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The Fresh Pasta Topic


Scott -- DFW
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I use Keller's TFL recipe (found here). So simple, but the texture is so luxurious.

vice, do you make the dough by hand as opposed to machine also ?

I am wondering if I can make it a mixed with a dough paddle ?

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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I love making pasta, don't do it often enough. Mainly because I'm too lazy to clean off the long counter that I need to do so...

I also never cared about the not square end parts, who's measuring their pasta on the plate? I'd probably show them the door, :laugh:

Alfredo - the original - is fantastic. Uses a truckload of butter, but it's oh so good! No cream, thanks. just parmesan and butter. Some magazine, I think Sauveur or La Cucina Italiana - had an article about this a while ago, including pictures of them preparing the dish at the table side at the restaurant where it originated. Lots of butter on a serving platter, add noodles and cheese, toss with golden spoons I think.

I love to make "stained glass" pasta too, where you put small parsley/oregano/thyme/what have you leaves on half a rolled sheet, fold it over and run it through the machine again. I usually hand cut that into large lasagna style pieces. gorgeous to look at and oh so good! A bit of butter, parmesan, and some fava beans sauteed in butter with a touch of garlic - heavenly :-)

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"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I know that plenty of kinds of noodles and pasta don't contain eggs, I just wondered if it was more difficult to make such pasta - most home-made pasta I have come across seems to be the eggy kind.

Not that I recall, from years ago, but I think the dough was a little harder to work, and again you can influence that with oil etc. (In case it was unclear, my pph that followed the one you quoted above concerned why I believe egg pasta is so common at home: preference for the richer flavor and more luxurious texture.)

vice, do you make the dough by hand as opposed to machine also ? I am wondering if I can make it a mixed with a dough paddle ?

FYI lack of a mixing machine is not a great burden. Mixing the dough by hand is a little more work but not much (and a roller machine finishes the job, therefore requires less kneading, for a given result, than if the whole process is manual, in my experience.)

Some magazine, I think Sauveur or La Cucina Italiana - had an article about [Alfredo style] a while ago, ... at the restaurant where it originated. ...toss with golden spoons I think.

Oliver, your "stained glass" suggestion sounds brilliant and versatile. ("Pasta al Oliver?" :-)

(N.B., as a student of food history I want to stress that Alfredo and his restaurant -- which, along with more history than most references show, is in the link I included in first post -- didn't invent that preparation at all, it had been in Rome for centuries. He did do it in a stylish way, with good ingredients, and he helped popularize it internationally, particularly in the US, acc. to the sources in the link.) Alfredo de Lellio's own golden utensils were confiscated later by the Fascisti, in their effort against capital flight (which tends to happen in dictatorships) -- acc. to the Romagnolis' US Italian cookbook, IIRC.

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I know that plenty of kinds of noodles and pasta don't contain eggs, I just wondered if it was more difficult to make such pasta - most home-made pasta I have come across seems to be the eggy kind.

Not that I recall, from years ago, but I think the dough was a little harder to work, and again you can influence that with oil etc. (In case it was unclear, my pph that followed the one you quoted above concerned why I believe egg pasta is so common at home: preference for the richer flavor and more luxurious texture.)

Thanks, that seems to be a reasonable deduction. I wonder if there are specific techniques that make it easier, or do you need years of skill and practice?!

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I love making fresh pasta - but my machine seems to have a problem when I get to the thinnest divisions.. I have a Weston hand operated pasta machine that I got from the local rest. supply store... The problem is that when I get to the last two divisions, the dough seems to pull to one side causing a pile-up and my rectangular sheet becomes a rounded triangle... I keep meaning to contact the factory but never get around to it. Any suggestions?

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I use Keller's TFL recipe (found here). So simple, but the texture is so luxurious.

vice, do you make the dough by hand as opposed to machine also ?

I am wondering if I can make it a mixed with a dough paddle ?

It's a pretty stiff dough compared to a bread dough, so I doubt the dough hook on a KA would be effective (and could possible overwork the motor or gears). Something like the Electrolux DLX may be another story. Perhaps someone who has one and has used it to knead pasta dough will chime in.

That said, I like the hand-kneading. The transformation of the dough from a sticky, shaggy mess to a silky smooth ball is rather remarkable. Also, for what it's worth, Ruhlman seems to knead considerably less than Keller recommends, usually calling on his blog to "knead just until it comes together". I've never done a side by side, but I'll try to the next time I make fresh pasta.

