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January 07, 2007

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Kuri

I've also recently tried homemade pasta for the first time, but I had a different problem - when I had it all laid out (uncooked but not dried yet either) as you show in your second last photo the noodles stuck together quite hard. In fact there were a few clumps that didn't break apart during cooking (even with lots of water and lots of stirring, etc.) Perhaps my dough was actually a bit moist, meaning heavily noodles?

I was tempted to build some sort of 'tree' structure to hang the noodles so that they don't touch and won't stick next time and now I see yours all scrunched together....

Brigitte

Kuri - try using a baking sheet sprinkled with a good amount of white or semolina flour. I usually make a layer of pasta, then use either foil or a mildly damp dish cloth, and lots more flour to keep the pasta from sticking. The other method is by using a hanger to 'hang' the pasta. But I usually find that dries it out too much, and lends itself to broken pieces.

Also - Stephanie - Congratulations on making your first pasta dough. My first turned out much worst. Now, though, I use the food processor to make the dough. If you don't overprocess, it makes it perfect every time, and takes less than 15 minutes. I use one egg per cup of flour, a little salt, and a little olive oil... and process for about 15 seconds. Once you get the hang of it, it literally can be whipped up in no time.

Anyway, I wish I had been there to eat!! There's nothing better than fresh pasta.

Stephanie Beack

Kuri, mine didn't stick together because of step 6 above. I spread the sheets out on cooling racks and yes, over the back of two chairs BEFORE cutting them. They were good and dry before I ran them through the cutter and the strips on the outer edges were so flaky most of them crumbled. But, the strips in the middle were perfect. You could also spread them out as Brigitte suggests but I do warn against using too much flour-- then the pasta would be dry and doughy.

Brigitte, thanks for the idea. I will definitely try the food processor too. That's what the dough setting is for, I guess! :-) Since I'm new to big appliances, going manual after my first flop felt like putting on old jeans...

Yvo

Mmmm looks delicious! I've realized I'm anti-making-dough-products. =( I love pasta though. I saw on someone else's site that they didn't have (or didn't want to use?) pasta making things so they just made a basic (their words, not mine!) pasta dough recipe and rolled it out, then used a knife to slice it into a fettucine-like strip. it looked really rustic which worked for his recipe, mmm.

aardvarknav

I've tried making pasta by hand, using the mixer, and the food processor with many of the same results commented on. I finally went to making the dough in a bread maker using the dough cycle. I get good, consistent dough everytime. I roll it out using the pasta machine. I originally hung the strips over cabinet doors until my kids bought me a cheap wooden cloths drying rack. I usually make flat dumplings, so using a pizza cutter works better than a knife for cutting the dumplings.

Stephanie Beack

Yvo, you can definitely improvise and make it more rustic, use knives, etc. Sometimes fully manual turns out better results, I think.

Aardvarknav, Welcome to Scrumptious Street! That's a great idea too, thanks for sharing. I am maxed out on small appliances storage space but will keep it in mind. The clothes drying rack is a great idea, I have one but didn't use it. I certainly will next time. You and I have similar technique for dumplings, too.

Helen Rennie

Hi Stephanie,

Your pasta looks gorgeous. I love the idea of adding arugula!

One of the reasons your dough needed an extra egg might have been the way you measured flour. A standard "cup" is 4.5 oz, and I can never get that with dry measuring cups -- it always ends up being more. I use a scale to measure it, which seems to work better. When I used to measure flour with cups, Marcella Hazan's recipe seemed to be just right (she suggests 2 eggs per cup of flour), which is about what you ended up using. But as long as you found proportions that work for you, you are all set and can now make pasta any time (or any time you have an extra few hours ;)

Cheers,
-Helen

Lisa (Homesick Texan)

Play-doh is right! The one and only time I tried to make pasta (it was some fancy-pants recipe calling for saffron), the dough had the consistency and color of yellow Play-Doh. I rolled it out by hand and no matter how hard I pressed, I couldn't make it thin enough. It tasted good, but was quite toothsome. I need a Kitchen Aid mixer!

Stephanie Beack

Helen, thanks so much. Your notes about measuring are completely true as well. I got a great scale over the holidays and so will work this out using that instead of cups. The trick with the eggs is excellent!! THANK YOU for sharing that tidbit.

Lisa, it's definitely an art and science combination! The kitchen aid attachments are awesome and I love the kitchen aid for other things but didn't find it necessary for the pasta, specifically. You could just get the hand-crank pasta machine too and do it manual up to rolling out the dough if you're conserving storage/kitchen space. Even with my bigger than ever NY kitchen, that Kitchen Aid is HUGE. It's currently sitting on top of my wine rack since I have no where to store it... John Boos butcher block/cart anyone?? :-)

Veron

This looks great! Hubby and I used our Kitchen Aid for making pasta one time and it really turned out well. Nice looking mixer :).

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