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Scott -- DFW

The Fresh Pasta Topic

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I didn't get around to making pasta the night I wanted to and have determined that for an after work dinner, it may be too much. Especially since I am easily distracted lately. But, after seeing these results and reading the instructions, I think this weekend I may be freezing some pasta.

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I definitely second the recommendation on Moby's eGCI course (link up there ^). I quit trying different pasta recipes after I tried his.

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I just tried making pasta for the first time and I found my pasta came out too chewy. Not smooth, silky, or light.

Making the dough was fine (I used about 2 1/2 cups flour and 3 eggs), rested, and I rolled it by hand. Cut out strips and hung to dry on a broomhandle for about 20 mins. Cooked for 3 mins.

I think the problem may have been in either the dough consistency or my rolling it out. The dough was rolled out quite thin but I don't know if it was as dry as some others describe.

Perhaps someone could offer some advice?

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well, this thread inspired me to read Moby's course and that inpsired me ...

gallery_21505_358_1105542229.jpg

they are GREAT. the sweetness of the peas, the saltiness of the cheese, and the soft chewy firmness of the pasta... mmm..

(one thing though.. be prepared to take out the vacuumcleaner when you're done.. I had semolina everywhere)

Chufi - WOW! Gorgeoous and delicious too I'm sure!

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I just tried making pasta for the first time and I found my pasta came out too chewy. Not smooth, silky, or light.

Making the dough was fine (I used about 2 1/2 cups flour and 3 eggs), rested, and I rolled it by hand. Cut out strips and hung to dry on a broomhandle for about 20 mins. Cooked for 3 mins.

I think the problem may have been in either the dough consistency or my rolling it out. The dough was rolled out quite thin but I don't know if it was as dry as some others describe.

Perhaps someone could offer some advice?

M. Lucia, how did you mix the dough? describe the process. How long did you knead it? :rolleyes:

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I broke the eggs into the flour and mixed them with a fork. I encorporated the rest of the flour with my hands, though there was some leftover flour that didn't encorporate. I kneaded for about ten minutes, until smooth.

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Chufi - that was a great idea. I'm going to try that one myself - as I always have some peas around, and otherwise have to wait until March or April for the first good favas.

I just tried making pasta for the first time ... and I rolled it by hand.

Perhaps someone could offer some advice?

I've tried rolling it by hand a couple of times - and failed horribly. The problem is that (a) you have to be INCREDIBLY profficient - it's not like rolling pie dough, because of all of the gluten making it elastic, and (b) there's actually a trick to rolling the dough, and stretching it with your hands - in two directions - simultaneously! You can find a diagram of the method in the older Marcella Hazan books. It is very difficult to do it evenly - hence your pasta being slightly chewy. The dough is cooking at different rates. Really, you have to be a Northern Italian Grandmother to even contemplate that sort of skill level.

Once you've done it 20 or 30 times, you might just do it to your satisfaction (well, it would take me that long at any rate).

As to flour types, I find - as Sam I think mentions - that unless you have some skill in controlling it, using harder durum wheat tend to make the pasta a bit gummy. Rolling the Typo '00' dough thinly, and cooking it only for 1-3 minutes, depending on how long it's been hanging around, gives a smoother mouth feel, with a little bite to it.

What's changed for me, with experience, is that I now roll the pasta thinner, and cook it for less, than I did for the first year of my pasta making. The problem is that most of the pre-made 'fresh' raviolis (blechblechblech) and tagliatelles, papardelles etc that you buy in shops are made with a substantially thicker dough than you would want. This is purely to make them sturdier in order to stand up to the industrial process. Don't do it!


Edited by MobyP (log)

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I would like to make use of my Kitchen aid mixer that I got for Christmas and the pasta maker that I bought a year ago.  I'm thinking pasta is on the menu for this evenings dinner.  Does anyone have a recipe that works everytime.  The last time I made fresh pasta I wasn't that impressed with the recipe, although it could have been the technique.  All help appreciated.

hi i'm new to te site. well i think that when it comes to pasta i think people are very inside the box thinkers. flour and egg is the staple. basically i simplify it down to this. if it has guten and you add liquid to it and make a dough... you can make a pasta. in your kitchen aid have you flour, durum flour, durum wheat, or whatever. and add you liquid, wether it be egg, water milk, juice, veggie puree of some sort and mix it. if it's too loose and wet add more flour, if it's too dry and more liquid.

edit: of course there are steps you can take to truly perfect it but for everyday consumption this is unnecesary.


