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Oct 25, 2011 12:13 AM

storing homemade pasta / avoiding salmonella

I love making fresh pasta Fettucini. I use egg yokes in my recipe. Usually I use all the fresh pasta within a couple of hours of making it. I noticed that the pasta dries very nicely while hanging. I'd like to store some for future use, however, I'm always concerned with food safety. Since there is some raw egg in the pasta, is it safe to store the dried pasta in a tight container in the cupboard? Since it's dry, does that create an environment that prohibits Salmonella? Or is there nothing to worry about since the pasta will be boiled/cooked through before consuming?

Thanks! Aldoogie

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  1. Nothing to worry about: if the drying does not halt bacterial action, the boiling water will kill any.

    1 Reply
    1. I always dry overnight and never had a problem. I also buy Italian dry pasta that has eggs and that must be months old, never crossed my mind to worry.

      1. I was actually wondering this myself - I had extra pasta leftover from a batch I made this weekend and was trying to figure out what to do with it. It's in dough ball form in the fridge right now - will I be able to roll it out after a few days? Or should I just have rolled it, cut it and let it dry when it was fresh?

        4 Replies
        1. re: biondanonima

          When I take out pasta dough that has sat in the frig for a couple days, it has always turned a grey color that looks like it has gone bad in some way. If I have enough leftover to do something with, I freeze it.

          1. re: escondido123

            Good to know. Is it rollable after being frozen, or do you roll it before freezing?

            1. re: biondanonima

              I let it thaw at room temp and then treat it like newly made. But I would only do this if for some reason I made way to much dough and couldn't bring myself to toss it because I don't think it is as good as fresh.

              1. re: escondido123

                Hm, good to know. I didn't really have THAT much left - maybe one egg's worth, so I'll probably just toss it, especially since it's been in the fridge for two days now.

        2. Would a food dehydrator 'save' it better than air drying? or make it safer? Just something I've wondered about too.

          5 Replies
          1. re: chocolatejam

            All that a food dehydrator does is to circulate warm air, thus speeding up the removal of moisture from the food. If you live in a moist climate, food dehydrators are great. If you live in a desert, they're not necessary. Given that, a food dehydrator would speed up pasta drying if your kitchen is humid. If your kitchen is dry (and warm), a dehydrator isn't necessary for pasta, since pasta dries pretty quickly just by its nature. Once you remove all the moisture, you're in good shape. It's just a matter of how quickly it can be accomplished. For most situations, the pasta dries so quickly on its own (a few hours) that speeding up the process isn't necessary.

            1. re: foreverhungry

              And dried pasta would be safe to store on the shelf without worry over salmonella?

              1. re: chocolatejam

                Yes, as long as it's stored properly: airtight container, away from light, in a coolish place. This also hinges on the pasta being completely dry, and containing no moisture. In the absence of moisture, bacteria won't grow. I've read that properly stored pasta has a shelf life of at least two years. Because of the small amount of fat from the egg in pasta, it'll go rancid before it becomes contaminated with bacteria - but that'll take a couple years at least under proper conditions.

                1. re: foreverhungry

                  Thanks! Great to know. I don't think home cooks explore food safety enough. I can assure you there will be no salmonella Santa at my house this holiday.

                  1. re: Aldoogie

                    I just want to qualify by saying I'm not a food safety expert. This info is just what I've read and know about basic microbiology. I haven't seen anything official from the FDA about storing homemade dried pasta.

          2. Fresh pasta also freezes well for a couple of months. When I've done it, I've rolled and cut the pasta into the desired shape, let it dry up to the point I would if using it immediately, then put it in a zip lock bag and frozen it. When ready to use, just drop the frozen pasta in boiling water - don't defrost it first.