So you’ve learned your grandmother’s fresh pasta recipe, or you’ve found a great handmade noodle store that will do the job for you. That’s great news! Now what? It’s not as if you can simply dig in out of the container as though it were take-out.
The beauty of the best fresh pasta is that you can use it to make a gourmet meal in a very small amount of time. Once it’s made, all the work has been done for you. But if you want your dinner to be perfect, you need to treat these noodles well.
Remember that they are a work of art! It takes great care and a delicate hand to make them, so you need to respect the tradition and love that went into their making. Then, you need to store them and cook them properly. This is very easy, as long as you know what you’re doing. Here are a few tips about storage and preparation to make sure that your meal is beautiful every time.
Storing Handmade Fresh Pasta
If you’ve made it yourself and you’ve already cut it, then you can either choose to refrigerate it for later use, or you can cook it right away. If you aren’t going to be cooking your noodles immediately after having made them, then you will want to give them 1 to 2 minutes of drying time on a baking sheet.
Next, give them a generous dusting with flour so that when you store them together, they won’t stick and form a solid clump. Gather them together into small bunches and either fold them in half or wrap them into small nests. Allow them to dry for an additional thirty minutes and then wrap them up and place them into the refrigerator. Fresh pasta will remain good for up to 2 days in the fridge. If you think that it will take you longer to consume the noodles, freeze them for up to 2 weeks.
Cooking Handmade Fresh Pasta
If you can cook dry noodles, then you can cook fresh pasta. The reason is that freshly made noodles are far easier and faster to prepare! Use a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. For about 4 nests, you’ll need around 8 cups of water. That may seem like a lot, but it is good to have a lot more water than pasta. This helps to ensure that the noodles will be able to move freely in the water instead of cooking to each other.
Once they’re in, bring the water back to a boil, and after a minute and a half (yes, that’s all!) of gentle simmering, you’re all set! Drain the water off in a strainer and serve right away with your favorite sauce. Don’t overcook it or you won’t be happy with the texture it produces. Al dente should be your goal. If you aren’t sure, just take a noodle out of the pot, let it cool for a couple of seconds, and take a bite!