Does dried pasta ever go bad?

I have some boxes that I bought when I moved into my apartment 4 years ago. Are they still good to eat?

If so, is there anything that will make them go bad?

Dried pasta stays for a long time. Things that make it go bad are wee little creatures that start munching on it. When you throw it into boiling water, they should die, but why chance it on 90 cents worth of pasta?

Yeah, seth, but when they die they float to the top, so you can just skim the pot before you eat.

Kidding! Kidding!

I have personally had some lasagna noodles who thought they could take over my kitchen and run my life, but I showed them who was in charge. They don’t “go bad”, but rather just become full of themselves. Just like my teenagers.

The oils in pasta do get oxidized if you let it sit too many years. This can give the noodles an off flavor, and according to some nutritionists is not good for you.

Make your wife/lover/whatever a nice romantic dinner. As long as they don’t taste horrible, perhaps you can breed a natural immunity into our genetic heritage… :stuck_out_tongue:

I opened a box after about ten years. The feticcini was in a sealed bag and, as I was dumping it into the boiling water I noticed a few tiny long tubular egg cases had sprouted on the noodles, indicating that not only were there live critters in my pasta but they had been trying to reproduce. My wife spotted me skimming the egg cases off the top of the boiling water ( I only saw maybe two or three of them) but she’s a sport and we chowed down without any ill effect.

I would say 2 years is the limit. Al Zheimers, that is so gross that you saw egg cases in the 10-year old pasta, and still ate it. I’m particular about what I eat, because I know that bacteria is also eating it. Knowing how often people get food poisoning sicknesses, I don’t eat old food. Actually, I just looked it up, and dried pasta should be stored no more than 2-3 years. I was right.

We have recurring infestations of flour beetles in our cupboards (despite repeated and regular cleanings), and probably about 1/4 of the pasta we buy has to be thrown out because my mom won’t get plastic jars to store the stuff in. I tend to just consider anything made from wheat to be suspect after two weeks in our cupboards and inspect carefully before I use it.

That said, my dad often makes the “just skim 'em off the top” joke. My mother, on the other hand, has never gone for that suggestion. Go figure… :slight_smile:

I’m always amazed by this board. Every time I visit I find someone asking a question I have wondered about in the past. Thanks for the info.

Last night my lover and I finally boiled and ate the 9-ounce package of spaghettini from Tutankhamun’s tomb that I paid slightly over $7000 for on E-Bay back in 1978. After weeks of debate we finally settled on the Ragu “Mushrooms and Garlic” sauce for the pasta and “Low-Fat Green Goddess” for the salad dressing. I was bitterly disappointed. It was painfully clear that my homemade Clams and White Wine sauce would have been far superior.

In the next month we will be cooking a half-pound of linguini that traces back to the reign of the Roman Emperor Caligula. If any of you Dopers have a suggestion about the sauce we should use, please drop me a line!

JayJay, all your mom has to do is put the stuff into big Tupperware containers. I used to have non-stop flour beetles, too, and that’s what worked for me. Even the dog biscuits and bird seed go into Tupperware. Check the Dollar Store for really cheap brand-X Tupperware (Dollar Bills, Dollar Tree, All For One, etc.)

Also garage sales, the Salvation Army and Goodwill thrift shops, etc.

She doesn’t necessarily have to dump the Bisquick or pasta out of its box into the Tupperware, which is messy and time-consuming and destroys the recipes on the back of the box. She can just drop the whole box intact into the Tupperware, if it’s big enough. Or she can clip off the recipes and drop them in there with the loose Bisquick.

She can also put smaller items, whole, into big Ziploc baggies, especially the ones they have now with the square bottom like a grocery bag, can’t think of what those are called.