Now you know that in the fridge, your fresh pasta shelf life is only 2 or 3 days, but keep it in the freezer, and it’s good for up to 3 months.
We highly recommend rolling out large batches, then storing the pasta in the fridge. That way, you’ve got pasta whenever you need it. Why not bookmark our guide to fresh pasta storage for your next pasta preparation session?
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