Ready to Store
Many people have asked me about dehydrating pasta. Primarily, they want to know why, if it’s already dry, would anyone bother dehydrating cooked pasta.
- Like rice, it doesn’t take any more power to cook a big pot of pasta than it does to cook a small pot of pasta. Cook a bunch and dehydrate what you don’t use right away.
- Rehydrating cooked pasta is convenient and makes it ready to eat much faster than cooking the raw pasta. Depending on how thick the pasta is, it can rehydrate in boiling water in just a few minutes.
- It can be put together with other foods to make packaged one-dish meals. Especially useful in casseroles.
- It’s ideal for instant soups.
- It stores longer than uncooked pasta.
Just Like Blanching
How to Prep Pasta for Dehydrating:
- You can use any kind of pasta. Anything from thin spaghetti to wide fettuccini –types works just fine.
- Cook the pasta as usual. Depending on the variety and where you live, it may take from eight to twelve minutes or so for the pasta to cook AFTER the water begins to boil.
- When it’s tender, or nearly tender, remove it from the boiling water and plunge it into cold water to stop the cooking process.
Before placing in the dehydrator, put it through the salad spinner to remove excess moisture
Spaghetti and Such:
I read that twisting your pasta into little bird’s nests was a convenient way to dehydrate the. But I found it difficult to mess with that and get them wound the way I wanted them. Also, I was worried that if it was too thick, not enough air would circulate around it and it might not dry properly.
I found that just picking up a gob of pasta and plunking it down worked just fine … and was much faster!
Just the Right Amount
The easiest way to determine portions is to take the sized bowl you might use for a serving of pasta and plop some in it. Then you can be sure to get consistent portions.
Watch Out for Stringers
Pay attention to strings of pasta that stick out. They will dry just like you see them. When you are ready to bag the dried pasta, they will be hard to bag and break.
Turn them over
About half way through the drying time, I flip them over to finish drying. This gives more exposure to air. You can see some soft pasta still in the middle. Continue to dry this until it’s completely hard.
Ready for one-dish meals
- Dry at 115º at least overnight. Depending on your machine and location with determine how long it takes to dry. See my document on Variables in Dehydrating Times for more information.
- Be sure to check and stir the pasta on the racks several times. Short dense pastas will tend to stick together. Be sure to separate little pasta clumps that are stuck together.
- Spaghetti type pastas are thin enough that they don’t need to be stirred. As they dry, simply turn the portions over to allow for more air circulation.
- Dried pasta will be hard and crisp. It will look and feel much like the raw versions.
Rehydrating Dehydrated Cooked Pasta
- Bring a pot of water to the boil.
- Drop the desired mount of pasta in the boiling water and give it a stir.
- Depending on the thickness of the pasta, it will usually rehydrate in just a few minutes.
- Spaghetti rehydrates almost instantly. By the time you give it a stir, it is already limp and ready to use.
- Remove from the water and serve.
What to do with Dehydrated Pasta:
- Perfect for soups and stews
- Excellent for thermos bottle cooking and MRE’s. see my post on MRE Soup:Thermos Bottle Cookery.
- Serve with your favorite sauce
- Use in salads and one dish meals