Using Leftover Uncooked Pasta

When I make something with pasta, I always have some uncooked pasta in boxes left over. Now I have about 3 boxes of different kinds of uncooked pasta that just have a little left in each of them (less than half the box). I have some lasagna, fettuccine, elbows, etc. Different lengths and sizes. Could someone please suggest a way for me to use up these extra amounts of pasta rather than throwing them out? Thanks in advance for your clever replies!

Jennifer from Buffalo, NY

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February 24, 20090 found this helpful

The hard part is that the different pastas have different cooking times. There are two things I do with these leftover dried pastas. If I have one that cooks in 7 minutes and another that cooks in 11 minutes, I throw the 11-minute pasta into boiling water, wait four minutes, and then throw the 7-minute pasta in. That way, they both get done at the same time. Then I throw a sauce on top of the pasta or use it for homemade mac and cheese. If I can't arrange that (or don't know the cooking times or whatever), I make a soup that will need a pasta (like a minestrone), and then I throw the pasta into the soup all at the same time and simmer until it's all done. I break larger noodles (like lasagna noodles) up so that they're bite-sized. I hope this helps.

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February 24, 20090 found this helpful

My kids always thought it was cool to mix the pasta shapes in any kind of dish, no matter what kind of sauce or whatever we were using.

Also, if you are making a pasta salad, it looks "fancier" if you use different shapes; you look more creative! :)

One of my fave pasta salads is this one (also VERY easy to make):

We usually use tri-color rotini, but you can use whatever you have onhand, and yes, I've done it with the combination of several different kinds of pasta, and it's always been delicious and well received.

Boil the pasta til it's done (Al Dente)

To the prepared pasta, add diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, diced onions and cubed cheddar cheese.

Add the contents of an entire bottle of italian dressing (fat free is great too). Toss to distribute the dressing throughout and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and preferablly overnight. Serve chilled.

Optional: You can add green peepers and other diced veggies that your family likes. Yum Yum -- enjoy!

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February 25, 20090 found this helpful

Prepare the pasta in smaller portion sizes and pack them in your own or your children's lunch boxes. For the lasagna noodles, you can fold up the cheesy filling in just one or two cooked noodles. Do just one for a single serving, or do several in a loaf pan, covered in sauce, and you'll always be able to remove a single serving for each person without cutting and marring the whole thing. Freeze them individually, too, for days or weeks later. It's the same as buying those individual, single-serving-sized pudding cups or apple sauce cups. In fact, save the cups from those -- they make good single-serve portion sizes for pasta.

I especially like to put out mini-portions in my DH's bento box. A bento, or o-bento ("great bento," a term for respect rather than for size), is simply a lunch box that contains a balanced, nutritious, and visually appealing meal.

General overview:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bento

One fantastic website (there are many):

http://lunchinabox.net/

Ideas: Prepare a small pot of mac-and-cheese sauce; then prepare several single servings of pasta, one at a time, to put in the tiniest serving size Gladware you own (I've got some that'll hold just about a half-cup each) and spoon over a little of the sauce. Pack that, plus maybe a boiled egg, for your protein and starch, then fill the rest of the box with vegetables and fruits. Bonus points for cutting the veggies and fruits into cute shapes, but it's not totally essential. An entire, balanced meal can fit in a single Gladware container.

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February 25, 20090 found this helpful

In my house, my kids LOVES spaghetti with different shaped pasta.

Or, the next time you make soup, throw a few different pastas in the soup broth.

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February 25, 20090 found this helpful

How about parsley buttered noodles or just add it when making spaghetti like the one lady said. Just have fun when you cook. Our grandmothers did the same thing they never used measuring cups or anything. Just a pinch here and there. Or as Emered say BAM and have a ball.

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February 25, 20090 found this helpful

I just keep all my dry pastas in gallon jars and add to them as needed so I never have leftovers and always have it when I need it. I store the jars on the top of my cupboards. They look neat and decorative, and they are sealed from bugs and dust. Pasta is much cheaper when bought in large packagesa rather than single recipe sizes. I agree with everyone else as to great ways to use small amounts. Why would you throw out something that keeps forever?

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February 25, 20090 found this helpful

I just keep my pasta in a large canister, When the canister gets low, I add the pasta to my grocery list.

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February 25, 20090 found this helpful

I purchase different shapes of pasta for my marinated pasta salad - bow tie, wheels, etc...and all colors. Besides pasta I add whatever I have in the refrigerator: chopped ham, chicken-turkey, salami, pepperoni, cubed cheese - cheddar or mozzarella, marinated artichoke hearts, onion, peas, broccoli, corn, olives. While pasta is warm I add Italian or a Feta Greek dressing to in. I often take this to church in the summer months and rarely bring any home.

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February 25, 20090 found this helpful

Family Circle has a wonderful feature called 1-2-3 Ingredient Meals. I learned that if you mix 1 part ground turkey, 1 16 oz. can of Cranberry Jellied Sauce and 1 24 oz. can of Spaghetti sauce, you have the best goolash I have ever had. Its tangy, sweet, and low cal.

So, what better way to use up mismatched pasta than to break up the larger pieces and make some Goolash!!

And, if you are in a need for something to decorate with, here's an idea. Break up the lasagna, mix it with the other, maybe add some spinich pasta or some 16 bean soup for color, and put it in an old jar! Keep in up high and away from heat, and it's a nice addition to that country home look!

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February 25, 20090 found this helpful

Why not break it all into different size pieces and use it in a casserole, using pasta sauce and spices and maybe add some ground beef. Top with cheese and bake it a while and presto all the pasta is used up and a dinner is made. Hope this helps.

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February 25, 20090 found this helpful

Once you've cooked all of the pasta, try stirring in some olive oil. That way you can keep it in your refrigertor for days and have it handy for any recipe since it won't stick. You can throw it in soups, toss with herbs and parmesan cheese, etc. Also, if you steam some frozen vegetables and mix in spicy cheese sauce (like Tostitos salsa con queso), it's wonderful!

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February 25, 20090 found this helpful

Once you've cooked all of the pasta, try stirring in some olive oil. That way you can keep it in your refrigertor for days and have it handy for any recipe since it won't stick. You can throw it in soups, toss with herbs and parmesan cheese, etc. Also, if you steam some frozen vegetables and mix in spicy cheese sauce (like Tostitos salsa con queso), it's wonderful!

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February 26, 20090 found this helpful

Try breaking your pasta into similar sizes and toss into your favorite rice mix 7-9 min. before rice is done. Adds flavor, shape variety and good taste!

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March 10, 20091 found this helpful

We've got a restaurant in our area called Nothing But Noodles. All of their dishes have noodles of some sort. In most of the pasta dishes you will find all different types and shapes. It makes it interesting, so use them all together!

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