What Giada De Laurentiis Says To Do With All Your Extra Uncooked Pasta

It's hard to think of any pantry staple more convenient than boxed pasta. With its long shelf life and quick cook time, this is one pantry staple that most people have on hand at all times, with Statista reporting that in 2020, more than 267 million Americans — that's more than 80% of the U.S. population — used dried boxed pasta. And while fresh pasta definitely has its place in the kitchen, dried pasta is the star of many traditional recipes, ranging from cacio e pepe to linguine with clams, according to Insider.

Anyone who regularly buys dried pasta is likely familiar with one minor inconvenience it tends to present: little bits of leftover uncooked pasta at the bottom of bags and boxes that never gets used up, and always seems to go to waste because they're not the same shape as any of the other pasta you plan to cook. These odds and ends tend to accumulate as they're forgotten about — but luckily, television host and cookbook author Giada De Laurentiis has an excellent suggestion for how to cook them once and for all.

Use your pasta mista in a baked pasta or soup

If you've ever set out to organize your pantry and found about six or seven almost-empty boxes and bags of dried pasta, then this Giada De Laurentiis tip on how to use them up is for you. According to De Laurentiis' blog Giadzy, combining these odds and ends of dried pasta is actually a common practice in Italy, where the factories that produce pasta often find themselves with leftovers of different cuts and shapes — at a much larger scale, of course. Many of these factories mix together the different kinds of pasta and package them for sale as "pasta mista," or mixed pasta, such as the Neapolitan factory Setaro (via Giadzy).

If you're going the mix-it-yourself route at home, De Laurentiis recommends using pasta mista in a pasta bake like baked ziti or following the recipe on her site for zucchini artichoke soup with pasta mista. Finally, a way to use up all those pasta bits — and with a delicious end result, too.