A pasta-based dish is quick and easy to prepare, so it’s always a good idea to stock up on pasta whenever possible. But what about leftover pasta? Can you freeze pasta for later use?
From pasta to egg noodles, most types of pasta freeze well. This is especially true for uncooked pasta, as there is little to no change in flavor or texture after the uncooked pasta has been thawed.
Cooked pasta is a different story, especially with the leftovers. Once the noodles are frozen and reheated, there’s a good chance the noodles will get soaking wet. One way to prevent texture changes is to cook the pasta al dente before freezing. This way the pasta will stay firm when reheated.
Cooked pasta, especially when marinated in sauce, has a short shelf life. That’s because the sauces go bad faster than the pasta. When refrigerated, cooked pasta only lasts 5 to 7 days. In the freezer, however, pasta will stay fresh for 2 months, maybe even longer, as long as the temperature is kept constantly at 0 degrees. Now let’s take a look at how to freeze pasta:
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How do you freeze pasta?
Freeze cooked pasta
If you expect a lot of leftovers when cooking the pasta, separate the pasta you plan to freeze and don’t add any sauce. You can freeze the sauce and pasta separately and add both ingredients after reheating. Always lay the pasta flat during storage to prevent ice from forming in the center and to prevent the edges from overcooking when reheating.
Use an airtight plastic container to store the cooked pasta for freezing. Start by tossing the pasta in olive oil to keep it from clumping. Place the pasta in the container, being careful not to overfill it with the product. Close the lid, write the storage date with a marker, then stick the pasta in the freezer.
You can also use a resealable plastic bag to separate the pasta into individual servings. Here, too, it is sufficient to spoon the noodles into each plastic bag, seal it, enter the storage date and put it in the freezer.
Freezing uncooked pasta
For uncooked pasta, you can freeze the product using a resealable plastic bag or airtight container. Because the noodles aren’t cooked, they stay fresh much longer than their cooked counterparts. You can use a resealable plastic bag to freeze uncooked pasta. If you have a vacuum sealer, all the better. You can vacuum seal the bag before sealing and then put it in the freezer.
For leftover pasta, simply use an airtight plastic container. Pour the leftovers into the plastic container, seal and write the storage date. Stick in the freezer and you’re done.
Read Also; Can you freeze meat products?
How do you thaw and reheat frozen pasta?
To thaw frozen cooked pasta, all you need to do is move the container from the freezer to the fridge. Let the noodles thaw overnight. Once the noodles are fully thawed, the container is ready to use. For frozen uncooked pasta, the product thaws quickly in the refrigerator, about two hours or so.
When it comes to reheating thawed cooked pasta, there are a few different ways to do it.
Warm up in the oven
To reheat cooked pasta (cooked al dente with no sauce), pour the pasta into a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread the noodles out on the baking sheet, then pop them in the oven. Bake at 350º Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until noodles are heated through.
Reheat in the microwave
To reheat in the microwave, spread the thawed pasta out on a microwave-safe plate, then pop in the microwave. Before reheating in the microwave, place a cup of water in the microwave to keep the pasta from drying out. Overheat the noodles in 20-second intervals until cooked through.
Freezing ready-to-eat pasta is a smart way to enjoy your favorite pasta-based dishes without the extra prep. This is a useful technique to try if you have a special event coming up. Now that you know how to freeze pasta, you can prepare different types of pasta dishes so you can eat anytime quickly and easily.