HOW TO STORE FRESH, HOMEMADE PASTA
Homemade pasta is a delightful treat for family and friends alike. Because most recipes leave you with some extra dough, it’s important to know how to store it to preserve both freshness and flavor. So, what is a home chef to do? If you need tips on how to store your fresh pasta, our guide can help. You’ll learn the best methods for storing, including how to dry and freeze fresh pasta so you can enjoy it in the days and weeks ahead.
If you’re not sure where to get started making your own pasta, KitchenAid® stand mixer attachments can help. Explore a whole range of pasta attachments that enable you to roll and cut up to four different kinds of pasta including spaghetti and capellini, or press pastas like rigatoni and fusilli. You can also start with your own customized flour blend by milling your own grains with the KitchenAid® Grain Mill attachment.
How should you store fresh PASTA?
Fresh pasta can be dried, refrigerated or frozen for future use. The storage method you choose depends on how long you want to keep your pasta. While some commercially dried pastas can stay fresh for up to two years, homemade pasta has a more limited shelf life—normally around 2-6 months for dry pasta, up to 8 months for frozen pasta or 1 day in the refrigerator.
This is your best long-term storage option. If you’re making fresh pasta in bulk and want to keep it on hand for a longer period of time, dry it. This method also helps save refrigerator or freezer space in your kitchen. Dried pasta does not need to be refrigerated and can be stored on the shelf in an airtight container in a dry area that is not exposed to extreme temperatures.
To keep pasta fresh for several months, opt for the freezer method. Even if you just want to store fresh pasta for more than a day, you should freeze it rather than refrigerate it. If left in the refrigerator for too long, the humidity may alter its flavor and texture or encourage the growth of bacteria. Freezing may also be better for thicker pasta, such as gnocchi.
You can usually refrigerate fresh pasta for about one day, but it’s best enjoyed as fresh as possible. If your meal plans change, you can move refrigerated pasta to the freezer for longer-term storage, but make sure to do so within one day of making it.
HOW LONG DOES FRESH PASTA LAST IN THE FRIDGE?
Fresh, store-bought pasta can be stored in the fridge for two to three days. This is because it’s already been semi-cooked for a longer shelf-life. Homemade pasta, however, can only be stored for around 24 hours in the fridge (although we’d recommend eating it within 18 hours).
HOW TO DRY FRESH PASTA
If you choose this method for storing fresh pasta, it’s important to make sure you thoroughly dry it before storing it away. Because you won’t be keeping dried pasta in the refrigerator or freezer, removing moisture is key to ensure the safety and longevity of your pasta.
TOSS PASTA WITH FLOUR
To dry fresh pasta, start by tossing the strands with a small amount of flour to keep the dough from sticking.
SET PASTA OUT TO DRY
Next, lay the strands of pasta in a single layer on a baking sheet or clean cloth towel, or hang them from a drying rack. You will need to let your pasta completely air dry. This can take anywhere from 12-24 hours or longer, depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen. You can use a fan to speed up the process—simply aim it toward the pasta and use a lower speed to create a gentle breeze.
If you plan to use your pasta the same day, you’ll still want to follow these first two steps. Let the pasta dry for about 30 minutes so the excess flour can absorb the moisture from the eggs.
CHECK YOUR PROGRESS
Test the pasta every few hours to gauge its progress—your pasta is ready if it snaps in half when twisted. If it bends, flexes or otherwise gives, it needs more time.
STORE IN AN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER
Once your fresh pasta is completely dry, store it in an airtight container, placing it in a dry area that is not exposed to extreme temperatures.
HOW TO FREEZE FRESH PASTA
There are several ways to freeze fresh pasta, depending on your plans and preferences. In addition to freezing fully rolled and cut pasta, you can freeze a batch of pasta dough to roll out later. Read on to learn the different ways to freeze fresh pasta for months of storage.
HOW TO FREEZE PASTA DOUGH
If you have leftover pasta dough, or if you want to pre-make your dough for later use, simply make your dough and roll it into one large ball. Lightly flatten the dough into a disk and then wrap the dough in a double layer of heavy duty plastic wrap and place it in your freezer. It will stay fresh for up to four weeks. When you’re ready to use it, simply thaw the dough overnight in your refrigerator. Once it’s thawed, you can use it to create your favorite noodles.
METHOD 1: LAY OUT CUT NOODLES, DRY AND FREEZE
STEP 1. TOSS PASTA WITH FLOUR
To freeze batches of cut noodles, dust them with a light coating of flour to prevent sticking.
STEP 2. SET PASTA OUT TO DRY
Lay pasta out in a single or thin layer on a clean, dry surface like a baking sheet, cutting board or clean cloth towel, or hang long strands from a drying rack. Let the pasta air dry for one hour.
STEP 3. STORE IN AN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER
Place your semi-dry pasta in an airtight container for freezer storage. A freezer bag with as much air removed as possible is your best option, but a glass or plastic bowl with an airtight lid will also work.
METHOD 2: MAKE PASTA NESTS, DRY AND FREEZE
Another way to freeze long pasta strands like spaghetti and fettuccine is by forming them into “nests.” This method for freezing fresh pasta is a great way to store individual portions for later use.
STEP 1. COAT PASTA IN FLOUR
Take a handful of pasta strands and coat them lightly with flour.
STEP 2. LET DRY
Let each handful dry on a baking tray or other clean, flat surface for about 5 minutes.
STEP 3. WRAP PASTA INTO NESTS
Next, pick up a small bundle of noodles from one end using your thumb and forefinger, then loosely wind the rest of the pasta around your hand. Once that’s done, you can slip the pasta off of your hand and back onto the baking sheet or flat surface.
STEP 4. DRY PASTA IN NEST SHAPE
Allow the pasta to dry a bit longer so it retains its “nest” shape. This should take just under an hour. Make sure the pasta nests keep their shape when lifted before moving on to the next step.
STEP 5. Store and freeze
Place the slightly dried nests into an airtight container and freeze.
CAN I FREEZE PASTA THAT’S BEEN COOKED IN SAUCE?
Many home cooks freeze leftover meals, and cooked pasta in sauce is no different. Simply put the freshly cooked pasta and sauce into a freezer bag or other airtight container for safe storage for up to one month. An excellent busy lunch hour solution is to portion your pasta into individual servings and freeze in separate containers. Simply grab your delicious homemade pasta dish and reheat directly from the freezer, or place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
COOKING FROZEN PASTA:
When you’re ready to cook your homemade frozen pasta, take it directly from the freezer and add it to a pot of salted boiling water. If you’re making a noodle soup, you can bring your broth to a boil and add your noodles directly to the pot. It is not recommended to thaw uncooked pasta first as it can affect the texture.
SHOP PASTA ATTACHMENTS FROM KITCHENAID
Your KitchenAid® stand mixer can become your all-in-one pasta maker with the addition of attachments*. For authentic, homemade pasta flavors start from scratch with the KitchenAid® Grain Mill attachment to create your own fresh, custom flour blends. Mix your pasta dough in the bowl of your stand mixer with flat beater and dough hook accessories. Then roll your dough with the Pasta Sheet Roller attachment and cut to your desired shape and size using up to four different pasta cutter attachments. Or use the Gourmet Pasta Press attachment to create 6 different kinds of pressed pasta.
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