How to Cook Pasta & Store Ahead of Time

By Jenny Harrington

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.

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Cooked pasta stores for a short time, regardless of variety.

Step 1

Fill a large pot with water. Use 5 quarts of water for every pound of dry pasta.

Step 2

Heat the water to boiling over medium-high heat. Submerge the pasta in the boiling water.

Step 3

Bring the water back to a full boil. Stir the pasta constantly with a spoon so it doesn't stick.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

Drain the pasta in a colander. Rinse with cool water until the pasta reaches room temperature.

Step 6

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.

Step 7

Seal the container closed. Store the cooked pasta in the refrigerator for up to three days.