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How do you handle home made pasta?

I've made home made pasta twice now, and the results have been amazing. Really delicious, tender pasta. BUT, I'm having trouble figuring out how to handle the leftover pasta. I've been hanging the fettucini on a clothes drying rack covered with a tea towel, but if I leave it overnight it becomes so brittle that it shatters when I try to take it off the rack. I can't figure out the best way to store it, or to handle it once cut. Should I swirl it into nests and store airtight? Freeze immediately? I'm thrilled with the fresh product, but then what? I really don't want to open a container full of pasta crumbs.

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  1. i rarely have any fresh pasta dough left over. My recipe makes one pound of pasta, which is perfect for 4 people. But if you do make more than you need, I've found the best way to store it is to freeze it. Go through the regular, short drying period (as you would if you were about to cook it), making sure to coat it in a good dusting of semolina flour. After this period, put it in a zip-lock bag and freeze immeidately. When ready to use it, just drop the frozen pasta straight into the boiling water - do NOT attempt to thaw first. Frozen pasta will take just slightly longer than fresh to cook (maybe a minute longer), but it will have the taste and texture of fresh pasta.

    4 Replies
    1. re: edwardspk

      Thanks! Do you store it in "nests" or in shorter lengths? I find my pasta is so fragile it tends to shatter. There's just two of us, so 2 cups of flour makes enough for two meals for us. Maybe I'm drying it too long??? Dry for half an hour, so it's still pliable and then put in bags? I'll get there, but I really hated serving nice, tender eensy weensy pieces of pasta last night, LOL.

      1. re: blaireso

        "Dry for half an hour, so it's still pliable and then put in bags?"

        I see fuzzy growing.

        1. re: cutipie721

          I think you might be right about the "fuzzy," cutipie. I once ended up with about a pound like that, when I didn't let it dry right. But it's a long time since I stored any homemade pasta.

      2. I have had the same problem for years and usually just throw out the extra. However, I saw someone take long strands of like a fettucine, cut them into two inch lengths, roll them kind of back and forth on themselves so they form a sort of macaroni that is called Strozzapreti and is similar to a cavatelli. Let those dry and then freeze and you'll avoid the whole problem--which I hadn't solved until today.

        1. I don't make more than I can sauce. I eat the leftover, sauced pasta the next day, either heated or not. Yum. And it doesn't get lost in the freezer that way.

          1. If it's just the two of you... How about just portion out the dough and freeze the balls instead? The dough doesn't take long to defrost and is more than well rested, so rolling and cutting doesn't take much time, I think. That's what I do anyway.

            4 Replies
            1. re: cutipie721

              I like this idea the best so far. I've been drying the pasta on top of linen towels on my clothes rack, but even then they shatter everywhere. I was thinking if I dried the fettucini partially, then while still pliable got them off the dowels and lay out flat, I could finish the drying without too much damage. Or freeze at that point before fully dry. Saucing the entire batch and having leftovers works for me, too. I use my KA to make the dough, using the hook to do the kneading, so not sure if a smaller batch will work in the bowl. I'll give all a try, thanks so much everyone.

              1. re: blaireso

                freeze before it dries out and gets brittle.

                Then you have fresh pasta on hand -- you don't even have to thaw it.

                I've been doing it that way with Amish-style noodles (think fettucine) for 30 years, and my grandmother did it that way all her life.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  One of the reasons I don't roll and cut pasta before freezing is that I want to be able to make the perfect shape for a particular application. Fettucine, pappardelle, ravioli, or lasagna.

                  A trade-off for convenience.

                  1. re: cutipie721

                    and I only ever make one shape...I had an Atlas pasta maker, a ravioli plate, and a macaroni extruder, and got rid of all of them because I only ever make my noodles the way I make my noodles...The ravioli plate is the only one I've considered replacing...which is bizarre because I had never used the one I got rid of.

                    Different strokes.

            2. My experience, too, is that it shatters upon drying. And half of mine falls off the rack anyway. So what? Makes it easier to put in plastic bags and give to friends.

              I used a clothes drying rack when making large quantities for gifting. My cats got way too interested in batting at the hanging linguine. My dad made me a specialized rack to fit over
              my stovetop. No cat interference, but still drying, splitting, dropping. Don't fret. It's just pasta. Who wants a 2-foot piece of pasta to twirl into an enormous ball to try to eat? Small dried pieces are perfectly ok.