Storing Fresh Ravioli in the Fridge - SOS Pasta Experts

4
1
Joined Dec 20, 2020
Hey all, new here and soo happy I found this community!

Over the years in commercial kitchens ive found myself gravitating to fresh pastas with much success.. However given the current situation (covid) ive found myself with a lot of spare time. My love for pasta pushed me in the direction of setting up an online pasta shoppe and too far its been super successful. However, im having issues ive never had before.

My ravioli are getting soggy/clumpy in the fridge overnight. In all my years of pasta production in commercial kitchens (walk-ins) ive never had this problem, in fact the coolers have been a blessing - they would aide in drying out the product and allowing them to hold for 2-3 days.

Heres the parameters.

- Home fridge/Consumer fridge
- Dough hydration is 37% (40/60 eggs to egg yolks)
- Dough mixture is 2:1 (2 parts 00 Flour to 1 part Durum Semolina)
- Fillings are mostly ricotta based however experiencing similar issues with drier filling such as meats
- Ample drying time at room temp (20-40 minutes including a flip over)
- Durum Semolina to coat (lightly) to prevent sticking to surfaces/each other
- Dough is hand mixed/kneaded
- Dough is machine (kitchen aide) rolled

Now sure I could freeze them, I don't want to but I could.. The whole premise is fresh pasta and I see/have visited tonnes of fresh pasta shoppes selling ravioli/tortelli in the displays and holding them for hours or up to 2 days with minimal flour both locally and in Italy.. was too stupid and excited to ask questions at the time.

The problem is, ive got too many order only plate I have to get a head in some cases and do some pastas ahead of time.

Any help or advice is massively appreciated.

FWIW on a reddit post asking the same question most people have eluded to the difference in airflow in a commercial walk in vs a home consumer fridge + moisture mostly attributed to other items in the fridge. Which upon further thought is a very likely scenario.
 
25
5
Joined Dec 13, 2020
Hi Chef, I am using similar process with you but for my pasta if I do a lot of fresh pasta I find that keeping in Walk-in chiller not longer than 2 days with flour bedding. the issue of getting soggy is because there is thermostat cut once temperature reached the setting then machine will stop same time with the fan that's the reason you got soggy dough. I have use chiller similar to wine chillers cause they are made to remove humidity other wise tradition air drying are still helpful. only concern is stuffing issue. especially ravioli or tortellini has to keep frozen due to HACCP standard. Hoping this help
 
772
280
Joined May 25, 2015
Now sure I could freeze them, I don't want to but I could.. The whole premise is fresh pasta and I see/have visited tonnes of fresh pasta shoppes selling ravioli/tortelli in the displays and holding them for hours or up to 2 days

I don't make my own ravioli but buy from a local who does. Fresh is made the same day I buy it. He also has the same that he freezes. When I buy fresh I prepare it the same day so I can't say what happens if I keep it in the cooler for any length of time. I wouldn't keep it more than a day without freezing- same as the guy who makes it. That way you lose little in quality.
 
64
20
Joined Nov 9, 2020
I wouldn't keep it more than a day without freezing- same as the guy who makes it. That way you lose little in quality.
I agree with Hal, the only way I've had any luck storing Ravioli long term (more than a day) is in the freezer. Otherwise it turns to this gooey mess, I'm uessing from the pasta absorbing moisture either from the filling or the latent moisture from your chiller.
 
4
1
Joined Dec 20, 2020
Hey everyone, thank you all for the feedback.

Last night I just had to do some R&D which is should've done more of in the first place. Elated to announce that I was successful.

- Let the Ravioli dry out on the counter a little longer.
- Adjusted hydration in the dough
- Roll out dough ever so slightly thicker
- Flat sheet pan with TONNES of semolina on the bottom - like cover the tray.
- no cover

So what this did is, it ended up drying out the product a little more than you normally would want BUT they are not gooey/wet, stuck to each other or the tray. I imagine that with a damp towel over top they would stay a little moister but all this really does is change the cooking time - which for my application is OK. The point was to retain a fresh product for the end user, which I think I accomplished.

Now that being said, no matter what the ravioli is still only going to have a MAX shelf life in the fridge of 2 days. Before it either starts to get super wet/soggy, goes bad, or dries out too much that it just becomes brittle. But for now, this is a major win compared to the results I was getting prior.

The MAIN difference is, I left them out in the open in the fridge... VS before, I was trying to get a head and packaging the product and leaving the boxes in the fridge.. This enclosed environment (even though the boxes are not %100 Sealed) is what was trapping moisture in the box and making them soggy - this was further backed up by the fact that the boxes would almost be "warped" from moisture the next day.

Thanks again all.. Hopefully this helps someone out who is experiencing similar issues.
 
1,196
735
Joined Mar 1, 2017
Welcome to CT. :)

Here are some old school tips and tricks for storing fresh pasta. Storing fresh pasta beyond 24 hours provides rapidly diminishing returns. Even the best methods are exercises in choosing the one that's the least bad.

1. Check the humidity of your fridge. Some models will have a humidity control. Some have drawers for veggies (high humidity) and for fruit (low humidity). Store your fresh pasta in the fruit drawer that has the lower humidity.

