Food Storage: Pasta...........................Spaghetti and Macaroni
Main dishes as Spaghetti, side dishes, casseroles and soups…………………………………….
Pasta: One of the more popular comfort foods found on dinner tables here in the United States. Pasta comes in many forms and is a great shelf-stable food, it can be purchased fresh or dried at the store or
you can even make it fresh at home. It is a great source of carbohydrates and can be easily used in hot or cold salads, casseroles and the all time favorite Mac & cheese. This is one of the least expensive preps that
you can purchase from the grocery store, with that being said….Stock up especially when on sale.
Types of Pasta:
- Long Noodles - Which includes numerous kinds, but some of the more common is Capelli d’angelo, Capellini, Spaghetti, Vermicelli and Ziti
- Ribbon-Cut Noodles - Which includes numerous kinds, but some of the more common is Fettuccine, Lasagne, and Linguine
- Short-Cut Extruded Pasta - Which includes numerous kinds but some of the more common is Manicotti, Penne and Rigatoni
- Decorative Shaped Pasta - Which includes numerous kinds but some of the more common is Farfalle, Florentine and Lumache
- Irregular Shaped Pasta - Which includes numerous kinds but some of the more common is Gnocchi, Passatelli and Spatzle
- Minute Pasta - Which includes numerous kinds but some of the more common is Couscous, Orzo and
- Stuffed Pasta - Which includes numerous kinds but some of the more common is Cannelloni, Pierogi,
Ravioli and Tortellini
Measuring Pasta: Learn how to measure pasta like a pro with this chart that includes correct amounts for every pasta shape.
Measuring Pasta - When you cook pasta, 2 ounces of dry pasta per person is a good rule of thumb to follow. What does 2 ounces of dry pasta look like? It depends on the shape. Use the helpful charts below to create perfect portions of pasta every time.
This chart provided by Barilla.com
1. Boil 4 to 6 quarts of water for one pound of dry pasta and add a dash of salt
2. Add the pasta with a stir and return the water to a boil.
3. Stir the pasta occasionally during cooking.
4. Follow the package directions for cooking times.
5. If the pasta is to be used as part of a dish that requires further cooking, undercook the pasta by 1/3 of the cooking time
6. Taste the pasta to determine if it is done. Perfectly cooked past should be “al dente”.
7. Drain pasta immediately and follow the rest of the recipe
Nutrition: Nutrition is all the rage now days, even though a lot of people tend to stir away from pasta due to the carbohydrates; pasta is healthy, satisfying and economical. Pasta is low in sodium and non-egg varieties are cholesterol free and enriched pastas provide an excellent source of folic acid, iron and several B vitamins.. Pasta is considered high in complex carbohydrates, which means it provides a time release
of energy rather than a quick boost and because of that slow release of energy it normally does not spike blood sugar levels.. Most athletes will enjoy a pasta dinner the night before the big game…
Interesting Facts about Pasta:
Italy may be the home of pasta, but many other countries have their own version of the spaghetti noodle………….
- China has Mein
- Japan has Udon
- Philippines has Pancit
- Poland has Pierogi
- German has Spaetzle
Quality and Purchase: Pasta as it ages will lose some of its color and flavor even if stored properly. Fresh pasta will go bad relatively quickly; keep it in your refrigerator for 5 days or in the freezer for 6 to 8 months. How to tell if the fresh pasta has gone bad? Discolored, slimy appearance which will appear before the formation of mold or a sour odor, discard any fresh pasta that does not look or smell
right. Never eat pasta that you think is bad, rotten or spoiled, there can be health risks involved with food borne illness. Another concern about pasta, it is not uncommon for dried pasta to attract bugs.
Make sure you store opened pasta in a sealed air-tight container. Discard the package if you see any bugs or grain moths.
