Can I freeze pasta with sauce?
January 5, 2004 3:14 PM   Subscribe

Can pasta in sauce be frozen? I just whipped up a vat of penne mixed with tomato-chicken-mushroom-spinach sauce, and post-cooking estimates show that it's a bit more than I can eat in a week. Googled cooking sites tell me about freezing pasta alone and sauce alone, but what about when one has already mixed them? And once frozen, is it microwaveable?
posted by brownpau to Food & Drink (7 answers total)
yup, and yup--it's fine--just seal it in with tupperware or something.
posted by amberglow at 3:29 PM on January 5, 2004

yes! the pasta can get a bit on the mealy side and it's a totally different animal than if it's fresh but it's still super tasty. Usually I reheat in a tupperware container partially covered after splashing a bit of water on it to make it a bit moister [freezing can dry it out] and then load on the parmesan cheese. If your pasta already has cheese on it, the cheese may get weird after freezing, but certainly not inedible. Same goes for pesto with cheese in it, better to freeze that before putting cheese on it.
posted by jessamyn at 3:37 PM on January 5, 2004

Here are a couple of lists of foods that don't freeze well. They mostly involve milk/cream/cheese, eggs, or fresh produce.

I often use whole-wheat pasta, but I've found it's more susceptible to post-freezing mealiness than regular pasta...
posted by staggernation at 3:46 PM on January 5, 2004

Yes, this works just fine. Make the pasta ever so slightly more al dente than you prefer, since the act of reheating it will soften the noodles just a tad.

If you have access to dry ice, pack the containers of combined sauce and pasta under it until they freeze, then store the frozen food normally. The dry ice is MUCH colder than your freezer, and using it will prevent most of the ice crystallization that causes mealiness. The same trick (according to Alton) works for strawberries and other very wet berries and fruits, leaving them in almost perfect condition when thawed.
posted by majick at 5:33 PM on January 5, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks, people. I now have two servings of pasta in the freezer waiting for my significant other's return on Saturday.
posted by brownpau at 9:28 PM on January 5, 2004

Tilia Food Saver. Coolest thing I ever bought for the kitchen. Don't bother with most of the gadgets, just get a case of roll bags (will last years) and a box of mason jars from the local hardware store (cheap) and vacuum seal everything in the fridge [jars] and freezer [jars or bags] .. veggies, milk, butter, etc.. it lasts 4 to 5 times as long plus tastes better and retains the nutrition better. Food savings alone make up for any costs but that nice "swoosh" sound of prying off the suctioned lid is somehow very satisfying, you know the food is staying fresh.
posted by stbalbach at 11:03 PM on January 5, 2004

I've always wanted to purchase a vacuum sealer, but there are so many brands on the market, I'm not sure which to use, really...

Kenmore, Tilia, and countless others. What's the difference?

And here's the catch. Some cost 80 bucks, others cost 200. And with so many little gadgets out there, I can't afford to buy the wrong one, because then I'd take away money for my next toy.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:41 PM on January 5, 2004

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