Cooking pasta isn't rocket science, nor does it take a great deal of time. But sometimes even 5-10 minutes can seem like too much when you're on a tight schedule. So hopefully you have some frozen pasta on hand for a hearty meal. Here are a few tips to consider when freezing pasta:
Frozen pasta reheats quickly, and will ensure you have something warm and hearty in your belly before a pot of water would have ever boiled. Want to make some in your own kitchen? Here are a few tips!
1. Al Dente Is Your Friend: Cook your pasta ahead of time to al dente. When reheated, pasta that's cooked to a slightly softer texture turns out mushy. Firmer is better, although just make sure it's still edible before freezing. The microwave process will soften it, but not cook it through.
2. Flat, Flat, Flat! When it's time to reheat your pasta, make sure you lay it out flat in your container. Doesn't matter if the container is round or square, but as long at the pasta lies flat, the microwave will be able to get all the pieces at the same time. No ice in the middle and no overcooked edges!
3. Mound vs. Individual: You can either freeze your pasta in small zip top bags or freezable containers or you can try a baking sheet. Line a baking sheet with parchment, toss your noodles lightly with olive oil, and spread them out into a single layer. Store them in the freezer this way until they are frozen, then transfer to a large zip top bag. They can then be tossed into stir fry or skillet meals without any microwaving needed. Long noodles can be piled in small nests for easy freezing and storage.
4. Freeze Sauce To Go With: Freeze homemade sauce in small ice cube shapes to go along with your frozen pasta. It will melt quickly and not explode all over your microwave either. Double score!
5. Lunch On The Go? Frozen pasta is a great meal to take along to work. Just pop the container out of the freezer and into your lunch bag. By the time the noon hour rolls around, the pasta should be mostly thawed. Freeze sauces or bring a small pouch of add ins, like crumbled bacon or peas.
Related: A Make Ahead & Freeze Meal Idea: Homemade SpaghettiOs
(Image: Flickr member SarahSphar licensed for use by Creative Commons)