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Shelf life of boxed pasta?

ns538bmk Mar 31, 2010 04:16 PM

I use up spaghetti within days or weeks of buying it, because my preferred pasta shape is spaghetti (pasta shape preference might be another topic, but I digress...). Anyway, I was wondering about the shelf life of boxed pasta. It just seems like it shouldn't go bad, but there could be a reason to toss it that I don't know about. I also realize that it's a cheap item that can be replaced easily, but I'm curious. I've got a few boxes that I've had for over a year now. How long do you hang onto a half-used box of pasta before you toss it?

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  1. mbfant RE: ns538bmk Apr 3, 2010 01:52 AM

    In Italy all foods have an expiration date, and I have seen it covered up by a label on a package of expensive imported pasta at an expensive NY gourmet chain. I somehow ascertained that they were selling pasta a year older than we were getting in Italy of the same brand. However, to answer your question, a high-quality artisanal dry pasta I bought a few weeks ago in Rome has an exp date of September 2012. Usually it seems to me the dates are somewhat less, but still a couple of years. In any case, unless you see bugs, go ahead and use the pasta whenever you want. Every so often I cook all the leftover fragments of packages and make a pasta al forno with them and start over.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mbfant
      MNLisaB RE: mbfant Apr 8, 2010 06:00 PM

      Pasta keeps forever.A little OT- I always keep dried bay leaves sprinkled where I keep my pasta/rice/cereals, keeps the little evil weevils away.

    2. Kajikit RE: ns538bmk Apr 8, 2010 10:52 AM

      forever, unless it gets (ick) bugs in it! I've never found pasta to go stale. Rice on the other hand has a shelf life of a few years and after that it smells musty...

      1. Chef Gurp RE: ns538bmk Apr 10, 2010 05:21 PM

        Sometimes it will get bugs (yuch!!) in it. And sometimes, if still left in the unopened box, you can see the very edges get a white (versus yellow) color. That's akin to frezzer-burn and should get tossed out.
        PS: If that happens to me, it throw it out to the birds (uncooked) and they eat it like stale bread !

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