A Long-Overdue Thanks to Darkstream...!
Forgive me, please, for the time it has taken for me to offer my sincere thanks for the wealth of information you provided me, Darkstream, on the making of pasta! I now can boast of tender fettucini and linguini, and delicate but INTACT ravioli! I have been most successful in incorporating herbs into my pasta and we very much enjoy the additional and subtle flavors that imparts! My focus now is on learning how to make those rather confounding hand-shaped pastas -- right now, that is tortellini and gnocci (there's an art to that stuff!).
One of the greatest suggestions has made (I think) the most profound difference, which was to abdicate my food processor and start making the dough the way it's been made for centuries -- with my bare hands. After a while, it is amazing what the fingers can discern in terms of texture and readiness, if you will, of the dough.
I strongly recommend pasta-making wannabes like myself scroll down to my thread requesting help and start printing!
Thank you, sir, for your very kind assistance!
PS: I discovered an entirely new way of drying pasta! Instead of hanging the stuff over a rod or rack, I found a picture of a wire-mesh device online and had my son construct one from half-round moulding from Home Depot and stainless wire mesh. He did a masterful job of mitering the corners and added 2-inch-tall "feet" made from half-inch dowels. The device allows the pasta to dry very well and has eliminated the stretching and brittleness that I was challenged with before. He is (this week) my Golden Child!
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is Optional.