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Everyday Cheapskate: How to Properly Store Dry, Fresh and Cooked Pasta

Mary Hunt on

I'm one lucky gal. My husband's favorite menu item is pasta -- any shape or recipe. He would opt for a pasta dish every meal of the day if that were an option. And that's great because he is as tall and slim as the day we married. While he has no desire to actually prepare pasta, I love to cook. Add these things together and it's pretty much a no-brainer that pasta is the foundation of frequent, tasty pasta meals in the Hunt home.

You can be sure that we load up on pasta when our favorite brand (Barilla) is selling 10 (16-oz.) packages for $10. But is that wise? What's the shelf life of pasta? Where and how should we store pasta to make sure it will be delicious right to the last package, which if we've planned well should coincide with the next 10-for-10 sale?


One of the most economical and convenient foods available, pasta has become a staple in most home pantries. The key to storing dry pasta is to keep it in a cool, dry place.

The pantry is a great spot to store dry pasta, as long as it's not near any heat sources or areas with high humidity. Avoid storing dry pasta in the refrigerator or freezer, as the cool, damp environment can cause it to become mushy and spoil more quickly.

To keep your dry pasta fresh, transferring it from the original packaging to an airtight container is a good idea. This will help to protect it from moisture, pests and other contaminants. Glass or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids work well for this purpose. Be sure to label and date the container so you know when you purchased the pasta and can keep track of its shelf life. When stored properly, dry pasta has an indefinite shelf life.



Fresh pasta -- homemade or purchased from a refrigerated case in a grocery store -- is far more delicate than dry pasta and requires a bit more care when it comes to storage. Fresh pasta has not been dried and therefore does not have the same shelf life as dry pasta.

Fresh pasta should be stored in the coldest part of your fridge, typically the back of the bottom shelf. To prevent it from drying out, wrap it tightly in plastic or a sealed container. It is best to consume fresh pasta on the day it is made or purchased, but if stored in the refrigerator, it can be kept for an additional day.



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