Dried pasta is one of the most useful and versatile ingredients you can have in any kitchen – anyone can cook it, even kids love it and nothing is quite as handy for whipping up an impromptu meal in a hurry. However like any ingredient, correct storage is important to maintain this ingredient at its best.
While dried pasta will come with a ‘best by’ label like any food, this is more an indicator of quality than anything else. Theoretically, if kept in airtight pasta jars, dried pasta could keep for anything up to ten years. However you are likely to notice a deterioration in the flavour and texture if eaten past its’ best by’ date.
The general storage rules are similar to most other dried foods: keep the product in an airtight container. Humidity, light and heat are all enemies of dried food. Pasta is usually sold in plastic bags, which is fine for storage until opened. However after opening, your pasta will be best stored in jars with an airtight seal. Spaghetti jars are most commonly seen, as the unusual shape of the pasta makes it trickier to store in a bag. However pasta stored in clear jars also looks attractive.
Matching pasta jars
Along with the commonly seen sets of tea, coffee and sugar jars, there are often matching varieties of pasta storage jars. If you have a kitchen with open shelving, co-ordinated storage accessories are a far smarter and more stylish look than a row of saggy bags. If your jars are stored away in cupboards, you probably won’t be so concerned about a matching set – a set of containers in the most useful shapes and sizes is probably more important.
Clear glass pasta jars
Ultra organised types will love clear glass pasta storage jars, not only for their elegant look but also the ease of use. Of course labelling opaque storage accomplishes pretty much the same goal, but there’s a strange beauty about the uniformity of pasta shapes neatly contained within the glass. If you have a jar of standard, cream coloured pasta next to another of green pasta and another in red, you can actually achieve a rather artistic effect.
It’s not just pasta – any dry food such as tea, coffee, sugar, rice, beans and noodles is best stored in an airtight container to maintain its shelf life. Keeping them organised in clear glass jars or labelling accurately as opposed to opening every single jar until you find the correct contents is simply common sense…