 

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Another variation: Spelt is an ancient wheat variant long cultivated. It's an excellent food grain, even for some people who can't eat bread wheat. It's useful gastronomially too: Part or all spelt flour in egg noodles imparts a subtle heartiness that I find unique -- different from whole wheat, buckwheat, or rye. It goes beautifully with meat dishes. (Hand-rolled spelt noodles were my reintroduction to fresh noodle making.)

I used this variation in a comfort-food casserole dish. Egg noodle dough (this time half spelt, half semolina), rolled rather thick (#5 on the Atlas rollers). Large noodles hand-cut from the dough sheets, boiled until barely or not quite cooked; fetched from the water with a handheld strainer. Tossed, in a deep glass baking dish, with light chicken velouté sauce, grated Parmesan, chunks of leftover roast-chicken meat from the day before (the rest of the bird had simmered overnight for the chicken stock that was the base of the sauce), and a little fresh-ground pepper. Into a hot oven until bubbling and brown on top (half an hour). Good hearty food like grandmas of many countries used to make (and cheap, and not too much fat).

For an everyday velouté I simmer meat stock and add, rather than cream, canned evaporated milk with some cornstarch worked into it; salt and maybe white pepper to taste. A little simmering cooks the starch (for the dish above, the sauce should not be too thick, about like "whipping" cream.) Use say half as much evap. milk as strong meat stock. The milk behaves like light cream in cooked dishes, gives similar flavor with somewhat less fat, and is very easy to keep on hand. (Not to be confused with "condensed" milk, which in the US denotes added sugar.)

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I use Keller's TFL recipe (found here). So simple, but the texture is so luxurious.

vice, do you make the dough by hand as opposed to machine also ?

I am wondering if I can make it a mixed with a dough paddle ?

It's a pretty stiff dough compared to a bread dough, so I doubt the dough hook on a KA would be effective (and could possible overwork the motor or gears). Something like the Electrolux DLX may be another story. Perhaps someone who has one and has used it to knead pasta dough will chime in.

That said, I like the hand-kneading. The transformation of the dough from a sticky, shaggy mess to a silky smooth ball is rather remarkable. Also, for what it's worth, Ruhlman seems to knead considerably less than Keller recommends, usually calling on his blog to "knead just until it comes together". I've never done a side by side, but I'll try to the next time I make fresh pasta.

Great and please tell how it turned out.

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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I've recently started using my old pasta maker again (a Marcato) after several years of dormancy. So far I've had the best results starting with the procedure in Bugialli's Fine Art of Italian Cooking. I only mix the ingredients just enough to make a ball, then let it rest for a while, then run it through the machine. A few passes at the #1 setting is usually enough kneading. I cheat and use the outboard motor, which leaves the hands free for guiding the dough.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Ciao Ragazzi!

I make a lot of fresh pasta and I almost never use my pasta machine/cutter. I find I can process more dough with a large rolling pin rather than feeding through lots of strips. Although I love the loop idea. It's just quicker to roll out a big sheet and hand cut it.

The type of flour that you use will determine if you can get away with not using eggs. If you don't want to use eggs, then you need a hard wheat flour, like durum wheat. It makes a gorgeous, soft, supple dough and it dries beautifully.

I also hand knead, much quicker to clean up than cleaning up a machine. I've also found that after you finish kneading, roll the dough into a ball and then wrap it very tightly with saran wrap and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. It seems the pressure helps the hydration process and its much easier to extend the pasta.

I know it sounds very retro to do it all by hand, but I've found it just works out quicker in the long run.

Fresh pasta also freezes very well, get into the freezer asap, in a plastic bag or container and you have fresh pasta at a moment's notice. I'll usually make up a kilo or so and pack it into 200 or 300g packages. If I was a really good Girl Scout, I'd also label the bags, but hey, no one is perfect.

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On Saturday, I bought two ducks, portioned them to breasts and legs, made confit, ate a breast and froze the rest, made stock, a pot of rillete, and today plan on making a nice noodle soup with the stock and the left over picked off meat.

My plan was to make my regular noodle, one egg, white flour, whirred in a food processor, rest, then # 5 fettucini on a marconi.

I'm willing to be encouraged to refine this noodle. Due to my wifes recent bread making obsession I have just about every flour you can imagine, even spelt, but I don't have rice flour (I don't think). So, any suggestions on what kind of noodle?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm going to be giving fresh rice noodles a go following this recipe. The rice is soaking as I type, the Ultra Pride grinder is good to go, and I'm trying to figure out how to do the steaming given the equipment I've got. Any ideas, warnings, etc?

