If you have been following along you’ll know that I am a batch cooker. It is simply survival; I no longer have the physicality and endurance to cook frequently. So if its not in my freezer or cupboard I wont be eating regularly.
In the past this has meant no pasta for me. Cooking pasta is a very demanding task, generally for little reward as by the time I finish cooking I am too ill to eat it. Besides lets face it pasta doesn’t make ideal leftovers. Gluten free pasta even less so. I didn’t care for the texture of home dehydrated gluten free “instant” pasta so for several years I gave up. That is until an insomniac Pinterest binge lead me to some inspiration!
A link to a batch cooking blog on freezing whole wheat pasta gave me just the information I needed. A short process with one extra ingredient you surely have on hand. So I set out to experiment and see how well it would convert to my gluten free life.
Good news is so far its worked with every pasta type and shape I have tried!!! So let me give you the run down and then you too will be able to enjoy pasta on demand. Most of the process is as usual with a few changes at the end.
- Begin as you usually would. A sufficiently large pot full of salted water. Bring to a boil and add the pasta of your choice.
- If you intend to use the pasta as part of a “heat and eat” meal cook to your preference for eating.
- If you intend to heat the pasta again in a soup or sauce you need to shorten your cook time to extra Al Dente as to not end up with mush in your final meal.
- Once the pasta is cooked to your needs immediately drain the pasta, rinse under cold water, drain well, and return it to the pot.
- Now this is the important step for successful freezing. Drizzle about 1 Tablespoon oil (your choice I typically use olive oil) per 8oz (the pre-cook weight) of pasta. Gently toss until all pasta is well coated which is indicated by a slight glossy sheen.
Now your ready to portion and freeze. That’s it! Crazy simple right? Those extra few steps of draining, rapid cooling rinse, and coating in oil is all it takes.
By washing away the extra starch you prevent the gummy texture and clumping in storage. The oil prevents ice crystals from forming in/on your pasta as it staves off leaching which partially dehydrates the pasta and causes a mealy texture.
Here are the pasta types and shapes I have tried successfully thus far.
- Red Lentil Spaghetti
- Red Lentil Penne
- Red Lentil Rotini
- Red Lentil Sedanini
- Chickpea Casarecce
- Chickpea Mini Shells
- Green Lentil Elbows
As I can no longer consume rice I have not tested the plethora of easily available options. Though I do have promises from a few friends to try this method on rice pasta for me when they have the time and freezer room. I will update with results when they do.
I hope this tip will serve you well and make life a little less stressful in the future.