Week # 17: 15 lbs of Pasta - any variety
Pasta is one of the more popular and versatile foods you will find on the dinner table. It comes in many forms and can be made at home, purchased fresh, or purchased dried for long term use. We’ll obviously be going over the “long term storage” pasta. Pasta is great in hot or cold salads, italian entrees, casseroles, or even mac & cheese! If you have more reasons let us know!
Store uncooked, dry pasta in your cupboard for up to one year. Keep in a cool, dry place. Follow the “first-in, first-out” rule: Use up packages you’ve had the longest before opening new packages.
Refrigerate cooked pasta in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days. You may add a little oil (1-2 tsp. for each pound of cooked pasta) to help keep it from sticking. Because cooked pasta will continue to absorb flavors and oils from sauces, store cooked pasta separately from sauce.
The best pasta shapes for freezing are those that are used in baked recipes, such as: lasagne, jumbo shells, ziti and manicotti. You’ll have better results if you prepare the recipe and freeze it before baking. To bake, thaw the dish to room temperature and bake as the recipe directs.
If you keep things like pasta or boxed pasta mixes in the original package for longer than the expiration date it can go bad. But when you take them out and put them in buckets, foil pouches or your own vacuum sealed bags they can last for decades.
Measuring Pasta: Learn how to measure pasta like a pro with this chart that includes correct amounts for every pasta shape.Go>>
1. Boil 4 to 6 quarts of water for one pound of dry pasta. (You can divide this recipe depending on how much pasta you are cooking.)
2. Add the pasta with a stir and return the water to a boil.
3. Stir the pasta occasionally during cooking.
4. Follow the package directions for cooking times. If the pasta is to be used as part of a dish that requires further cooking, under cook the pasta by 1/3 of the cooking time specified on the package.
5. Taste the pasta to determine if it is done. Perfectly cooked pasta should be “al dente,” or firm to the bite, yet cooked through.
6. Drain pasta immediately and follow the rest of the recipe.
Busy families continue to search for foods that are healthy, satisfying and economical - and they do not need to look further than the pasta aisle. Pasta is very low in sodium and non-egg varieties are cholesterol-free. Per cup, enriched pastas provide an excellent source of folic acid and a good source of other essential nutrients, including iron and several B-vitamins. Also, as a food that is low on the Glycemic Index (GI) - low GI foods are digested more slowly - pasta provides a slow release of energy without spiking blood sugar levels. A 1/2 cup serving of cooked pasta (spaghetti) contains a mere 99 calories, less than half a gram of fat, and less than 5 milligrams of sodium. Pasta is high in complex carbohydrates, which provide a “time release” of energy rather than a quick boost. (Read more here.)