Chris Amirault

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Chris, thanks for linking to the discussion of the Ultra Pride grinder, I missed that thread.

I've been making fresh egg pasta for years now. It really is worth the effort and not hard, once you get the hang of it. One thing I've discovered, as I've moved around and have had to source ingredients in new cities, is how wildly different so-called pasta flours are. My favorite is the ultra-fine durum flour often labeled "00" flour. Beware the coursely ground durum flours often sold as pasta flour. At least for handmade pasta, it's unworkable.

Another variable is the egg:flour ratio. My standard is Marcella Hazan's recommended 1 cup flour: 2 large eggs. But if you crave extremely rich pasta dough, then hunt down Matt Kramer's A Passion for Piemont for his description of Piemontese pasta, tajarin, which uses 30-40 egg yolks per kilogram of flour. I've never tried it, but it did convince me to add a couple of extra egg yolks to my basic pasta recipe--delicious, but a little trickier to roll out because it's so soft.


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2c jasmine rice with 2 c water, soaked for 5 hours:

4087405263_2155af0fa1.jpg

Into the Ultra Pride:

4088162946_43f5098ede.jpg

After 12 minutes, smooth as silk:

4087405521_915063ecf3.jpg

A little over 3c:

4088162656_916c06449a.jpg

The colors are a bit off, but here's what it looked like when I placed ~1/2c of the batter into a well-peanut-oiled cake pan that had been prewarmed in the steamer:

4088162760_1d587b2d23.jpg

After 5 minutes of steaming:

4088162594_9af25d5748.jpg

I kept oiling the surface, ladling over the top, and resteaming, until I ran out of batter and was left with this big cake:

4087405117_bd2b682fbc_b.jpg

The layers peeled pretty easily, it seemed:

4088162998_883f8def31.jpg

Used half the batch in a simple dish with greens, basil, green peppercorns, garlic, onion, shallot:

4087405461_157c7522be_b.jpg

A few notes:

-- The batter was, and thus the noodles were, a little bit too thick. Next time, I'd add a touch more water, to allow the batter to spread more effectively.

-- 5-6 minutes is too little in the steamer for this set-up, as the center of some of the layers didn't cook through. (The cake pans are thick Chicago Mettalic pans, which may be the culprit.) Next time, 7-8 minutes at least, and a poke in the belly to check.

-- I now know why industrial fresh rice noodles are so oily: without a lot of oil, pulling these things apart is a real pain in the keyster.

I'm not sure that I'm going to be making these every weekend, but given the sporadic availability of fresh rice noodles here in town, I think that, with a few tweaks, this is a manageable process using the Ultra Pride. Most of the time is unattended, save for the noodle separation just before cooking. And, though I'm a biased reviewer, they definitely seemed like they were more tender and less rubbery than the storebought ones.

Chris Amirault

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Beautiful rice noodles, Chris. I've never seen these made before, so a novice question: you add a new layer of batter on top of the previously cooked noodle(s)? So it's not like crepes, they're not made individually. Sounds tricky. Good job.


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Yes, that's right: you oil the surface and then ladle batter onto the top.

Seems like there are two methods. The one in the video to which I linked above calls for rolling the noodles out of the pan one at a time, whereas the text recipe in the link does the mille crepes thing. Not sure which is better; might give the other one a try next time.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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We do the rice noodles little differently. We grind the soaked rice just like you did. Then we take the batter and pour it in a oiled plate with about 1" wall. We put some wooden sticks between the plates and stack two or three plates. In a 5 qt pan with lid, we fill the bottom with 1/2" water and stack the plates. (you should raise the bottom plate using the slotted plate or a small dish filled with water.)

Let the batter cook for 10-12 minutes in steam. Check the center with a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean. Then we squeeze it though the noodlemaker and the rice noodles come out. YOu can season it 50 different ways.

Now we have a new machine called Sevaimagik (Sevai is the Tamil word for rice noodles). This is a pressure cooker modified for making the noodles. you pour the batter, cook it for 20 minutes without putting the weight valve on the top. Once the batter is cooked, you just drop the weight valve and within minutes, the noodles come out and get collected in the plastic tray. It is a real neat thing. I have given the link where you can see the video how it works.

http://www.innoconcepts.com/sevaimagic.htm

manufacturer's website - http://www.sevaimagic.com/

In this process we are not using lot of oil, so it is healthier. It is also very easy to make the noodles.

