Pasta provides a hearty base for main dishes and sides. It comes in a plenitude of shapes and varieties, from long, thin spaghetti to bowtie-shaped farfalle. Pasta is typically purchased and stored dry, but cooked pasta also stores well for a short period of time. You can make pasta ahead of time for a quick meal later in the week or save your leftovers to enjoy another day. Cooked pasta stores best when cooked and prepared for storage properly.
Fill a large pot with water. Use 5 quarts of water for every pound of dry pasta.
Heat the water to boiling over medium-high heat. Submerge the pasta in the boiling water.
Bring the water back to a full boil. Stir the pasta constantly with a spoon so it doesn't stick.
Boil the pasta for according to package instructions, or until it is al dente. Al dente pasta is slightly chewy but not overly soft or hard in the center.
Drain the pasta in a colander. Rinse with cool water until the pasta reaches room temperature.
Place the pasta in a storage container. Add vegetable oil to the pasta and stir it to coat. Use 1 tsp. oil for every pound of pasta. The oil prevents the pasta from sticking together during storage.
Seal the container closed. Store the cooked pasta in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Cooking times vary depending on the pasta type and shape. Refer to the packaging for exact cooking times.