You can successfully tore uncooked, dry pasta in cool, dry cupboard for up to one year. Follow the “first-in, first-out” rule: Use up packages you’ve had the longest before opening new packages. Also, if you have opened packaged pasta, be sure to put the unused pasta into airtight containers.
TIP: Pasta of similar shape, size and cooking time, can be mixed together to create amazing dishes!
How to store cooked pasta
Cooked, unsauced pasta can be stored in an airtight container or ziploc bags in the refrigerator for 3 – 5 days. Before storing, toss it all in a little extra virgin olive oil to avoid it sticking together.
Cooked, sauced pasta can be stored in an airtight container or ziploc bags in the refrigerator for 3 – 5 days. Many baked pasta dishes are said to improve from a rest in the fridge as pasta will continue to absorb flavours and oil used for the sauce.
How to store cooked pasta in the freezer
The best pasta shapes for freezing are those that are more dense and that are used in baked recipes, such as lasagne, jumbo shells, ziti and manicotti. You can freeze your pasta dishes in two ways.
The best way is to prepare the dish and freeze it before baking. When you are ready to bake it, be sure to defrost it in the fridge overnight and bake as the indicated by the recipe.
The other way is to store baked pasta dishes in the freezer. You may want to portion the dish or freeze as is. Either way, be sure to cover the dish well. When you are ready to bake it, be sure to defrost it in the fridge overnight. It is now possible to bake it covered in the oven at around 375 for 30 minutes. You could also microwave it as long as it is covered and defrosted, it should only take a minute or two to cook through.
TIP: Be sure not to have any food out and exposed to warm temperatures for too long before freezing. Especially when dealing with meat or fish dishes. The rule of thumb is no longer than 2 hours but please use your discretion depending on temperature and number of people handling the dish. 40F to 140F is considered the danger zone!
How to store fresh, uncooked pasta
If you have gone to the trouble of making fresh, handmade pasta, then have a plan. Your plan should include serving it on the same day as you make it which is exactly what is done in Italian families. If there is anything left over, it is then packaged up, sent home with guests or stored in the fridge or freezer (see above).
However, we do know that sometimes life gets in the way and you have to make that pasta ahead of time. You do have choices, you can store it in the fridge for less than 24 hours or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Here’s how:
For storing fresh pasta that you have made, in the fridge, as you make the pasta, lay in on a floured work surface. Once you have all of the pasta done, toss it in some flour and lay it out onto a lightly floured tray, in one layer. Leave it to dry a little. Cover loosely with kitchen paper or a tea towel then store in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
For storing fresh pasta that you have just bought, open up the packaging and cover the pasta in kitchen paper or a tea towel for up to 5 days. The reason you can store bought fresh pasta is that artisans have to used pasteurised eggs which enables a longer storage time.
TIP: In both of the above circumstances, the pasta will dry and possible become a little brittle. Simply be gentle when handling it and all will be well. It will still cook in less than a few minutes depending on the pasta type.
For storing fresh pasta in the freezer. Follow the above directions for ‘fresh pasta that you have made’. Lay in a single layer on a tray being mindful of how you will store it once it is frozen. For example, if you have made short pasta like cavatelli, or stuffed pasta like tortellini, have some ziploc bags ready. If you are storing ribbon pasta like fettuccine or spaghetti, be sure to prepare it for freezing in a manner that make it easy to store. Rolling it into nests would be one example.