How to Freeze, Refrigerate, Dry & Store Pasta Dough Properly
You simply can’t beat the authentic, silky, tender, and satisfying taste of freshly made homemade pasta. There’s simply no comparison.
While we may all agree that the taste of homemade pasta is best, we often don’t have the time or energy to make it from scratch.
So you might be wondering if you can freeze or refrigerate homemade pasta dough?
The answer is YES fresh pasta dough can be frozen as well as refrigerated to save time on meal prep as well as to extend the dough’s life span.
Homemade pasta, while it might seem intimidating, is quite simple to prepare and easy to store for both long term and short term use. Fresh pasta dough can be formed by hand or by using a machine.
Storing Pasta Dough for Short Term Use
If you are going to make pasta from scratch but you are not planning to cook it right away you need to store it properly to maintain the flavor, color, and texture.
Refrigeration is best way to store your pasta for short term use.
How to Refrigerate Pasta Dough Balls before the Pasta is Shaped
- First, prepare your pasta dough as normal.
- Next, wrap your pasta dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. A fresh ball of dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days before it will need shaping.
- Now when you are ready to use the dough remove it from the refrigerator.
- Finally, allow it to come to room temperature and the dough can now be shaped and then cooked.
How to Refrigerate Shaped Pasta Dough
- Prepare the pasta dough as normal, and then wrap it with plastic wrap.
- Next, allow it to rest for 1 hour.
- Then you can feed your pasta through a machine or roll it with a rolling pin to flatten the dough.
- Next, use a machine to cut and shape your pasta or you can also do this by hand as well.
- Proceed to sprinkle flour over the Fresh pasta that has been shaped.
- Toss it gently and make sure it is coated generously with flour to avoid them from sticking together.
- Allow long noodles to dry for 15 minutes on a baking sheet.
- It then can be twisted into a nest shape if the pasta noodles are long such as spaghetti.
- Put the nest shaped noodles on a floured parchment paper.
- Place nest shaped pasta in an airtight container or ziplock bag and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
- If the pasta shape is short like penne or macaroni toss the pasta carefully with flour.
- Spread short pasta evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet then allow it to dry for 15 minutes.
- After drying place the pasta shapes in an airtight container spreading them evenly.
- Put airtight containers in the refrigerator. This will also keep for two days.
Avoid putting weight on the plastic containers or ziplock bags containing the pasta dough to prevent the pasta shapes from sticking together.
How to Store Fresh pasta for long term Use
Fresh Pasta can be kept for long term use by using two methods:
How to Freeze Fresh Pasta Dough Balls
- Prepare the dough as normal.
- Dust the surface with a sprinkle of flour.
- Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap.
- Then Place the dough in a freezer bags or storage container.
- Defrost the dough balls overnight in the refrigerator before using it.
- Fresh Pasta dough will last 1 month in the freezer.
Freezing Sheets Freshly rolled Pasta Dough
- After Preparing the pasta dough, allow it to rest for one hour.
- Using a machine such as a manual crank or a kitchen aid pasta maker or a well floured rolling pin flatten the dough to a thin, paper sheet like shape.
- Cut the flatten rolls into a size that can fit into the freezer bags you have. (Remember you are not shaping the pasta noodles, you are simply cutting the rolls in a size that can be frozen easily.
- Sprinkle flour on both sides of the pasta roll and allow it to rest for 5 minutes on both sides.
- The pasta roll will dry a little and stiffen.
- Stack the sheets of pasta with parchment between them, so they won’t stick together as they freeze and thaw.
- Slide the sheets into large freezer bags, pressing out as much air as you can before sealing it.
- Rolled pasta can be defrosted on the kitchen counter. It will take about 20 minutes to do this because the dough is thin and flat.
- After Defrosting the pasta rolls, they can now be cut into the shape of noodles you want.
Freezing Freshly Shaped Pasta
- If your pasta dough is cut and shaped, dust the shapes with a small amount of flour.
- Carefully toss them until they are fully coated.
- If you have made long noodles, twist them up into the traditional nest-shaped portions.
- For smaller shorter shaped pastas, divide them into several small portions.
- Shake off any excess flour, and pack the nests or portions into small, individual freezer bags or air tight containers.
- Place in to freezer for 2-3 months until you are ready to use cook them.
- There is no need to defrost these pasta, just place the frozen pasta into boiling water and they will be cooked within 4- 7 minutes.
Fresh Pasta can be dried until brittle but this usually takes 12 to 24 hours to do so completely. You can speed up this process by using a fan to disperse air on the pasta noodles.
The time the pasta takes to dry varies and is affected by the size, shape and thickness of the pasta. The temperature and humidity of the area in which it is dried will also greatly affect the drying time.
- The best way to Dry uncooked pasta that has been cut into long strands is to hang them over a pasta drying rack. (Other Alternatives to a pasta rack is the back of a chair, clothes hangers, or a laundry drying rack.)
- keep the noodles separated so they won’t stick together and they will dry evenly.
- Leave the noodles to hang until dry, brittle and crisp.
- To dry short, smaller shapes, flour them gently shake off the excess flour.
- Spread the pasta noodles evenly on a kitchen towel, and place them on a drying rack.
- Turn occasionally so the pasta dries evenly.
- Fully dried pasta can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for several months.