After going through the effort to make homemade pasta, don’t you want to ensure that your fresh pasta stays fresh?
Making fresh egg pasta takes time and practice, but the rewards are so worth it. Homemade pasta has a springy yet silky texture and a rich, eggy taste that is far superior to anything you can buy. A pasta machine, manual or electric, can make the process go more efficiently, but there's also something deeply gratifying about making pasta entirely by hand.
But fresh pasta is also ephemeral and needs proper handling. If you're not going to eat it right away, is it best to store it in the refrigerator or freezer? We decided to find out.
TESTING STORAGE METHODS
We tossed freshly made fettuccine with flour to help keep the strands separate, put batches in zipper-lock bags, and stored some bags in the fridge and some in the freezer.
Refrigerating the noodles worked fine but only for 18 hours. After that, the noodles took on a gray-green cast, and they also clumped together.
The discoloration is caused by oxidation of the iron in the dough’s egg yolks (to avoid a color change, store-bought fresh pasta is packaged with nitrogen and carbon dioxide and less than 1 percent oxygen) and had only a mild effect on the flavor.
But even if we closed our eyes to eat these noodles, the clumping would have been a real deal breaker. Caused by water in the noodles migrating outward and moistening the flour coating, it was only exacerbated when we cooked the noodles.
Freezing for up to four weeks, however, worked perfectly. Since freezing slows chemical reactions, we saw no trace of oxidation and freezing kept the water from migrating outward.
Conclusion: If you’re holding your homemade fresh pasta (or commercially made fresh pasta you've removed from the packaging) for more than 18 hours, store it in the freezer.
HOW TO FREEZE FRESH PASTA
Freezing pasta in a single layer makes it freeze faster and helps minimize the formation of ice crystals that can compromise texture.
1. If you haven’t done so already, toss the pasta with a bit of flour to help keep the noodles separate.
For strand pasta: Coil noodles into 2- to 4-ounce nests and place in a single layer on baking sheet.
For shaped pasta: Spread in a single layer on baking sheet.
Freeze until frozen solid, about 1 hour.
Transfer frozen pasta to a zipper-lock bag or airtight container.
Store in the freezer for up to 1 month.