Pasta, pasta, pasta. It must have been invented for college cooking. It can be purchased with pocket change, is hearty, and so incredibly easy to prepare. But it can seem like an eternity waiting for the water to boil.
One solution is to heat the cooking water in a kettle before pouring it in the pot (I know…mind blowing stuff here at the cafe). Or, cook extra pasta and freeze the leftover noodles so they can be re-heated in the microwave. Here are a few tips to consider when freezing cooked pasta noodles.
Step 1: Cook to “al” what?
The term “al dente” means cooking pasta so it’s still firm when bitten. You’ll want that extra firmness when freezing pasta because the it’ll become slightly softer when you heat it again.
How do you cook pasta noodles to “al dente’ perfection? I follow the directions on the package. Hasn’t failed me yet. Some packages also include how much salt to add to the water. Follow what the package says. It’ll ensure your pasta is properly seasoned. I’ve noticed my pasta dishes taste much better when I read the fine print.
Step 2: Freeze Flat
Before freezing cooked pasta noodles, toss them with a small amount of olive oil to keep them from sticking.
Place in a zip lock bag and flatten the bag as much as possible. As long as the pasta is flat you’ll be able to easily snap it to fit inside a bowl when it’s frozen stiff. No ice clumps either!
Use a sharpie to label the bag and date it before sending it to the freezer. Helps answer the question “how long has this been in there?” when you notice it a month from now :).
Step 3: Frozen Sauce Cubes to Top With
Use a soup ladle to fill an ice-cube tray with leftover pasta sauce for freezing.
The cubes will melt, instead of exploding, when you heat them in the microwave on top of your frozen pasta noodles.
Step 4: Dinner or Lunch on the Go
Pop 3 or 4 frozen sauce cubes on top of your frozen pasta in a bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 minute.
Break the pasta sauce cubes with a spoon or fork and stir with pasta. Heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute more.
Your meal is ready!
Thanks for stopping in at the cafe! And, if you like this pasta tip, please share! Cheers!
3 More Ways to Use Your Frozen Pasta
Use a base for this Chili Chicken Stew or Chop-Free Vegetable Stir-Fry!
Or follow this tasty number made with leftover spaghetti.