Edited by chef koo (log)

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I would like to make use of my Kitchen aid mixer that I got for Christmas and the pasta maker that I bought a year ago.  I'm thinking pasta is on the menu for this evenings dinner.  Does anyone have a recipe that works everytime.  The last time I made fresh pasta I wasn't that impressed with the recipe, although it could have been the technique.  All help appreciated.

hi i'm new to te site. well i think that when it comes to pasta i think people are very inside the box thinkers. flour and egg is the staple. basically i simplify it down to this. if it has guten and you add liquid to it and make a dough... you can make a pasta. in your kitchen aid have you flour, durum flour, durum wheat, or whatever. and add you liquid, wether it be egg, water milk, juice, veggie puree of some sort and mix it. if it's too loose and wet add more flour, if it's too dry and more liquid.

edit: of course there are steps you can take to truly perfect it but for everyday consumption this is unnecesary.

Chef koo, It's so nice to see you here! You're right, it's so true that your ingredients can vary a whole lot and that different things are going to give you different results. Some want to master pasta making in order to recreate a wonderful pasta experience they had once. Others want to understand the nuances of the various pasta making traditions by region or all over the world (the northern Chinese do some wonderful things with pasta...), others want to make their own pasta to control the ingredients for dietary reasons (for example I was making home made whole hard wheat pasta without oil or egg while following the Montignac plan), or simply to understand the ingredients they've got in the cabinet. Still others want to get pasta quick and easy on the table! Oh you'll find all types here. We would love to hear any ideas or recipes you found particularly interesting. :smile:

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Chufi - that was a great idea. I'm going to try that one myself - as I always have some peas around, and otherwise have to wait until March or April for the first good favas.

A great stuffing is pea, spring onion and lettuce, pureed together, with maybe some parmesan added in. The sweet pea and the slightly bitter lettuce balance each other's tastes nicely.

I've tried rolling it by hand a couple of times - and failed horribly. The problem is that (a) you have to be INCREDIBLY profficient -

....

It is very difficult to do it evenly - hence your pasta being slightly chewy. The dough is cooking at different rates. Really, you have to be a Northern Italian Grandmother to even contemplate that sort of skill level.

Plus you really need to develop the muscles needed to roll the dough by hand. Those Northern Italian ladies, who work as sfoglina -- she who rolls the sfoglia, i.e. the pasta sheet-- have biceps a body builder could be proud of. I tried to roll pasta myself under the supervision of one of those ladies once: let's just say that after a while she moved me by side saying I was too scrawny... an adjective nobody had ever used referring to me in the last 20 years :biggrin: .

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well, this thread inspired me to read Moby's course and that inpsired me ...

gallery_21505_358_1105542229.jpg

they are GREAT. the sweetness of the peas, the saltiness of the cheese, and the soft chewy firmness of the pasta... mmm..

(one thing though.. be prepared to take out the vacuumcleaner when you're done.. I had semolina everywhere)

Chufi - WOW! Gorgeoous and delicious too I'm sure!

ditto, those look excellent. how do you form your ravioli. I've been having a terrible time of it. I looked at moby's lesson too, yet my ravioli always come out misformed. also i waste alot of dough.

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A great stuffing is pea, spring onion and lettuce, pureed together, with maybe some parmesan added  in. The sweet pea and the slightly bitter lettuce balance each other's tastes nicely.

ahh, that is a very good idea. Because mine really were very sweet - they needed a lot of salty pecorino to balance the sweetness. It would be better if the balance was already more in the stuffing.

Luckylies, about how I shaped the ravioli, these things are so hard to explain in words. I recommend you check out Moby's course mentioned upthread, where you see it all explained in beautiful pictures.

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A great stuffing is pea, spring onion and lettuce, pureed together, with maybe some parmesan added  in. The sweet pea and the slightly bitter lettuce balance each other's tastes nicely.

Great idea. What kind of lettuce? And do you puree all the ingredients raw, or par-cooked?

