Monday, January 11, 2016

Pasta Storage and Using

This post will cover homemade noodles, macaroni, spaghetti, other pastas, boxed mac n' cheese, and ramen. Do remember that some pasta is a refined food, thus use in moderation.

First of all, macaroni and spaghetti can be stored 30 years in #10 cans, see this page for a pdf from LDS Home Storage Center:

If you are choosing only one pasta, I'd suggest macaroni, it seems to 'keep' better.  

For other pastas that are purchased on sale, I like to rotate them on a 12 month schedule, storing them in original bag/box on shelf in cool, dark, dry place. (I watch for 16 oz. bags/boxes to go on sale for $.50 each). 
If storing it for more than 12 months, pasta can be frozen instead of just kept in cool storage area......BUT......put it into freezer zip-loc bags, do not freeze it in the package it comes in, most of those bags will break when frozen......ask me how I know this!!!!


Homemade Noodles

Nothing beats chicken soup with homemade noodles, as well as other dishes with homemade noodles.  Here's my go to recipe, it is actually quite easy to make them, and doesn't take a lot of time.  My next project with this recipe is to cut the noodles into larger pieces and make lasagna....

2 large eggs
2 and 1/2 eggshells of water (using a half shell)
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
about 1 and 1/4 c. unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Beat the eggs and water with a fork.  Using the fork, stir in flour gradually,1/4 cup at a time until mixture pulls away from sides of bowl.  Turn dough out onto a clean, floured surface. Knead it very gently just until smooth, (if flour is added too fast or kneading is too hard, it will produce a tough noodle). 

Roll dough very thin a little at a time, turn over, spread bit of flour on surface of dough, roll that side, turn and repeat. When it gets too big to turn, just try to have it floured enough to not stick, but it usually will stick some anyway. Cut with a pizza cutter into strips .... they can be any size you want. Also, some people like their noodles a bit thick, but they do puff up when cooking so I roll to around 1/8 inch thick. Have broth or water boiling quite hard.  
Add noodles a few at a time until all are in, turn broth/water down to med. high. Just cook, covered, around 5 minutes, taste test for doneness, turn off heat/remove from heat.

Here's a link for making noodles with dried whole egg powder:

And a link for making noodles with added baking powder:


Beef Macaroni Soup
This can be made with more meat (1 lb.)  or with no meat if preferred....

1/2 lb. ground beef, which is 1 cup
(or 1 c. re-hydrated freeze dried ground beef)
4 c. water
1/4 c. dried chopped onions
1/2 tsp. garlic granules or garlic powder
1 can (15 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1/2 c. ketchup
1/4 c. dried carrots
1 T. worcestershire sauce
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
3 c. cooked elbow macaroni 

In large pot, on medium high heat brown hamburger if using fresh ground beef; set aside on a plate or in a bowl.  
Put into same pot: water, dried onions, garlic, crushed tomatoes, ketchup, dried carrots, worcestershire sauce. Bring to boiling, cover, turn heat to medium low, cook 20 minutes, until tender.  Turn to simmer, add ground beef (whether fresh/browned or re-hydrated freeze dried), salt, pepper, parsley, cooked macaroni; do not cover, let simmer 5 to 7 minutes. Take off heat, let sit 5 minutes, stir a time or two.


Found this on sale today at $.49 each, this is high fiber pasta....[have learned to set aside money to save for purchases such as this]

Image result for smart taste spaghetti  

Speedy Spaghetti
One pot does it for this easy recipe. You will not be using a lid during this cooking process, nor when it sits to thicken.

1 T. vegetable or olive oil
4 c. water
3 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce
2 T. dry chopped onions
1 tsp. garlic salt
2 tsp. italian seasonings
8 oz. dry spaghetti noodles

In a large pot, on high heat, bring to a rolling boil: oil, water, tomato sauce. (The water thins sauce significantly, but don't worry, it thickens up later).  
Stir in dry onions, garlic salt, seasonings. 
While mixture is boiling, break spaghetti noodles in half and add; stir, bring back to a full boil.  Reduce heat to medium so the mixture is boiling, but gently.  Cook uncovered 12 to 14 minutes, stirring often.  Take pot off heat source*, allow to sit for 13 minutes; stir a few times while it thickens.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.  Spoon into pasta bowls, top each serving with dry parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.   

*NOTE: can add cooked ground beef/onions if you wish....add when taking pot off heat source, stir to combine.


I'm not a huge fan of boxed mac n' cheese and ramen, but they are easy storage items, so we keep some on hand. I'll give you our way for using these 2 items.

Mac n' Cheese
Open and place dry cheese mix into a small bowl, mix in 1 T. dry milk powder; set aside until needed. You'll basically be following box directions. Use water instead of milk for the liquid (we usually add more than required 1/4 cup). Use only half the required butter/margarine and add 1/2 cup loosely packed grated cheese*. Turn off heat, stir, cover, let sit 5 minutes to melt cheese; stir again.  We add a bit of sea salt when serving.

*this is fresh cheese, grated.....not yet certain if re-hydrated freeze dried cheese would also be same amount....but guessing it would.  If anyone reading this knows, please leave comment.


Have made spaghetti before using ramen noodles when out of regular spaghetti noodles (do not use ramen seasoning packet).  
When making plain ramen, add 1 T. freeze-dried peas + 1 T. freeze-dried corn before cooking. 

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