Making pasta is fun, but time-consuming! So if you want to make a big batch to last you a while, you need to know a thing or two about how to store your home-made pasta! From drying to freezing, this is our ultimate guide on how to store home-made pasta!
We have been making a lot of fresh-pasta recently as part of our February kitchen challange. There’s just the two of us, so we are always looking for ideas on how to store leftover food. It is certainly the case with pasta. Whilst we love the process of making it, it is not sustainable to make a small batch every time we want some home-made pasta.
If you would like to start making your own pasta, here’s an article to get you started – Home Made Pasta: Three Doughs & Ten Shapes. Or if you’re more into filled pasta, like ravioli and tortelloni, you may be interested in Filled Pasta Basics: How to Make Ravioli, Tortelloni, Agnielotti etc.?
Here, we describe three different ways in which we store our pasta, depending on when and what we want to do with it in the future.
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How to Store Home-Made Pasta: Three Ways
When you buy fresh pasta in supermarkets, it normally states that you can keep it in the fridge for around 3 days. This is not the case with home-made pasta though. Shop-bought pasta is normally pre-cooked for a short time to prolong the shelf life. We don’t recommend storing your fresh home-made pasta for longer than 24 hours. And here’s why.
The refrigerator environment is damper than the room in order to stop your food from drying out. Fresh pasta is made with a low hydration dough so after about 24 hours, it starts absorbing water and oxidising. You will notice the pasta turning a slightly dull grey colour. It doesn’t mean your pasta is poisonous, but it certainly looks less appetising. Since most pasta contains fresh egg, we don’t recommend that you store it for longer than 48 hrs.
To refrigerate fresh shaped pasta: Place the shaped pasta on a large sheet of baking parchment or a floured board (use semolina flour if you have any). Leave it in a warm dry spot to dry out slightly (for 15-30 minutes). Generously sprinkle your pasta with flour again just before refrigerating. Place portions of shaped pasta in airtight boxes in a single layer, if possible. Alternatively, cover with cling film and place in a large plastic bag to protect the pasta from the damp fridge environment as much as possible.
To refrigerate filled pasta: lay your pasta in a single layer on large baking sheets or boards generously dusted with flour (preferably semolina flour). Leave your pasta at room temperature to dry out slightly (30min – 2 hours, depending on the filling. It needs longer than unfilled pasta to dry out because of the moist filling inside). Depending on how moist your filling is, filled pasta should not be stored in the fridge for longer than 3-6 hours (the moister the filling, the shorter the time you can get away with). The main thing to remember is not to cover your filled pasta. Covering the stuffed pasta will trap moisture from the filling in and the dough will start absorbing the moisture. Eventually, the dough will become too wet and sticky to hold in the filling during the cooking process.
To refrigerate any leftover pasta dough, wrap the dough tightly in clingfilm and refrigerate for up to 48 hours, but ideally, use within 24 hours. When you are ready to use the dough, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Then roll and shape as normal.
If you’re not planning to eat your pasta within a day or two, freeze it. This is definitely our preferred method of storing both our filled and unfilled pasta.
To freeze shaped home-made pasta, place the pasta shapes spread out on a large sheet of baking parchment or a floured board. Leave it in a warm dry spot to dry out slightly (for approx. 20 minutes). This prevents the pasta pieces from sticking together later on. Gather the pasta in small clusters and place the trays/boards in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until frozen throughout.
Transfer the pasta clusters to airtight containers or reusable zip lock bags. Try and squeeze out any excess air if using bags to create a vacuum. You can keep the pasta in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When you are ready to cook the frozen pasta, place it in salted water as usual (no need to defrost). Gently stir to encourage the bundles to unravel. The cooking time will need to be extended but only by 1-2 minutes, depending on the specific shape of the pasta.
To freeze filled pasta: similarly to unfilled pasta, place your ravioli, tortelloni etc on a well-floured baking tray/ board in a single layer and place in the freezer for approx. 30 minutes. When pasta is fully frozen and firm, transfer to airtight boxes or ziplock bags and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To freeze the pasta dough ball, wrap it tightly in clingfilm. Then place the dough in an airtight container or freezer-friendly ziplock bag. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Before using it, defrost the dough overnight in the fridge. Then leave at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling out.
NOTE: it will not be the same quality as the freshly made dough, so we wouldn’t recommend using it for filled pasta, but you can definitely go on and roll out some lovely linguine or tagliatelle using previously frozen dough.
We do not recommend drying egg pasta or filled pasta. Whilst there are many resources stating that it is perfectly safe to dehydrate egg-based pasta at home, we have never tried doing it ourselves, therefore, we cannot give any advice here.
However, if you made pasta bianca (made from semolina and water only), it is easy and safe to dry it for future use. Simply leave your shaped pasta on an uncovered baking sheet or tray in a dry area. Depending on the shape of the pasta, the thickness of it, room temperature and humidity, it will take anywhere between 12-24 hours to completely dry out. Turn your pasta occasionally. To help things along, you can put a heater and a dehumidifier in the room you’re drying our pasta in. A well-dried pasta should snap, rather than bend. Dried pasta can be then stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 8 weeks.
Do not dehydrate filled pasta or very thick pasta shapes (like Gnocchetti Sardi).
We hope you find this article on how to store your homemade pasta useful. For other articles about pasta, have a look at:
- Home-Made Pasta Basics: Two Easy Pasta Doughs & Twelve Different Shapes
- Filled Pasta: How to Make Ravioli, Tortelloni, Agnielotti etc At Home?
And if you’re ready to cook, here are some of our favourite recipes: