Buying premade pasta in a box from the store may be sufficient for a quick and easy dinner, but store-bought pasta could never compare to fresh homemade pasta. Whether you are making the pasta yourself or you are buying fresh pasta from someone else, you need to know how to store fresh pasta to keep it fresh.
The absolute best way to keep fresh pasta fresh until you are ready to use it is to keep it in the freezer. If you are going to use it within one or two days, you could opt to keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container, but the freezer will always be the best option for fresh pasta.
Knowing how to store fresh pasta is great because you can make a large batch of pasta, portion it out into the correct serving sizes, and then keep it in the freezer until you are ready to use it.
This will allow you the same ease of buying store-bought dried pasta in a box, but you still get the same great taste of fresh pasta without having to do the work every time.
Here’s what you need to know about storing pasta, knowing if it has gone bad, and common mistakes you will want to avoid next time you decide to store fresh pasta:
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How to Store Fresh Pasta Properly
One important thing to remember about fresh pasta is that humidity is its worst enemy. If you live in a naturally humid climate, you will likely have problems with getting pasta to air dry completely before you store it. With that in mind, air-drying your pasta before putting it into storage is an important step.
After you finish making the pasta, you will need to separate it into portions and then lay it out on a floured baking sheet on the counter and allow it to air dry completely. This usually takes about two hours, but it can take longer depending on the thickness of the pasta and whether it is stuffed or not.
Once pasta is completely dry, you have two options for storage. You can put it in the refrigerator if you are planning to use it within a day or two of drying. If you do not plan to use it that soon, you will want to freeze it immediately.
If you put it in the fridge, you need to make sure it is in an airtight container to help prevent moisture from seeping into the container and ruining your pasta.
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If you are going to freeze your pasta, you can put it in a freezer bag to help prevent it from getting frostbite or you can put it in a freezer-safe airtight container. You can even get environmentally friendly reusable freezer bags to cut down on plastic waste.
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How Long Fresh Pasta can be Stored
As was mentioned before, fresh pasta is best stored in the freezer. If you choose to freeze it in an airtight container, it should still be good to use for up to two or three months. Some types of pasta can be stored for longer periods of time, for example, if the pasta is not stuffed and was completely airdried before freezing it.
Fresh pasta that has not been cooked can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days, and if it has been cooked, it can usually remain good and safe to eat between five and seven days.
If you are not planning to use it immediately, it is best to freeze it, because even if it is frozen, you do not have to thaw it before you cook it.
How to Tell if Fresh Pasta Has Gone Bad
The best way to tell if your fresh pasta has gone bad is to use your senses. Though it may not always be one hundred percent accurate, usually, your nose knows if something is spoiled.
Smell your pasta. Does it smell moldy or have a bad odor?
Feel your pasta with your hands. Does it feel slimy, even after you know you put it in the freezer completely dried? This could be a predecessor of mold that is getting ready to grow.
Look at the color and texture of your pasta. Has it changed colors? Does it look brown when it is not supposed to look brown? Changes in texture and color can be signs of spoilage in fresh pasta. Though it is not always true, it is usually a safe bet.
Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Fresh Pasta
We all make mistakes. They are part of being human, but here are a few mistakes you will want to avoid when trying to store fresh pasta:
Leaving it Out too Long
If you are making your pasta yourself, it is okay if you decide to leave it out and let it air dry, but be aware that there are two things that are damaging to fresh pasta: humidity and excessive dryness.
If your pasta is exposed to too much moisture in the air while it is drying, it can be just as damaging if it stays out too long in a dry room and dries out before it can be cooked. You do not want your pasta to be sticky after it has been out drying, but you also do not want it to break and crumble when you touch it.
Being too hasty
Remember: Humidity is not a friend of your pasta. Make sure you allow it to dry for the needed amount of time before putting it in the fridge or freezer; otherwise, you risk the pasta spoiling before you are ready to use it, even in the freezer.
Keep Your Fresh Pasta Fresh!
Storing fresh pasta does not have to be difficult. Make, dry, freeze. You do not have to cook it before you freeze it, and you do not have to thaw it before you cook it. Last but not least, this cannot be stressed enough, humidity is your pasta’s worst enemy!
Start learning how to make pasta, so you can enjoy fresh homemade pasta anytime you would like.