If you’ve cooked too much pasta and you hate wasting food – as do we – then you might enjoy finding out how to store leftover cooked pasta in the future.
Sometimes pasta is misleading. You think you’re cooking a certain quantity, but the results are always way more than you can literally stomach. So, what do you do then? How do you handle it? I personally hate throwing away good food, because I truly care about the planet, about the fact that so much food goes to waste and also, I like to be thrifty most of the time.
There needs to be a solution for storing leftover cooked pasta. After it gets cold, it starts to be clumpy and the texture makes it borderline (or not even) inedible. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prevent that. Here they are. And the nice thing is that they work with any kind of pasta, from spaghetti to lasagna noodles and everything in between.
If you want to have healthier pasta, here’s how to do cook it.
3 solutions to preserve leftover cooked pasta
1. Keep it in the refrigerator
The leftover cooked pasta has about a two-hour shelf life. That means that you should save it before its time comes (I know, that sounds dramatic, but pasta matters, really. It’s life!) So once it gets to room temperature, and you can’t put it in the refrigerator before then, add it to a container that can be sealed with a lid, or a Ziploc bag, drizzle a bit of olive oil or butter over it, so that the pasta doesn’t stick together and then seal. If you use a Ziploc bag, make sure to squeeze out the air so that no mold or bacteria can grow on the pasta.
One caveat: if it’s fresh cooked homemade pasta, then use some flour on it, not fat.
Your leftover cooked pasta should last about five days in the refrigerator.
2. Use the freezer
If you want an even longer shelf life, the freezer will do nicely. Store the cold pasta in freezer bags, drizzle once again oil or butter and remove the air from the bag before you seal.
This will ensure that your pasta is viable and great for eating for up to three whole months! Perfect if you’re going out of town for a while and want to expect some good ready to heat up food at home.
When you’re just about ready to eat, make sure you thaw the pasta in the refrigerator; the process lasts a few hours, so you can do it in the morning and then eat in the evening.
3. Tips for saucy pasta
You can only preserve this for one day in the refrigerator, using the previous ‘lightly coat with oil or butter and then seal in a container’ tip. The advantage of this is that the sauce will lend even more flavor to your cooked pasta and the meal is even more ready for devouring the next day. That’s quite the advantage, I would say.
How do you reheat it?
You could use the microwave, but that’s not the best solution, maybe it’s the least messy. Boil some water and then drop the cold pasta in it for about half a minute, a minute at most. This will heat it up really nicely.
But if your pasta was refrigerated with the sauce, you should warm it up in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Cover the dish with aluminum foil to seal the moisture in the pasta. You don’t want to have it dry, now do you?