GRAINS GROUP PROJECT
Selection AND Storage
Uncooked dried pasta is stored differently than uncooked fresh or homemade pasta. Cooked pasta, whether it is dried or fresh, is stored in the same manner. Uncooked and cooked pasta have several options for storing.
Dried Pasta: Dried pasta does not need to be refrigerated. It can be stored on the shelf in an airtight container in a dry area that is not exposed to extreme temperatures. Dried pasta can be stored indefinitely and still be safe to eat but the USDA recommends storing dried pasta for no more than two years to obtain the best quality.
Fresh and Homemade Pasta: Fresh pasta can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. If the pasta will not be used within that time, it can be frozen and stored in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. Homemade pasta can be store in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days or frozen for 2 to 3 months. Homemade pasta can also be allowed to dry thoroughly and then placed in a plastic bag or airtight container.
Cooked pasta can be stored unsauced in an airtight container and refrigerated for 4 or 5 days. The sauce should be refrigerated separate from the pasta and can be stored for 6 or 7 days.
- Boil water in a large pot
To make sure pasta doesn’t stick together, use at least 4 quarts of water for every pound of noodles.
- Add pasta
Pour pasta into boiling water. Try not to break the pasta; it will soften up within 30 seconds and fit into the pot nicely.
- Stir the pasta
As the pasta starts to cook, stir it well with tongs so the noodles don’t stick to each other (or the pot).
- Test the pasta by tasting it
You should follow the recommended cooking time on the package, but always taste pasta before draining to make sure that it is fully cooked. Pasta cooked properly should be a little chewy.
- Drain the pasta
Drain cooked pasta well in a colander/ strainer. If serving hot, add sauce right away.
While spaghetti Bolognese is one of the world's most well-known pasta dishes, it is fundamentally inauthentic. Italian cooks would seldom serve a thick, saucy ragu with thin pasta ribbons - they're far more likely to team such a sauce with large shells or tubes to capture the sauce, or thicker long pasta, like tagliatelle and pappardelle.
Generally, the larger shapes work better with thick, robust sauces, while skinny shapes, like strands of delicate vermicelli, suit light, cream sauces. Follow our suggestions of what shape to combine with what accompaniment - and share your own ideas with us below.