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We’ve all been there. After making some spaghetti and meatballs for dinner you go to put away the leftovers and what do you find? A lot of leftover pasta.
Pasta is one of those foods(along with rice) that you seem to always make too much of. You know there is no way your family is going to eat all of the leftover noodles in the upcoming week and you don’t want it to go to waste.
I mean, you can even use it for an Italian-inspired meal later on and save time and effort in the long run. So, can you freeze pasta?
Now, you probably already know what pasta is, but just for a refresher, let’s talk a little bit about it. Pasta originates from Italy and is a variety of noodles made with a kind of dough shaped into different forms. These noodles are then cooked by boiling them in water.
Typically, pasta is served with a sauce such as meat sauce or alfredo sauce on top. Some common pasta includes spaghetti, linguini, rigatoni, angel hair, and fettuccine. If you are freezing the pasta, the best thing is to cook it al dente and then freeze.
So, you can freeze pasta! With some simple steps you can freeze pasta, keeping it good in the process. Now, it may be a bit mushy after it is thawed (that is why it is recommended to cook it al dente) but for the most part pasta will stay good in the freezer for quite a while.
We will discuss exactly how to freeze the noodles later in this article. If you want to save some cooked pasta long-term, freeze it. Dry pasta lasts for a long time at room temperature but cooked pasta will go bad after about a week. So to preserve cooked pasta for later, you can freeze it.
To see the most popular pastas just click here.
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Can You Freeze Pasta With Sauce On It?
What is pasta without some sauce on it? Meat, alfredo, and pesto sauce are all delicious on pasta. When you have leftover cooked pasta with sauce on it, you may wonder if it can be frozen.
Can you freeze pasta with the sauce already on it?
You can freeze pasta with its sauce (meat sauce, alfredo, etc.) but keep in mind that after it is thawed the pasta will be a little squishy.
If you have combined your pasta with the sauce you serve over top of the dish, and want to freeze them together, you can. When it comes time to use the frozen pasta, just thaw in the fridge and then place in some boiling water to reheat.
You can even reheat it in the microwave. You also don’t have to thaw the pasta and you can add it directly to your pan of boiling water. Sometimes the noodles can stick together but frozen pasta doesn’t take much longer to thaw in the boiling water.
Now, if your frozen pasta has meat sauce with it, the best way to reheat it would be to use the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat for about 15 minutes. All that to say, yes, you can freeze pasta with sauce on it.
How Do You Freeze Cooked Pasta?
So, you can freeze cooked pasta. You can even freeze cooked pasta with its sauce. This is great if you want to save it for a meal weeks or even months later. However, there are certain ways to properly freeze the noodles. So, how do you freeze cooked pasta?
You should freeze pasta by following certain steps. The best way to freeze pasta is to cook it al dente so the noodles don’t become mushy when you thaw and reheat them.
Better Homes & Gardens suggests,“Freezing pasta requires just one additional step than refrigerating. Cool the pasta slightly, then drizzle with a little olive oil or cooking oil and toss gently (use about 1 tablespoon oil to 8 ounces cooked pasta. this helps prevent the pasta from sticking together when frozen). Spoon into airtight containers or freezer bags. Store up to 2 months.”
An important thing to remember is that if you cook your pasta noodles al dente (so that they are still firm to bite into and not cooked all the way) they will be better when you eat them after being frozen. This is because cooked noodles will get squishy after they are thawed and reheated.
So, if you are able, only cook pasta al dente before freezing it. Then toss the pasta with some olive oil so it doesn’t stick together during the freezing process.
Lay out the noodles on a baking sheet. For long noodles like spaghetti or angel hair, you will want to twist them into individual nests for freezing. Short noodles can be laid in a single layer on the baking sheet.
You can even divide the pasta up into freezer safe containers or bags and freeze this way. Then flash-freeze the pasta. Once it is frozen, transfer it to a freezer bag and store for up to 3 months.
You can freeze pasta to save it for later. Uncooked pasta lasts for a while in your pantry but cooked pasta will go bad after about a week in your fridge. So, to keep the noodles for longer, you can freeze them.
Just follow some of the tips mentioned in this article on how to freeze pasta for best results. You can even freeze pasta with its sauce for meals in the future.
Pasta will stay good for up to 3 months in the freezer. If you have a lot of leftover pasta and want to store it long-term, freeze it!