How to Freeze Leftover Fresh Pasta

By Cook's Illustrated Published March 2017

While testing manual pasta machines, we were inundated with fresh noodles, and we wondered if they would hold up better in the fridge or in the freezer.

We tossed freshly made fettuccine with flour to help keep the strands separate, put batches in zipper-lock bags, and stored some bags in the fridge and some in the freezer. The refrigerated noodles were fine, but only for 18 hours. After that, the noodles took on a gray-green cast and clumped together. The discoloration is caused by oxidation of the iron in the dough’s egg yolks (store-bought fresh pasta is packaged with nitrogen and carbon dioxide and less than 1 percent oxygen to prevent discoloration) and had only a mild effect on the flavor. But even if we closed our eyes to eat these noodles, the clumping would have been a real deal breaker. Caused by water in the noodles migrating outward and moistening the flour coating, it was only exacerbated when we tried cooking the noodles.

Freezing for up to four weeks, however, worked perfectly. We saw no trace of oxidation since freezing slows chemical reactions, and freezing kept the water from migrating outward.