One of the go-to food choices of almost anyone is pasta. It can be a snack or served as a main dish for lunch or dinner. It is often a dish that can be found on food tables whenever there is a celebration.
However, when cooking pasta at home, there will most likely be leftovers that can be reheated and consumed the next day. That is why the typical question will be regarding how long does cooked pasta last in the fridge. To know the answer to this query, stick around and read through this article.
Shelflife Of Pasta
Let’s say that you cooked quite a large amount of pasta which resulted in lots of leftovers. You then decided to store it so you can consume it on the succeeding days. However, it is best to be aware of how long does cooked pasta last in the fridge to stay on the safe side.
As we all know, there are various pasta types out there, and each has an appropriate shelf life that would indicate the time frame for suitable consumption. Take, for example, dry pasta that can last for one to two years when properly stored in a pantry.
On the other hand, fresh pasta is not suitable for pantry storage but can last four to five days inside the fridge. Meanwhile, cooked pasta can last for about seven days inside the refrigerator, but when stored in the freezer can go for as long as six to eight months.
This information is vital so you will know what to expect when storing cooked pasta and also to avoid accidental consumption of spoiled food.
Proper Storage Of Cooked Pasta
Although, as a general rule, cooked pasta can last seven days in the fridge, the way it is also stored greatly affects its shelf life. There are several ways to store cooked pasta, but you must always remember not to store the pasta and sauce together.
In doing so, this will shorten the shelf life of the pasta. Storing pasta together with the sauce will eventually give you a shelf life of around two days. Be sure to keep your cooked pasta in a separate container from the sauce for proper storage.
After cooking your pasta, you need to drain the water or any excess liquid immediately. Rinse it under cold water to put an immediate stop to the cooking process. Add a little butter or olive oil to prevent the pasta strands from sticking or clumping together.
Use a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container to store the cooked pasta and place it inside the fridge. In case you want your cooked pasta to last longer, try opting to keep it in the freezer. Use a heavy-duty freezer bag for this type of storage.
It is also better to remove all the air out from the bag before storing it inside the freezer. To do this, you can use a vacuum sealer or a straw to suck all of the air out of the bag.
After some time inside the fridge and feel like indulging in a pasta treat, you can always reheat a portion or two from what you have kept. While there is a proper way of storing cooked pasta, there is also the correct way of reheating it.
If you stored your pasta separately from the sauce, you could reheat your pasta first. Place your stored pasta on a strainer and then submerge it into boiling water for about 30 to 60 seconds. Meanwhile, your leftover sauce can be reheated by placing it in a heat-safe dish which can be placed in an oven, and let it bake at 350°F (176°C) for about 20 minutes.
Alternatively, you can also heat your pasta sauce on a stovetop using a skillet over medium heat. Remember to stir the sauce gently while heating.
Signs of Spoilage
When you have leftover food stored in the fridge, it is always best that you are aware of any signs of spoilage. There are tell-tale signs that are visibly evident that would tell you when it’s time to discard them when it comes to pasta.
You can quickly tell when your pasta has gone bad when it appears slimy and gooey. These are the first evident signs that you will notice. These will come before you notice molds forming on your pasta.
You will also notice some discoloration like a white or grayish hue present on your pasta, indicating that it has gone bad. In addition, there will also be a foul smell present which is another sign that it is already spoiled.
Risk Of Eating Old Pasta
Like any other food item, there are risks involved in ingesting spoiled, old food. This goes the same for pasta that has gone past its shelf life. Spoiled or old food items have growing bacteria and germs that may be harmful to health when ingested.
These risks include signs and symptoms of food poisoning like upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, food pathogens growing on spoiled or old pasta can even cause death.