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Sandro’s Fresh Pasta FAQ

Our answers to the most frequently asked questions about fresh pasta.

Welcome to our Fresh Pasta FAQ, your go-to resource for all things related to handmade pasta. Whether you're a seasoned home chef or a curious beginner, this guide will provide you with essential information and insights. From understanding the differences between fresh and dried pasta to storage tips, we've compiled answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

handmade pasta cabinet

Fresh pasta vs. dry pasta: What’s the difference?

Pasta can be divided into two broad categories: dried (pasta secca) and fresh (pasta fresca). Dried pasta is usually produced commercially on a large scale with industrial machines and comes pre-packaged — like the bags of Barilla or Martelli you see on grocery shelves. Fresh pasta is traditionally produced by hand or with the aid of simple machines, made daily for customers by artisan pasta makers (pastifici — that’s us!).

Both fresh and dried pasta are used in the same kinds of dishes. The key difference is that fresh pasta has a shorter shelf life than dried pasta but is almost always softer, silkier, and more flavourful.

Why is fresh pasta better than dried?

The preference for fresh pasta over dried pasta comes down to differences in taste and texture. Most people prefer fresh pasta because it has a more tender and delicate feel that’s often described as silky or soft. This is because it usually contains higher moisture content, which helps it absorb sauces more readily, too. The inclusion of fresher ingredients also results in a richer dough flavour compared to dried pasta.

How is fresh pasta made?

Fresh pasta is made by combining flour, eggs (unless vegan), and sometimes a bit of salt and olive oil to form a dough.

Traditionally, fresh pasta is made with Tipo 00 flour. What makes our pasta unique is that we exclusively use an Australian semolina flour, milled with durum wheat by Bellata Gold in NSW. It gives our pasta a unique colour, adds a little more bite when cooked, and keeps our produce local. We’re all about merging traditional Italian methodology with innovation and a connection to the Australian land.

How long will fresh pasta last?

Fresh pasta has a much shorter shelf life than dried pasta, and needs to be refrigerated or frozen to prevent spoilage. After buying, fresh pasta can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Dried pasta can be stored at room temperature for months, making it a convenient pantry staple.

Storage Tips: Fresh pasta should be kept in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic to prevent it from drying out. Avoid excess moisture, which can cause fresh pasta to become mushy or promote mould growth.

Can fresh pasta be frozen?

Fresh pasta can be frozen for 1-2 months. To help prevent the pasta from sticking together, you can slightly dust the pasta with flour before freezing. You can also place the pasta on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze until solid, before transferring it to a freezer-safe bag or container.

How do you know when fresh pasta is bad?

You can tell if your pasta is spoiled by the smell, appearance, and texture. If you’re unsure, ask our expert store team for more information at the time of purchase. Below is a guide.

Fresh pasta should have a neutral or slightly floury smell. If it starts to emit a sour or otherwise unpleasant odour, it’s likely gone bad. Look for any visible signs of mould, discolouration, or dark spots. A fuzzy or slimy texture is also a clear indication of spoilage.

Fresh dough should also be firm yet pliable. If it becomes overly sticky, slimy, or unusually hard, it’s no longer safe to eat. You'll start to notice this after 2-3 days in the fridge. If you’ve chosen to freeze it, the quality of your freshly made dough will deteriorate after 1-2 months. 

 

How long do I cook fresh pasta?

Fresh pasta cooks much quicker than dried pasta, usually within 2-5 minutes. The final cooking time for each shape and size will differ slightly — when you pick your pasta up in-store, ask our friendly staff how long to cook it.

The reason fresh pasta cooks faster is because dried pasta has nearly all its water evaporated out. The higher moisture content means fresh dough doesn't need as long of a boiling time to absorb water and rehydrate. This can be a significant advantage if you’re in need of a quick and easy meal with a restaurant-quality taste.

What do I cook with fresh pasta?

There are no rules when it comes to experimenting in your kitchen; but historically, most pasta varieties were created to complement specific sauce recipes. If you’re looking for inspiration on the best way to cook our handmade pasta, we’ve put together a guide on which sauces to pair with each pasta shape.

A rule of thumb is that anything ridged, twisted, or hollow is great for thicker and heartier sauces. Longer and smoother shapes (like spaghetti) are better for creamy, silky, or thin sauces. For filled varieties, keep it simple with fewer ingredients.

However, you really can’t go wrong! Any good quality pasta will taste delicious with a well-executed sauce. We have some recipes if you're looking for ideas.

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Do you do fresh pasta delivery?

We don’t deliver, but we do offer click and collect so you can reserve your pasta in advance via our online store. This is to ensure all purchases are as fresh as possible.

How does it work? You place an order, pay for it and choose a day to pick it up at checkout. On the day of collection, our chefs will prepare your pasta from scratch so it’s fresh upon pick-up. This also allows you to make the most of your pasta’s storage life.

It’s also a great way to make sure you don’t miss out, especially if you can’t make it to the store sooner rather than later. Our pasta tends to sell out closer to the end of the day, particularly our signature Bottoni, which are hard to find elsewhere.

Come visit us at 822 High Street, Thornbury, Melbourne.