Are you a pasta lover interested in making fresh pasta at home but worried about the storing process. You will learn how to store your pasta even for a month without going bad. You can confidently make pasta such as noodles, spaghetti and keep them well for future use. Read through the article to learn how to make pasta and different ways of storing your fresh pasta.
What is Fresh Pasta?
Fresh pasta is made from eggs and flour. You need to mix the ingredients until you form a smooth dough. Roll the pasta using rollers until it becomes a thin sheet according to your desired thickness. You can make fresh pasta in different sizes and shapes. However, the pasta can stay fresh for a short time, meaning you should cook it immediately.
Fresh Pasta Vs. Dried Pasta
Fresh pasta is with eggs and flour, while dry pasta is made of flour only. Fresh pasta can stay fresh for 3-5 days unless it is frozen. The dry pasta has gone through a drying process, taking away the moisture making it perfect for long-term preservation. Fresh pasta takes 1-2 minutes to cook because it hasn’t gone through a drying process, while the dry pasta takes about 6-12 minutes to cook.
Why Fresh Pasta
- Most people prefer fresh pasta to dry pasta because it has a soft texture and can be cooked immediately after being made.
- The fresh pasta can be paired with the sauce, making the sauce adhere better than dry.
- You can also cook the pasta alone and dress it simply with garlic, oregano, or olive oil.
- The fresh pasta provides high levels of flavor and texture, unlike dried pasta.
- Fresh pasta is made of flour and eggs making it a complete meal because of its high protein content.
- It is also more versatile because it allows you to pair with a variety of flavors and dishes.
- Although making fresh pasta is complicated, it is healthiest than dried pasta made of flour only.
- The fresh pasta can also be filled before cooking and allows you to provide new fillings.
Why is Fresh Pasta Better
Fresh pasta tends to be healthier, tastier, and fresher than store pasta. However, making and drying fresh pasta can be a bit complicated. It all depends on the dish you will be serving and the sauce to pair with. Using creamy sauces and seafood, you can use fresh pasta because it is lighter and softer. Dried pasta works perfectly with thick and saucy dishes like Bolognese and lasagna because it is stronger and harder.
When to Use Fresh Pasta
- You can use fresh pasta for several dishes due to its light and delicate nature. It only works best for lighter sauces like pesto.
- The egg taste in the fresh pasta can also be served with white sauces, including seafood linguine and carbonara. When you do fresh pasta with heavy sauces like raga, it will be a mess.
- It also works great when it is stuffed.
How to Make Fresh Pasta
Making pasta is a simple and easy process to give you a great texture compared to commercial pasta.
What you need
- Flour ( all-purpose or semolina flour)
Here are the steps for making fresh pasta at home.
Step 1: mixing the ingredients
The first thing is to put the flour in a large bowl and add eggs, salt, and oil. Use a fork to mix the ingredients. The flour will start to pull and make a sticky dough.
Step 2: Keep mixing the dough.
Continue to mix the dough until it becomes one piece.
Step 3: knead the dough.
Spread a small amount of flour on a clean surface and start kneading the pasta dough for about 5 minutes. It will become smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic paper and let rest overnight in a fridge for great results.
Step 4: rolling out the dough.
Cut the fresh pasta dough into small portions—dust flour on the working area before rolling out the dough to fit through the pasta machine.
Step 5: run the pasta dough into the machine.
Sprinkle flour on the dough and run it through the pasta machine. Ensure the dough is not sticky. Increase the setting until you achieve your desired thickness.
Step 6: let the pasta sheet dry.
Let the pasta sheet dry for 5-10 minutes to remove surface moisture and cut and shape.
How to Cook Fresh Pasta
Step 1: boil water
You need to boil water in a large saucepan and add salt and oil to ensure the pasta doesn’t stick together.
Step 2: add pasta
Add the pasta into the boiling water and stir gently to prevent the strands from sticking together.
Step 3: let it cook for 5 minutes.
Let the pasta boil for about 3-5 minutes until the pasta floats on top.
Step 4: Drain excess water.
If the pasta still has water, drain immediately to ensure the pasta remains al dente.
Ways of Storing Fresh Pasta
You can either dry or freeze your fresh pasta. The storage methods depend on how long you want to keep the pasta. The homemade pasta lasts for about 2-6 months for dried pasta and up to 8 months for a frozen one.
How to Dry Fresh Pasta
If you have decided to dry your pasta, then here are the steps to follow to keep your pasta for a longer time.
Step 1: toss the pasta strands.
Begin by dusting a small amount of flour on the pasta to prevent the strands from sticking together.
Step 2: place the strands on a drying rack.
Next, lay the pasta on a baking sheet or hang them in a drying rack. If you are using the same pasta on the same day, let it dry for 30 minutes. The excess flour will absorb the moisture from the egg. However, if you want to store it for some days, let it air dry completely. It can take up to 24 hours.
Step 3: test the pasta
Keep testing the pasta to check its progress. If the pasta bends or flexes, give it more time to dry completely. You can also speed up the process by using a fan.
Step 4: put the pasta in an airtight container or bag
After the pasta completely dries, keep them in an airtight bag or container.
How to Freeze Fresh Pasta
You can freeze the pasta in 2 different ways depending on your preferences.
Method 1: rolling the pasta dough into one large ball
Step1: Roll the dough in one large ball
If you want to store your leftover pasta dough, you can roll it into one large ball.
Step 2: Wrap the dough.
Put the dough in a heavy-duty plastic bag, then place it in your freezer. It can last up to 4 weeks.
Step 3: Remove the dough from the fridge
If you want to cook the pasta, remove it to thaw overnight.
Step 4: make your noodles.
After it has thawed, use the dough to make your noodles.
Method 2: Freeze strands of pasta
Step 1: dust the strands with flour
You need to dust the strands of pasta with flour and air dry them for one hour before storing them in an airtight container or bag.
Step 2: forming nests
- Take some noodles and coat them with flour.
- Let them dry on a baking sheet for 5 minutes.
- Pick a small bundle of pasta using your thumb and forefinger.
- Loosely roll the pasta around your hand.
- Slip off the pasta on the baking tray and repeat the process on all the strands.
- Allow them to dry for a longer time to retain their nest shape.
- Now place the bests in an airtight bag or container and freeze.
How to tell if your Fresh Pasta Has Gone Bad
- Presence of mold- you will see mold in your pasta if it has been stored for a while
- Discoloration or off-odor- you will notice signs of discoloration and a foul smell from the pasta.
- Taste- when you give it a taste, you will notice it has a bad taste
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does fresh pasta take to cook?
Depending on the pasta shape, it takes between 3-5 minutes.
Can you freeze your fresh pasta, and how do you cook it?
Of course, yes, you can freeze fresh pasta for about a month as long as it is put in an airtight container or bag. You should put the frozen pasta in boiling water and stir until it loosens, then cook for about 3 minutes.
What is the difference between Fresh and Dried pasta?
Fresh pasta is made from flour and eggs, while dried pasta is made of flour only. Dried pasta takes a longer time to cook compared to fresh pasta. Moreover, the fresh pasta stays fresh for a shorter time than dried pasta.
When storing fresh pasta, it is vital to ensure you don’t keep it for long. This is because it is made of eggs, and also, it is not fully dry, making its shelf life shorter. For well-stored fresh pasta, it can last for about a week before expiring. You need to ensure it is put in a well-sealed bag and store it in a freezer or refrigerator for it to last longer.