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Rice noodles would be good when you're cooking for people with wheat allergies.

I occasionally make pasta. I've never had a machine. You just need a rolling pin, a sharp knife and a lot of patience. I learned the summer I was 18. My cousin had just gotten the Fannie Farmer cookbook and was bored so decided to make ravioli. Neither of us had made it before. There was left over dough, so she made noodles from it. So that is the recipe I use today, usually with beef stroganoff.

Semolina pasta flour helps a lot. I use Red Mill.

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I use Keller's TFL recipe (found here). So simple, but the texture is so luxurious.

That seems like a lot of fat for pasta (6 yolks + 1 egg for 1-3/4 cups of flour), and it also seems very time consuming. How does it handle? I make pasta with one egg to 3-1/4 oz. (about 3/4 C) flour, plus a scant teaspoon of olive oil; I mix it in my food processor, knead it very briefly by hand and then run it through the pasta roller five or six times on the widest slot and it handles beautifully. No resting for 30 minutes, no kneading for 25 minutes. I'd say it's 20 minutes start to finish. Is the Keller recipe worth the time and effort (and egg yolks)?

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I use Keller's TFL recipe (found here). So simple, but the texture is so luxurious.

vice, do you make the dough by hand as opposed to machine also ?

I am wondering if I can make it a mixed with a dough paddle ?

It's a pretty stiff dough compared to a bread dough, so I doubt the dough hook on a KA would be effective (and could possible overwork the motor or gears). Something like the Electrolux DLX may be another story. Perhaps someone who has one and has used it to knead pasta dough will chime in.

That said, I like the hand-kneading. The transformation of the dough from a sticky, shaggy mess to a silky smooth ball is rather remarkable. Also, for what it's worth, Ruhlman seems to knead considerably less than Keller recommends, usually calling on his blog to "knead just until it comes together". I've never done a side by side, but I'll try to the next time I make fresh pasta.

I've used this recipe many times and somehow, I don't see how it'd work in a mixer. The texture just isn't mixer-friendly. If I'm making a big batch I'd usually use my stand-mixer to incorporate the ingredients then proceed to hand knead.

As regards Ruhlman's suggestion to knead "until it comes together" versus the hell long time (10 minutes) that Keller instructs us to do, I've found that it really does take around 10 minutes for the dough to achieve the level of elasticity that one is confident of passing through rollers smoothly.

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I make pasta with one egg to 3-1/4 oz. (about 3/4 C) flour, plus a scant teaspoon of olive oil; I mix it in my food processor, knead it very briefly by hand and then run it through the pasta roller five or six times on the widest slot and it handles beautifully. No resting for 30 minutes, no kneading for 25 minutes.

You can skip the food processor too, and not miss it, seriously. More about why, in a moment.

Since starting this thread, I've made egg noodle dough often with various combinations of semolina flour, good bread flour, rice flour, and spelt flour. (Of these, the most dispensible is the bread flour, whose wheat resembles that in the semolina flour I use, it's just cheaper. "Semolina," or half-milled, is a milling fineness rather than a grain type -- I assume that's widely known -- but in US is customarily made of hard high-gluten wheat.) Each flour contributes its characteristics. The more rice flour, the more plastic and less elastic the dough is, the softer when cooked, and the easier to overcook. I.e., the more like wide rice noodles, or fun -- which are very familiar hereabouts, with our huge Pacific-Asian immigrant population (dried and fresh fun are widely available in markets).

I too find one egg takes roughly 3/4 cup of flour, but it varies with the flour and the eggs, and I extend the eggs sometimes with water, to take more flour -- moving partially toward non-egg noodles. Like the Italian cookbooks I've read such as Marcella Hazan's, I don't add oil or other ingredients than those to regular pasta. Noodle dough is much easier to assemble than, for example, bread dough, because you don't have to get the mixture right at first. I lightly beat the eggs (and add any water), then add half or two-thirds of the expected flour. (Semolina is ideal in this step because the granules mix so easily.) Then I add more flour, stirring with a spoon or fork, until it's pulling away from the sides of the vessel. Dump the remaining flour on a surface (plate or waxed paper) and the uneven, still-sticky dough on top. Dredge dough in the flour a few times, folding, and within a few seconds the dough is dry enough to run through the wide-open rollers. It need not be uniform -- the repeated rolling and re-folding sees amply to that. Then I proceed like Janet above -- no resting, no major hand kneading. Once I start the 5-6 rolling passes (folding the tongue of dough each time to distribute the layers), if any stickiness shows, I just dredge in flour again before rolling. Thus the flour content naturally and exactly adapts to the liquid. Which is necessary anyway, when varying flour type, egg size, and of course additions such as water.