2. I don't mean to be obvious but, if your fridge has a humidity setting, adjust accordingly.

3. If none of the above, store your pasta in an overly large container but don't fill it more than half way. Place a small bowl or container of salt in with the pasta taking care to ensure the salt container is stable and doesn't spill. A container with a tight lid with holes in it works. Seal the lid on the large container and the salt will help reduce the moisture/humidity within the container.

4. Sprinkle the pasta with corn starch or flour.

5. You could purchase a desiccant dehumidifier for the fridge.

6. Throw a handful of uncooked rice in the container with the pasta. Rice loves to absorb moisture.

Good luck. :)
 
2,785
597
Joined Jan 4, 2011
.

Could you please explain for me the problem you have with freezing your ravioli.

Thanks in advance.
 
1,196
735
Joined Mar 1, 2017
.

Could you please explain for me the problem you have with freezing your ravioli.

Thanks in advance.
In the OP's original comment, they concede they could freeze the pasta but, the premise of their business is fresh pasta. So, they wanted info about how to store pasta without freezing it and tips on how to keep it from turning soggy in the fridge. :)
 
772
280
Joined May 25, 2015
In the OP's original comment, they concede they could freeze the pasta but, the premise of their business is fresh pasta. So, they wanted info about how to store pasta without freezing it...

Freeze it or store it in the cooler, what's the difference? If it's more than one day old you can't call it fresh.
 
4
1
Joined Dec 20, 2020
Welcome to CT. :)

Here are some old school tips and tricks for storing fresh pasta. Storing fresh pasta beyond 24 hours provides rapidly diminishing returns. Even the best methods are exercises in choosing the one that's the least bad.

1. Check the humidity of your fridge. Some models will have a humidity control. Some have drawers for veggies (high humidity) and for fruit (low humidity). Store your fresh pasta in the fruit drawer that has the lower humidity.
2. I don't mean to be obvious but, if your fridge has a humidity setting, adjust accordingly.

Sadly no Humidity control in my fridge.. its like the most basic of basic consumer fridges.. 1 knob for cold or colder lol otherwise this was my first inkling.

3. If none of the above, store your pasta in an overly large container but don't fill it more than half way. Place a small bowl or container of salt in with the pasta taking care to ensure the salt container is stable and doesn't spill. A container with a tight lid with holes in it works. Seal the lid on the large container and the salt will help reduce the moisture/humidity within the container.
This is a great trick to try!

4. Sprinkle the pasta with corn starch or flour.

Already smothered in semolina - corn starch is a good idea though.
5. You could purchase a desiccant dehumidifier for the fridge.

6. Throw a handful of uncooked rice in the container with the pasta. Rice loves to absorb moisture.

Good luck. :)
Both great ideas.. thank you!
 
4
1
Joined Dec 20, 2020
Freeze it or store it in the cooler, what's the difference? If it's more than one day old you can't call it fresh.
You're right, however think about it from the consumer stand point which is where im really coming from with this. IF you come to my store and I sell you a box of fresh ravioli %1000 im going to tell you you got to eat it same day... But we all know customers are not always like that.. and its going to end up in their fridge for a day or two. OR you get that customer that needs it for tomorrow night but can only get it today.. YES freezing it again is the obvious choice.. but again.. you're going to get that customer that will argue that's not fresh either/it changes the product..

And to further defend my argument I was the chef/owner of a VERY busy multi department retail space for many years that had bakery, patisserie, hot food, cold food, prepared foods, etc.. I have heard/seen this a thousand times before and dealt with all walks of life - retail changes you lol

So my argument is MOSTLY this: When the customer puts that box of pasta in their fridge, what happens and why and how do we prevent it. Because if a customer calls me and says "I put it in my fridge and it went soggy" whose fault is is? Mine or there's? The answer is not so obvious. and a product like this, you're going to get compared to shelf stable products.. "I bought x product at x store and left it in my fridge and it never does this".. so how do we rectify this?

On all my pastas I have an instruction card as a safety net so customer can't say I didn't tell them (pastas are kept in the fridge for 1-2 days or directly in the freezer)

Retail and restaurant are very different - you're dealing with a different end user. In a restaurant %100 I would freeze. and hell if it doesn't work out I may even freeze it for my retail but in the pursuit of this project I gotta try everything.
 
1,196
735
Joined Mar 1, 2017
Freeze it or store it in the cooler, what's the difference? If it's more than one day old you can't call it fresh.
I agree. I think OP's business plan defines "fresh" as "never been frozen," which is fine. They wanted some suggestions on how to keep the pasta from becoming soggy in the fridge. Iceman asked what the problem was with freezing the pasta? Frankly, I don't see any problem whatsoever with freezing it. :)
 
1,716
225
Joined Dec 23, 2004
It's not my restaurant but I'd be consider freezing them and calling them "housemade" instead of fresh. Pasta freezes pretty well and if I was eating there I'd be more concerned that it didn't taste old or have mold on it than if it had been frozen. Now fresh fish, that's another matter!
 
Top Bottom