Does Pasta Go Bad? – The Italian’s Answer & Tips On Preserving
Uh, I love Italian cuisine! Especially pasta.
My youngsters like colored spaghetti because they love to play with it. I like to set up this kind of pasta outdoors and let them get messy. They enjoy playing and eat well, which I appreciate. Let me tell you one interesting story.
Two years ago, I traveled to Italy. I've spent a great time exploring historian monuments, but without pasta, it wouldn't be so great. I tried it in different forms with different combinations of food. Italians eat a lot of pasta! They have more than 600 different shapes!
When I went home, I wanted to bring this Italian food specialty with me. I brought bucatini, egg noodles, fusilli, lasagna, macaroni, penne, ravioli, rotini and spaghetti of course. Maybe, there were more different shapes I can't remember now, all I know there was a lot of pasta.
A couple of days ago, I found out a package of Italian macaroni in my storage room. I was amazed! Immediately I've decided to surprise my family by making creamy casseroles. But then I asked myself: Does pasta go bad?
It's been a long time since I bought it. I started to research to find out. Let's see what I have discovered.
What Should You Know About Pasta?
Except that pasta comes from Italy, there is a lot more you should know.
Pasta is the name for many different types of noodle dishes that make up the cuisine, all divided into two categories: dried and fresh pasta.
Dried pasta is made for selling in markets, while the fresh pasta is made minutes before it gets served.
Usually, pasta is made of unleavened dough and wheat flour. Then these ingredients get mixed with eggs and water, and at the end, pasta is shaped into different forms and styles.
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How Do We Prepare It?
Most of you already know, that pasta should be cooked in boiling water with some salt inside.
If you want your pasta “al dente" you shouldn’t overcook it. It means that pasta should keep the certain hardness.
Ten to fifteen minutes cooking from the ground zero should be enough.
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Does Pasta Go Bad?
Unfortunately, the answer is Yes, pasta does go bad.
How long it will last depends on the type; dry pasta can last longer. Also, it depends on how its stored and is it cooked or not. Quality is also one of the criteria.
Dry pasta lasts longer than the fresh one. You should check the expiration date on the package, which can be several years.
If unproperly stored, it will spoil earlier. When it comes to fresh pasta, you should know that it's best to be eaten immediately after cooking.
How Should It Be Stored?
Storing pasta is a quite straightforward, but there are details to watch for.
Here are the differences in storing the two types of pasta:
Dry - Uncooked Pasta
For a dry pasta, the best way to be stored is in its packaging. When I found this out, I was delighted because they were like I left it – unopened, and usable. Before you decide to cook it, you should check out the expiration date on the package.
Usually, it can be consumed up to two or three years from the production date. I've checked mine, and it had a three-year expiration date. I bought it two years ago, so my idea to surprise my family with a fabulous macaroni lunch was a go.
Also, it is important to keep your pasta in a dry, dark and cold place. The best place is a drawer or the kitchen shelf. Mine was on the kitchen shelf; so far, so good. You shouldn’t expose pasta to the heat, water, or any toxic materials. Also, you should be aware of the bugs if there are any in your kitchen.
But, if you have already opened your pasta package, then you should use what's left two to three weeks from the opening. After that, it will start losing its quality.
If you like to store it for a longer period, you should do it in an airtight container or in a bag which can be tightly sealed, so the oxygen cannot break inside. I remember that I used to see pasta closed in a Ziploc bag at my friend's place. She must have known for this tips before I did.
Fresh - Uncooked Pasta
Fresh pasta does not last long as dry one. If you have a package of unopened fresh pasta, you should know that it is best to use it for about week or two. After that time, it will go bad.
If you have opened your package, you should use the pasta within two or five days. This way you can get the best taste and the best quality. If you like to extend the shelf life of fresh pasta, then you should move it to the freezer.
You will extend its life up to two months. You can leave it even longer, but the taste won't be like the original one.
If I have some pasta left from lunch, (which is a rare occasion, but it happens) I usually place the leftovers in a freezer. I think the best way to store it, is by using an airtight bag. This way you should extend the life of pasta up to one or two months.
You can leave it longer, but it won't taste as good as the original one.
It's interesting that it will be the best if you store the source together with pasta. This way, you will prevent the pasta to become mushy.
How To Tell If Pasta Is Bad?
I had the opportunity to see and smell a spoiled fresh pasta. It wasn't such a pleasant experience. One thing is sure – you will quickly notice if the pasta is bad.
First, you will see the different appearance of pasta. That can be changing of color, or appearance of mold. The smell also should be odd. This way, your pasta wouldn’t be safe or usable for a meal. The best choice is to buy another one.
If it goes bad, it is more likely that fresh pasta would look like these. Dried pasta probably won't change the appearance, but it won't be delicious like it should.
In The End, We Know The Answer
I hope that you’ve found out which is the best way to store your pasta and to prevent it from spoiling. I've tested my Italian macaroni, and I discovered that they were still usable and I created creamy casseroles.
If you stored your pasta properly, it is likely that it will be good to eat. I did a good job. First, the expiration date has not expired, and I haven’t opened the package any time before. I kept it on a dark, dry and cold place.
The right choice for cooked pasta is the freezer. And, don’t forget the airtight bag.Take care of this marvelous Italian food, and you will be able to enjoy it for a long time.
Now I'm going to enjoy this delicious creamy casserole with my family, and I will try to feel the taste of Italy one more time again.
Viva la Vida!