Many people are surprised at how easy it is to make fresh pasta at home, but can fresh pasta be frozen?
Most fresh pasta recipes for home chefs leave you with more than one meal’s worth of fresh pasta, and you may worry about the surplus going to waste.
You may even want to pre-make some pasta to have it ready for your next meal.
Here, we will discuss everything you need to know about freezing fresh pasta. We’ll cover multiple methods of freezing depending on whether you want to freeze your pasta dough, cut pasta, or long noodles.
In addition, we will delve into the alternatives when freezing isn’t the optimal choice.
Yes, fresh pasta can be frozen fairly easily. Furthermore, it can remain frozen for up to eight months if stored properly.
How Can Fresh Pasta Be Frozen?
Fresh pasta can be frozen easily just like cooked pasta and can last up to eight months in the freezer if stored properly.
How you freeze your pasta will be determined by whether you are freezing pasta dough, noodles, or cut pasta. Make sure you follow these steps for freezing fresh pasta.
How To Freeze Fresh Pasta Dough
These are the steps to freeze the dough for fresh pasta so that you can use it later or if you happen to have a bit leftover while you’re making a batch.
- Roll all of your pasta dough into one large ball.
- Using your hands, shape the ball into a disk-like shape by flattening the top slightly.
- Wrap your pasta dough in two layers of plastic wrap and place it directly in the freezer.
How To Freeze Fresh Pasta Noodles
Below are the steps to properly freeze fresh pasta if you are working with long pasta noodles (such as fettuccine, linguine, or spaghetti).
Take a single portion of pasta (about a handful) and lightly coat the noodles in flour. This helps prevent your noodles from sticking to one another.
Let the pasta noodles dry for about five minutes on a clean and dry surface (ideally a baking sheet or smooth cutting board).
Next is to pick up a single portion of pasta (about a handful) and use your thumb and pointer finger.
Grab the noodles and lightly wrap them around your hand. The goal is to create a past nest, a loose bundle of pasta that resembles a small nest.
Once the pasta is wrapped around your hand, you can slip it off of your hand and onto your working surface.
Tip: Using pasta nests can be a great way to get the right portion of pasta without much thought
Continue making individual pasta nests using one portion of pasta until you run out of noodles.
Let the pasta nests air dry for just under an hour. Your noodles should be slightly but not entirely dry.
Gently move your pasta nests from your working surface into an airtight container (a glass or plastic container with an airtight lid). Try to make sure your noodles stay in their nest shape.
How To Freeze Cut Fresh Pasta
If you are working with cut noodles (such as penne, farfalle, or rotini), these are the steps to properly freeze them.
- Sprinkle a light coating of flour over the pasta and toss it. The flour helps prevent your pasta from sticking together, so use just enough to cover the noodles.
- On a clean and dry surface (ideally a baking sheet or a smooth cutting board), lay the pasta out and leave it to air dry for one hour.
- Your pasta should be slightly but not entirely dry. Move the pasta to an airtight container (a glass or plastic bowl with an airtight lid or a freezer bag with the air let out) and place it in the freezer.
Storing Frozen Fresh Pasta
According to the United States Food Safety guidelines, frozen foods are good indefinitely due to the conditions of freezing.
Therefore, the recommendations pertaining to frozen foods deal only with the quality of the food over time rather than the risks that come with the storage time of refrigerated foods.
When frozen properly and stored in an airtight container, frozen fresh pasta can be good for up to eight months.
The first five to six months will be when your frozen fresh pasta is of the best quality.
It will only deteriorate slightly after this, with the cutoff for frozen quality being at around eight months.
When storing frozen fresh pasta, always make sure to take note of the date that you first place it in the freezer.
If using a freezer bag, you can write the date directly on the bag. If using an airtight container, you can opt to write the date on a piece of tape or a sticker and stick it to the container.
Writing down the month and day on the container helps ensure that you use your frozen fresh pasta within the appropriate time frame.
Although frozen fresh pasta lasts quite a long time, it can be easy to forget when you make things ahead of time.
Tip: Always write the date on your storage container when freezing a food item
Using Frozen Fresh Pasta
Cooking with your frozen fresh pasta is similar to your typical fresh pasta.
The key things to remember are to not thaw the frozen pasta and that frozen fresh pasta cooks quicker than regular fresh pasta.
It is not recommended to thaw frozen fresh pasta before using it. This is not only because it’s unnecessary but also because it can cause issues with the texture of the pasta.
Instead, you should boil your water and then take the frozen pasta directly from the freezer to the pot while cooking.
Tip: Never thaw frozen fresh pasta before using
Fresh pasta, in general, has shorter cook times than store-bought dry pasta. When fresh pasta is frozen, the cooking time is shortened.
In general, the guide is to take the original cook time for the fresh pasta and shave either one to two minutes off of that cook time.
For example, if the cooking time for your fresh pasta is five minutes, try about three and a half to four minutes instead of the frozen pasta.
Alternatives to Freezing Fresh Pasta
There are two alternatives to freezing your fresh pasta, refrigerating, and drying.
Both have much different storage times, lasting for significantly less time than freezing.
However, depending on your situation, these alternatives may be viable options for you as long as you take note of the expiration dates for each method.
Refrigerating Fresh Pasta
Fresh pasta can last in the refrigerator for about eighteen hours. Because fresh pasta is already partially cooked, it lasts a bit longer than cooked store-bought pasta.
This is a good option if you plan to eat your pasta on the same day as leftovers.
However, make sure not to use any fresh pasta stored in the fridge after eighteen hours because it poses a risk of food-borne illness.
Tip: If you plan to eat your pasta within the same day, opt for refrigerating it.
Drying Fresh Pasta
If you’re short on room in your freezer, drying your pasta is a good option as it allows you to store it right on the shelf.
Similar to freezing fresh pasta, the first step in drying fresh pasta is to toss it in a light coating of flour.
The key to drying pasta is to ensure you remove all moisture. The process of drying can take from around twelve to twenty-four hours.
Tip: Hang long noodles on a drying rack or standing paper towel holder to easily dry them
Conclusion: Can Fresh Pasta Be Frozen
Now, that you reached the end of this article you already know the answer to “can fresh pasta be frozen”.
Congratulations! Fresh pasta can be frozen with relative ease.
Some of the key things to remember when freezing fresh pasta are to ensure the pasta is slightly dry before storing it in the freezer and note the date you placed it in the freezer.
If you’ve discovered the wonders of fresh pasta, you may want to prepare it ahead of time so you can use it for your future meals.
This is a great option, especially for those who can make large batches of fresh pasta and then count on it lasting in the freezer for months.