Finding the right amount of spaghetti per person can be tricky. Many of us end up with several pasta dishes left over and are too lazy to eat them again. However, there is a definite trick to making leftover spaghetti taste better.
How long do leftovers last?
It’s important to know how long spaghetti can last to make sure it can be reused without causing food poisoning or foodborne illness. These are some types of pasta and their duration in the refrigerator:
- Fresh homemade wheat pasta: 4–5 days
- Store-bought fresh wheat pasta: 1–3 days
- Cooked wheat pasta: 3–5 days
- Lentil, chickpea, or pea-based pasta: 3–5 days
- Gluten-free pasta: 3–5 days
- Tortellini or other filled pasta: 3–5 days
- Lasagna or other cooked pasta with sauce: 5 days
Keep in mind that the suggested storage times for this type of pasta are indicated, and that they may vary according to each type of dish and ingredients used. In general, it can be assumed that pasta and spaghetti dishes can last just under a week in the fridge after cooking.
With this general time frame for each dish in mind, we should always check leftovers for any mold or strange odor before reusing them for another meal. One of the first and most visible signs of expired cooked pasta is that it has become slimy or sticky . This can be seen just before visible signs of mold begin to appear. Similarly, sauce that was once red or orange can now develop a dull or discolored appearance, such as a grayish or whitish hue.
When it comes to fresh pasta, if we notice any discoloration such as white specks, any signs of mold or a strange odor, or if it is stored for more than five days, we should throw it away immediately.
Leftover Spaghetti Ideas
Here are some of the best ways to make leftover spaghetti taste better:
- Use olive oil to coat a large skillet and add six thinly sliced garlic cloves. When the cloves begin to brown along the edges, add the leftover spaghetti and fry until the color changes from a bright red to a deeper, rustier red.
- While frying the leftover spaghetti, we can add fresh seasonings like thyme, oregano, or parsley to enhance and intensify the flavors. A garnish of grated Parmesan cheese after plating the spaghetti can also be a nice addition.
- Vegetables like spinach, chopped radicchio, chopped bell peppers, or any other vegetables that taste good when just cooked are a great way to make leftovers healthier and give them a different flavor.
- Pan-frying with a stick of butter gives any dish a rich, savory twist.
- Adding extra meat in the form of ground beef or shredded chicken will instantly make leftover spaghetti more flavorful and can be enough to increase the amount if you want to use the leftovers to feed the whole family.
- If the leftovers are mostly noodles, we can repeat the process of making more spaghetti sauce, adding pasta sauce and seasoning.
- If the sauces have dried out or been absorbed by the noodles, we can add liquids like beef broth to liven up some of the sauce, and sauté the spaghetti lightly to warm it up.