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A great stuffing is pea, spring onion and lettuce, pureed together, with maybe some parmesan added  in. The sweet pea and the slightly bitter lettuce balance each other's tastes nicely.

Great idea. What kind of lettuce? And do you puree all the ingredients raw, or par-cooked?

I often use Romain, it really depends on taste though. You want something that has a hint of bitterness, maybe even a bit more than that just as long as it does not become too much.

Peas and lettuce are braised together: I first make a little spring onion soffritto, add the chopped lettuce and shelled peas (OK, I'll admit it, more often than not frozen ones) stir a bit then add some white wine and maybe a little chicken stock. When the peas are done, I strain most of the liquid out, puree everything with the stab blender, add some parmesan to taste and adjust the consistency with the leftover liquid if needed. You could strain everything through a tamis if you wanted an even smoother filling.

I usually serve these with crispy pancetta or diced prosciutto and butter.

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That's a very serious and, as far as I can tell, completely original approach. I'll try it soon.

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That's a very serious and, as far as I can tell, completely original approach. I'll try it soon.

Moby,

completely original it is not. I got the idea from Gualtiero Marchesi, one of the most important Italian chefs of the 80s. He mentions the idea in a book of his about gastronomy: no recipe whatsoever, though coming up with a satisfying one was much easier than I thought.

Let us know how they come out.

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I often use Romain, it really depends on taste though. You want something that has a hint of bitterness, maybe even a bit more than that just as long as it does not become too much.

Sounds like curly endive or escarole might work. I've often found that they stand up to braising well.

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Bumping this up to ask about saucing your fresh pasta. I'm trying new recipes for sauces for fresh linguini and/or spaghetti (when I have more time, not a work night, I'll be filling ravioli or tortellini). What are people's tried and true recipes? Feel free to include everything, from basics to more involved.

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I made one the other night that was fantastic. Thinly slice garlic, shallots, red wine....reduce, throw in 2 garden fresh tomatoes diced, dried thai pepper, fresh corn, prawns, red pepper, capers, and fresh basil. Tossed with capellini, it was light and flavourful. Sprinkle with Parmesan and it was wonderful meal.

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Glad this was resurected. I notice that I was a contributor and would like to update my "recipe". The past few batches of fresh pasta have been made with no bench flour. I have maintained the 2 to 1 ratio of unbleached flour to cake flour, added two eggs and whizzed in the FP. While operating, I have added water almost by the drop to form a very stiff mix. Then cover the mass with a bowl for ten or so minutes. The first cranks in the manual machine produces a crumbly product, but bu the third or fourth pass it becomes more pasta like. Then, as before, I do two passes per setting and one at the last. Hang it on the back of a chair for fifteen or so minutes and pass it through the rollers.

There now is no cleanup at all.

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With filled pasta (meat or cheese), I am still enamored of the simplest recipe of all, butter with sage. I'd seen this simple "sauce" mentioned for years and only tried it after reading in Matt Kramer's cookbook "A Passion for Piemonte" that it is his wife's favorite sauce for his homemade pasta.

It's not much of a recipe--melt good unsalted butter, add lots of fresh sage cut into chiffonade, cook over moderate heat until it just reaches the point where the butter starts to brown, add cooked pasta, toss to evenly coat, plate, top with a bit of grated parm. A friend added an inspired addition--a garnish of a fried whole sage leaf. You can do them well in advance, it makes for a great presentation and is DELICIOUS.

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I made a pretty simple "carbonara" (in the Calvin Trillin, not-trying-to-be-authentic-anything mode) from Boar's Head bacon, shiitake, sugar snap peas, bit of garlic, cream, and parm reg, using a very black peppered fresh spaghetti. Plopped a fried egg on top of the whole business, too, just to be sure that we had all of the different animal fat bases covered.

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Here is the recipe I use. 3 cups of semolina, 4 eggs, 2 tbs of olive oil and abour 3-4 tbs of water. You can either knead it by hand in a bowl or do it in the processor. Tried it for the 1st time a couple of weeks ago and worked pretty well. Makes a very tasty pasty.

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The recipe I use is

1 3/4 cups AP flour

9 egg yolks

1 tsp milk

2 tbsp olive oil

I also do it by hand the old fashoned well way. I find food proscessor doughs way too tough, but know many chefs who swear by it.

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