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I use Keller's TFL recipe (found here). So simple, but the texture is so luxurious.
That seems like a lot of fat for pasta (6 yolks + 1 egg for 1-3/4 cups of flour), and it also seems very time consuming. How does it handle? I make pasta with one egg to 3-1/4 oz. (about 3/4 C) flour, plus a scant teaspoon of olive oil; I mix it in my food processor, knead it very briefly by hand and then run it through the pasta roller five or six times on the widest slot and it handles beautifully. No resting for 30 minutes, no kneading for 25 minutes. I'd say it's 20 minutes start to finish. Is the Keller recipe worth the time and effort (and egg yolks)?

I use Keller's TFL recipe (found here). So simple, but the texture is so luxurious.

That seems like a lot of fat for pasta (6 yolks + 1 egg for 1-3/4 cups of flour), and it also seems very time consuming. How does it handle? I make pasta with one egg to 3-1/4 oz. (about 3/4 C) flour, plus a scant teaspoon of olive oil.

Let's compare. In order to make them equivalent recipes, we need to scale your recipe up to 1.75 cups of flour -- a multiplier of 2.4 (1 cup of AP flour weighing around 4.5 oz). So that makes your recipe 2.8 eggs and 2.8 tsp of olive oil to Keller's 6 yolks and 1 egg. As chance would have it, a large egg yolk and a teaspoon of oil contain the same amount of fat: 4.5 g. So, Keller's recipe contains 31.5 grams of fat and your recipe contains 25.2 grams of fat. The difference is only 6.3 grams of fat. Scaling back to your 3.25 ounce recipe, it would mean adding 2.625 grams more of fat (around a half-teaspoon of oil).

This is a difference, sure. The Keller dough is likely to be a bit silkier and richer. But it's not a huge difference.

I mix it in my food processor, knead it very briefly by hand and then run it through the pasta roller five or six times on the widest slot and it handles beautifully. No resting for 30 minutes, no kneading for 25 minutes. I'd say it's 20 minutes start to finish. Is the Keller recipe worth the time and effort (and egg yolks)?

Whenever I use an egg white for something (cocktails, etc.) I save the yolks in a container in the freezer. When this fills up, it's time for egg yolk pasta. In my experience, egg yolk pasta is far superior in terms of silkiness, richness, tenderness, strength and suppleness to whole egg pasta. It's everything you can say about whole egg pasta multiplied. I also think that well-kneaded and rested pasta dough has properties that are not possible with the "knead in the pasta roller" technique. Also, I would prefer to add fat to pasta dough in the form of egg yolks rather than oil. This is not to say that I don't use your fast technique with some frequency. But the richer, slower technique is definitely better IMO.

--

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... I also think that well-kneaded and rested pasta dough has properties that are not possible with the "knead in the pasta roller" technique.

I'm with you on the merits of eggs, Sam, but could you please elaborate on the difference you alluded to above?

I ask because I specifically do not see significant effects from resting or further hand-kneading the doughs beyond what I described above. In my experimentation (both recently and in past years) I've included those further steps diligently sometimes, noting the results, and what differences they caused were modest compared to other factors I find really noticeable -- variation of flours, and machine rolling vs purely hand-making the noodles.

What's important about hand-cranked rollers massaging the dough before thinning it to final thickness is that their eighth-inch aperture and irresistible torque work the dough more forcefully than hand-kneading does. Since the dough blob is re-flattened each pass, it's easily re-folded into multiple layers each time, which after 5-6 passes raises the refolding factor to the 5th or 6th power, yielding effectively thousands of laminated layers, which re-merge as soft dough. This and the compression to final size -- constantly pressing and flattening the dough along the same dimension -- account for some of the supple texture (so different from the result of, for example, forcing the same dough through an aperture). Also, between the time making and handling the dough, and the hour or so I dry it for easy cutting, there's plenty of elapsed time for the flour to fully assimilate the liquids; that time increases only marginally if I add a deliberate resting step. It's easy to conjure theories about why further resting might help, but the only serious demonstration of it would be a blind tasting of otherwise identical dough batches processed in the different ways.

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