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Feb 5, 2005 11:29 AM

Shelf life of pasta

  • s

I have some dry pasta in the cabinet that's probably been there for 2 years. Is it still good to eat?

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  1. it might not taste quite as good as newer box, but that's the only potential problem. If it hasn't started growing mold or anything (unlikely unless you live in South Florida or the Gulf coast), it won't hurt you or anything.

    1. Check for bugs (the little ones that bore little holes). One time I bought a bunch of (must've been old) pasta from a store where it was on sale. Every box had bugs. I boiled a pot of water, dumped the box in, only to find little bugs floating on top.

      1. I'm embarrassed to say that I still have some cappellini I bought about... 8 years ago (bulk purchase at Costco... what can I say?) I've actually moved with it 3 times (hangs head in shame). I kept it in an airtight canister all this time so no weevils. And while I don't really want to attempt to eat it by itself, I've been making chicken noodle soup with it (broken up). It's perfectly fine. Haven't gotten sick from it. My case is extreme (husband rolls his eyes). I bet your pasta is fine as long as there's no visible bugs, sticky webs, etc.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sonia

          Don't feel too bad, I've done the same thing. One of the deep discount stores that used to be in our area carried big boxes of dried pasta that I would only see in higher end stores or Italian markets. I always felt the deal was too good to be true so I'd buy a couple boxes at a time. I had the boxes for years after the deep discount place closed.

          1. re: Sonia

            When no-boil pasta became popular but wasn't widely available, I bought some boxes of it on a trip to NYC with my wife. I still have the pasta but not the wife - I've been divorced for over 14 years. I'm serious when I tell you I've had every intention of using it all this time.

          2. Within the last week I cooked a 16 oz. bag of penne that had been in the pantry for heaven knows how long. Probably years. I think it was one of the brands that TJ's carries. There weren't any bugs and it tasted fine. A couple of the pieces of penne came apart but that didn't bother me. I don't think dried pastas have "use by" dates, do they? Right now I have a box of oven-ready lasagne noodles in the pantry that's been in there since the last time I made lasagne, probably about a year ago. I don't see a "use by" date on the box. If it looked suspicious then I wouldn't use it.