Fresh pasta is so much more delicious than dry pasta and it also takes a fraction of the time to cook. Think spaghetti and meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, linguine carbonara, spinach and ricotta cannelloni, and vegetable or beef lasagne.
Perhaps you’ve made a big batch of fresh pasta, or maybe you’ve ordered from the local Italian restaurant and you have a lot of leftovers. What can you do with them? You don’t want to throw them away but fresh pasta only lasts for around a day in the fridge. So, can you freeze your leftovers so you can enjoy them at a later date?
The simple answer is yes but you have to be careful as pasta can stick together during the freezing process. In this article, we are going to tell you how to freeze fresh pasta so that it doesn’t stick together and is just as delicious when it is defrosted as it is when it is cooked fresh.
How To Freeze Fresh Pasta
You can freeze fresh pasta (see also Can You Freeze Pasta Dough?) whether you have made it yourself or you have bought it. The method is the same.
1. Cool down the pasta.
You don’t want to put warm pasta in the freezer as it will bring the temperature up and other food may defrost and spoil.
2. Flash-freeze the pasta.
Get a baking tray and put a sheet of greaseproof paper on it. Lay out the pasta, ensuring that each piece is separate and doesn’t touch the other pieces. This stops the pasta from sticking together. Put the tray in the freezer and freeze until the pasta is solid. This will take between one and two hours, depending on the size of the pasta.
3. Put the pasta in freezer bags.
It is a good idea to freeze the pasta in meal-size portions so that you only defrost the amount you need for a meal and don’t end up throwing any away. Squeeze out all the air from the freezer bags so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Freezer burn will ruin the taste and texture of your pasta. Put labels on the bags with the date and contents so that you know when you put the pasta in the freezer. You don’t want to keep it in the freezer for longer than its use-by date.
4. Put the freezer bags in the freezer.
Tips For Freezing Fresh Pasta
- Flash-freeze the pasta so that it doesn’t stick together.
- Squeeze out all the air from the freezer bags so that freezer burn doesn’t occur and ruin your pasta.
- You can freeze the pasta in a dish like a lasagne, ravioli, or spaghetti and meatballs. Just check how long the ingredients can be kept in the freezer and if they can be frozen. Ensure that the dish is wrapped well in cling film so that freezer burn doesn’t occur.
- You don’t need to defrost your pasta. Instead, you can cook it frozen. You will just need to adjust your cooking time. If you have frozen spaghetti or another pasta that isn’t in a dish, all you have to do is put it in a pan of boiling water. If you have frozen a dish, you can just put it in the oven to heat up.
- Freeze the pasta quickly especially if it has eggs in it. This will stop bacteria from developing and make you sick. It also helps the pasta to retain texture and taste.
For How Long Can You Freeze Fresh Pasta?
You can freeze fresh pasta for around one month. It is much better to freeze it than put it in the fridge unless you plan to eat it within 18 hours. If you keep it in the fridge for longer, it will begin to absorb water and become oxidized.
If you are cooking a big batch of fresh pasta and thinking that you are going to freeze some, separating the pasta you want to freeze immediately after cooking is a good idea. Cool it down as quickly as possible and freeze it as above.
How Do You Defrost Fresh Pasta?
The good news is that you don’t need to defrost fresh pasta. Just put it straight into a pan of boiling water or put a pasta dish in the oven. You will have to cook dishes for longer than if you were cooking them fresh. You can, however, defrost the pasta in the fridge overnight if you prefer. This is a good idea if you want a quick meal when you get in from work. It will take no time to heat up in the oven or even the microwave.
Can You Refreeze Fresh Pasta?
It’s not a good idea to refreeze fresh pasta. It is delicate and prone to oxidation so if you refreeze it, the texture will probably be ruined. It will become mushy which is not what you want from pasta. In addition, refreezing encourages bacteria to grow, and especially if your pasta contains eggs, you will risk food poisoning.
The best thing to do is to freeze fresh pasta in meal-size portions so that you only defrost as much as you need for one sitting. This will save on waste.
Is It A Good Idea To Freeze Fresh Pasta
Yes, fresh pasta freezes well even though you can only freeze it for up to one month. However, you do need to flash freeze it to ensure that it doesn’t stick together and become mushy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing fresh pasta but in case you are still curious, we have answered a few questions here.
Yes, you can but the cheese might not retain its texture. It could split and so won’t be as tasty.
You can freeze dried pasta but it doesn’t freeze as well as fresh pasta. Fresh pasta tends to retain moisture while dried pasta just becomes drier. Don’t bother freezing uncooked dried pasta as it has a long shelf life. You can freeze a cooked dish with dried pasta but don’t expect it to be as good as it was when first cooked.
Yes, you can freeze fresh pasta whether or not you have added eggs. Just use the method we have described for freezing fresh pasta.