Made Too Much Pasta For Dinner? Save It For Tomorrow's Soup

Boiling too many noodles for your pasta is a common occurrence. It's an easy thing to overestimate. When you have leftover pasta noodles but don't want to eat pasta for two days straight, consider recycling your leftover pasta into tomorrow's soup. Soups are easy to throw together regardless of whatever extra veggies and meats you have in the fridge, and pasta only serves to make them an even heartier meal.

Once you realize you boiled too much pasta for dinner, wait before you pour sauce over everything. Even if you do want pasta two days in a row, noodles store better in the fridge when they are not doused in tomato sauce. The best way to save leftover pasta is in an air-tight container — a plastic bag or lidded container will do — separate from extra sauce to ensure the noodles don't become soggy and unusable for soup. To prevent them from sticking to each other, add a small amount of melted butter or olive oil to the container and give it a toss. Your pasta noodles will be fresh for up to five days after first storing them, and they will be ready to add to any soup you make.

Types of pasta for different soups

Although there are no strict rules for what types of pasta noodles go in which soups, there are some pairings that go better than others. For instance, if you have leftover spaghetti noodles, consider chopping them up into bite-sized lengths and using them for a chicken noodle soup reminiscent of that from your favorite can. Short tubed noodles, like macaroni or ditalini, are great for tomato-based soups with a vegetable and bean mix, like a minestrone soup. These kinds of pasta match the size of chopped veggies and beans and will blend seamlessly into each bite. If you made too many stuffed tortellini, try adding them to a creamy recipe like sausage and kale soup for a rich and cozy meal.

Some noodles are also very versatile shapes, like orzo and farfalle. Orzo pasta is so small that it fittingly incorporates into the background of most all soups, and farfalle is a medium shape that can provide a pasta-y bite. For any soup with a clear broth, like lemony stracciatella soup or spicy Italian wedding soup, farfalle and orzo are great options. Since the pasta is leftover and already cooked, it can be the last thing you throw into the soup before serving it.