Of course purchasing extra packages of pasta while at the grocery store is option #1, going to your local LDS cannery could be option #2, and purchasing from a commercial company like Thrive Life, Wise, Noah’s Pantry, Emergency Essentials etc.. Could be option #3 or making fresh yourself and storing in the
freezer is option #4.
Packaging: Dried pasta bought at the store is already dehydrated and left in the original package should have a shelf life of about 2 years. Once the original package is opened, the pasta should be moved to a moisture proof air-tight container. For short-term storage the container could be a glass or plastic food grade moisture proof air-tight container. For long-term storage the container could be a Mylar bag with 02 absorbers, glass mason jar with 02 absorber or vacuumed sealer or #10 cans. Store your pasta in manageable amounts such as 1 lb. packages; this will also help with rotation. Most importantly it allows easier inspection and if contamination does occur it does not allow exposure to your whole stock of pasta. Also several smaller bags can be placed inside a 5 gallon plastic food grade bucket.
Note: Rodents and insects can penetrate plastic bags and boxes.
Storage Conditions: Storage at stable temperature of 70°F is optimal but can be kept proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures. Store containers off the floor, especially off concrete floors….concrete can wick moisture to stored containers very easily. Inspect often for insect activity.
Storage: Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of pasta.
If you are storing for only a short-term use, then store in your pantry in its original package or transfer to a moisture proof air-tight container. Once the original package is opened or damaged transfer to a moisture proof air-tight container. For long-term storage you can freeze cooked pasta, while preserving the taste if you use a freezer safe container. Just remember to cool the pasta with cool water to stop the cooking process or it will be very mushy when thawed. Freezing is an option, but cooked pasta begins to dry out when frozen too long.
Uncooked Pasta: Store uncooked, dry pasta in your pantry for up to one year
Cooked Pasta: Refrigerate in an air-tight container for 3 to 5 days. Adding a little oil (1 – 2 tsp. per lb. of cooked pasta) helps keep it from sticking. Also store cooked pasta separately from sauce due to cooked pasta will absorb flavors and oils from sauce.
Freezing Pasta: Some pasta’s are better than others for freezing…lasagna, jumbo shells, ziti and manicotti are just a few of the different types best for freezing. For best results, prepare the recipe….then freeze it before baking. Then to bake, thaw and bake as the recipe directs.
Shelf Life: Rotate, Rotate, Rotate……with any of your food storage you need to develop a program to rotate your supplies on a regular basis. First in first out……in other words as you use your stored pasta replace it with new pasta. Label each container with product and storage date. Commercially packaged freeze-dried pasta can have a shelf life of 8 - 30 years unopened and opened 1 – 2 years. While doing it yourself pasta in a sealed container (cans, buckets, Mylar bags or bottles with oxygen absorbers or 5 gallon buckets with a Mylar liner and oxygen absorbers)with absence of oxygen can also last 8 to 10 years if kept at stable cool temperatures.
How much Pasta do I need in storage? Around 16 lbs will supply an adult for one year while a child will only need half that amount.
While doing a bit of research for this pasta blog I came across an interesting idea that I thought I would share…...Dehydrating cooked pasta…..
Okay, at first I thought what….why would you want to dehydrate something that is already dried? Then after reading several posts and articles it makes perfect sense for certain scenarios. The most common and popular area this is being used is in the backpacking community or even the camping community. But this technique can also be used in food storage for emergency situations.
Time and water are two important factors in a emergency situation, you could also throw fuel into the topic. And what do time, water and fuel have to do with dehydrating cooked pasta……well everything. If you are cooking up pasta for dinner… Why not cook the full package all at once, this saves fuel and water and time. Then take the extra pasta dehydrate it, then the next time you need pasta just add a bit of hot water into the Ziploc bag with dehydrated pasta…along with you dehydrated sauce….instant meal. I will being a blog just on this topic...
Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.
With any food storage items if they are not kept in ideal storage conditions or if kept pass the recommend storage shelf life then consumption is at your own risk.