At Pasta Evangelists, we celebrate pasta not just for its flavour but for its freshness. Personally, we’re staunch advocates of making your own pasta. Once you have that first taste of indisputable freshness, you'll know it was worth the effort. To try your hand at making fresh pasta at home, check out our Pasta Making Kits, designed to help you become an expert pastai in no time!
Our customers love having quality fresh pasta conveniently delivered to their door. That being said, we’re often asked for advice on making fresh pasta. Right now is a great time to start getting hands-on in the kitchen and to discover a hidden talent for the art of pasta making! Quite a few of the questions we receive are about the best way to dry fresh pasta before cooking. So here are some tips from our expert pasta chefs. Or watch the video below for some tips directly from Chef Roberta on drying fresh pasta at home.
Why do you have to dry fresh pasta before cooking?
Some delicious, fresh tortelloni being made, prior to drying.
When making fresh pasta, your dough should be firm but malleable enough to form into your chosen shape. However, you may find the dough to be stickier than you'd anticipated. This is a sign that your pasta needs to be dried before it goes into the pan.
Drying your fresh pasta ensures that it keeps its shape. You might be a deft hand with a ravioli cutter, but if you don’t dry your fresh pasta properly, your filling may end up at the bottom of the saucepan. Even worse, you might end up with an unpleasant clump of pasta.
How long should you dry fresh pasta for?
This depends entirely on how long you can resist sampling the fruits of your labour. We’re going to assume you’re finding the temptation to be too much to resist! Therefore, we’ll start by outlining the best way to dry fresh pasta to be cooked straight away.
Once you’ve rolled out your dough, you will want to dry it before cutting it into noodles or shapes. This ensures that the dough is firm enough to be properly cut. Timing is key when drying fresh pasta. If you’re too impatient, you might end up grappling with some sticky dough. If you wait too long, however, your dough may start to crack as you cut it.
Place your dough on a flat and floured surface, this could be a baking tray or a countertop. Then sprinkle with flour and leave to dry for 15 minutes. Once you’ve cut your shapes, you leave the pasta for a further 15 minutes before adding it to boiling water.
We need to point out that the above doesn’t apply if you’re making a stuffed pasta shape such as ravioli or tortellini. Instead, you should cut and stuff your pasta dough before allowing it to dry. This ensures your pasta parcels seal properly, keeping those delicious fillings where they belong.
If you’re making long noodles such as tagliatelle, fettuccine or angel hair pasta, why not try drying your pasta in nests? Once you’ve cut your noodles, pick them up, twist them and twirl them into neat little coils.
Pasta nests aren’t just for presentation, they’re also a fantastic way to dry freshly-made pasta noodles!
One final tip before we move on: pasta dries best in warm environments, but try to avoid making pasta on particularly hot days. The added humidity in the air could cause your pasta to dry too quickly and crack.
Do you need a pasta drying rack?
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to invest in flashy equipment to make quality fresh pasta. Take drying racks for instance. Your house is full of suitable alternatives. Try hanging your freshly-cut pasta strands over a broom handle or the back of a chair. If you opt for the latter, cover the back of the chair with a tea-towel that’s been lightly dusted with flour.
How to dry fresh pasta for future use
Once you’ve made your pasta dough, spread it out onto a large piece of baking paper so it forms a single layer. For fresh egg pasta, allow around 30 minutes of drying time, before placing in the fridge for up to 24 hours before consumption. While filled pasta should be consumed as soon as possible, it can be frozen (for up to a month) for later use.
If you are drying pasta bianca (a dough made of simply flour and water), leave your pasta uncovered in a dry area for 12 to 24 hours, carefully turning it at regular intervals. A twelve-hour window seems a tad wide, but various factors can affect how long your pasta takes to dry. These can range from the temperature of the room to the thickness of the dough.
If you’d rather err on the side of caution, place an electric fan next to your pasta to ensure it dries evenly. Be sure to switch the fan onto a relatively low setting, for your electricity bill if nothing else!
Could you be a dab hand at making fresh pasta? Why not treat yourself or a loved one to one of our luxury pasta making kits? We’ve also got some exciting pasta masterclasses coming soon, which are ideal for any London-based foodies and pasta aficionados.
At Pasta Evangelists, we bring a taste of Italy to your kitchen. Prepared using the freshest ingredients, our gourmet pasta dishes are perfect for those looking to enjoy restaurant-quality meals, delivered to your door, and ready in under five minutes. Order from our weekly menu today, and we’ll offer you 25% off your first delivery - simply enter the code BLOG25 at checkout.
10 thoughts on “How to Dry Homemade Fresh Pasta”
Hi Caroline – this is a great gift idea but can get a bit tricky. If you want to gift fresh pasta that hasn’t been dried, you’ll have to gift the pasta on the same day it is made. You’ll also have to be quite careful about ensuring the pasta doesn’t stick together. Alternatively, you could make a flour + water pasta (pasta bianca) such as orecchiette, trofie, or strozzapreti and dry it out. To do this, you can just leave it out on trays overnight and then keep it in an open container for a couple of days. At this point, the pasta should be fully dried out but you can always break a piece to see if the centre is dry. Then, you can store the dried pasta in a sealed container for 1-2 months. This would make an excellent holiday gift and can be packaged up nicely. Hope this helps to clarify!
Hi Liah, great question! We’d recommend trying to use your dried pasta within a month or two. The main thing to ensure is that it is entirely dried before putting in an airtight container. When drying at home, we usually dry on a rack overnight, then put in an open container for a couple of days and then put in a sealed container to keep for longer. Any residual moisture won’t be good for longterm storage. Hope this helps – Lia
Once you have left pasta to dry for up to 48hours (flour and water only), how long can it be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container?
Hi thank you for the tips. I was thinking ahead about making pasta as holiday gifts to give out. How could I make sure the pasta stays fresh?
Great question! A drying rack is a great way to ensure your pasta dries evenly, just be certain to keep the strands separated for optimum airflow. Correctly dried pasta will be brittle to the touch, so it is entirely up to you how you want to dry your pasta – I suppose the best way to determine this is how you plan to store it – pasta dried on a rack will keep its long, curved shape, though is sometimes prone to snapping. Pasta dried in nests is a more space-friendly way to dry pasta, though this may not be as evenly dried, and you’ll have to check on this every so often to prevent sticking. Either way, your egg-free pasta dough can be dried for between 12 and 24 hours, until hardened, yes.
Hope that helps, and best of luck making your pasta!