How Long You Should Keep Homemade Pasta On A Drying Rack

Making homemade pasta may seem like a big undertaking, but it's as simple as following a few steps. Make the dough, roll the pasta, then cut and dry your individual noodles. It's the latter step that comes with a timeline — albeit one that depends on when exactly you're cooking your dish.

For homemade pasta made with an immediate meal in mind, leave it on the drying rack for about 10 to 15 minutes. This timeframe will make your noodles easier to cook, as they won't stick together and will keep their shape. If you're making fresh pasta for another day, however, you can let it dry for much longer. 

Leave your noodles to sit out overnight or all day, with 12 to 24 hours being the ideal. This relatively wide timeframe will give your pasta the chance it needs to harden. If the spaghetti still feels soft, it's not fully dried, whereas if it's hard enough to snap in half, it's ready to store or eat. 

Why drying your fresh pasta is important

For the impatient home chefs, you don't necessarily have to take the time to dry fresh pasta. Right after cutting your noodles, you can certainly drop them right into the pot. However, the extra step ensures that they will keep their shape while boiling. 

The drying stage reduces the moisture of your pasta, which allows it to harden and therefore keep well without spoiling. This is especially important if you're planning to hang onto your noodles for a longer period since the drying process enables preservation. Not to mention, it allows you to store them at room temperature, rather than keep them in the refrigerator. 

Even if you don't own a drying rack, you can still get the job done. You can easily use whatever equipment you have on hand. That means drying can be as simple as positioning noodles on a floured towel or you can get creative with other forms of hanging. Clothes hangers do the trick, as do laundry racks. What better way to repurpose your household essentials than for a delicious meal?