Whether you prefer long spaghetti noodles or one of the other shapes including farfalle or macaroni, pasta can be prepared ahead of time and then refrigerated for a quick meal later. A low-fat option suitable for lunch or dinner, properly prepared and stored pasta retains its flavor and texture in the refrigerator, allowing you to pull out what you need for a low-effort meal. Enjoy the noodles hot or cold with a variety of sauces or toppings.
Place 1 gallon of water for each pound of pasta into a large pot. Add ½ tablespoon of salt per gallon of water.
Bring the water to a full boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta to the boiling water.
Cook the pasta for 5 to 15 minutes once the water returns to a boil. Cooking time varies between pasta type, size and shape, so refer to the package for cooking time recommendations.
Pour the pasta into a colander, draining off the water. Rinse the pasta in cold water to cool it down and wash away the the excess starch.
Place the pasta in a food storage container. Toss the pasta with olive oil, using 1 teaspoon. per pound of cooked pasta. The oil prevents the pasta from drying out or sticking together during storage.
Place the lid on the container and seal it closed. Store the cooked pasta in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Things You'll Need
Properly cooked pasta is tender but not mushy, a state referred to as “al dente.”
There is no need to rinse pasta you are serving immediately, only pasta you intend to refrigerate.