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Old 01-16-2012, 02:27 PM   #11
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When my husband first started making pasta from scratch, we hung it and tried to get it dry before boiling. Then we realized it was totally unnecessary. We kind of stretch it out on the counter, lightly floured, and it sits there while I'm making the sauce or whatever sides. I give it a toss now and then so what drying takes place does so evenly. A shake to get rid of excess flour, and into (lots of) highly boiling water. I will say that I never store home made pasta, I use it all, so if it is stored, it is already cooked and in its sauce/dressing.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:42 PM   #12
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I do not dry my pasta either. But then I usually make very little, enough for 2-3 meals, and keep it in the fridge. But I do have a rack where I put the bread after it's baked to cool, I think that would work to dry pasta too.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:57 PM   #13
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I would be leery of a method that you thought had quickly dried pasta. It would be disasterous to leave the slightest moisture in the core. It can take hours to days, depending on how thick the pasta is. And environmental humidity is a factor. Your dried pasta typically would have been made with semolina(durum) and water.* No eggs. Dried pasta is not just fresh pasta that has been dried. So the two are quite different. The regional division of Italy into dried vs. fresh began mainly according to where durum wheat would grow.

*Definitely try different flours. APF and Italian "00" are alternatives that have different characters and different ease of working.

Most recipes for the American market call for just flour, salt and eggs. Semonlina does make a stronger pasta. but it is sold in the supermarkets in small bags or containers. Can become very expensive.I use a two to one ratio of APF and Semolina. I have used both the Italian recipe of just Semonlina and water, and the American with the eggs. I prefer the American. Easier to work with, tastier macaroni product.

I used to live around the corner from a small plant that made for sale their own pasta and stuffed dumplings. Ravioli, etc. The owner from Italy, told me that the wheat grown in this country is far superior to what is grown in Italy. She only uses winter hard unbleached wheat flour. (The south likes the softer spring wheat) In spite of her heavy acent, we had a nice conversation and she offered to give me some lessons in making pasta by hand. I took her up on it. She taught me the volcano method. The flour right on the mixing board with the eggs in the middle of the volcano. Fortunately I am a quick student. Today I use my mixer.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:05 PM   #14
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I make mine in the food processor. It's so easy to judge the hydration by how it goes around. I don't dry it often. When I want that texture, I just make it up with flour and water and mix semolina as part of the flour, because it's an effort for me to find it also, making just enough for that night.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:58 PM   #15
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I was thinking a hair blower might work. How else do they make curly pasta anyway? I am reminded too of an original Julia Child tv episode where she wanted to make some carmel birdcages for a cake top decoration. She simply balanced a broom handle across the backs of 2 kitchen chairs and had at it and tossed hot carmel that streaked and spun down in long threads and then when it slightly firmed up and cooled, but not hard stage, she bent it up into the shape she was trying to achieve. When I buy "fresh" pasta at the store, it's all in a nice round even bundle like that. I guess a wooden dowel, coat hangers and especially, the wooden clothes dryer thingie that takes up space in the basement would be better, cleaned before use, that is.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Claire View Post
When my husband first started making pasta from scratch, we hung it and tried to get it dry before boiling. Then we realized it was totally unnecessary. We kind of stretch it out on the counter, lightly floured, and it sits there while I'm making the sauce or whatever sides. I give it a toss now and then so what drying takes place does so evenly. A shake to get rid of excess flour, and into (lots of) highly boiling water. I will say that I never store home made pasta, I use it all, so if it is stored, it is already cooked and in its sauce/dressing.
I did that today, the sprinkle with flour and toss it around a bit. Worked a treat. The excess flour just fell off. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:19 PM   #17
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You need to either soak those dowels in bleach or cover them to keep the finish from transfering to the pasta. The dowels on the clothes dryer are stained to keep the splinters down. Broom handles that have been painted are fine. The paint covers the wood. Even if you get wood that has not been treated, a lot of wood has natural resins in it. Like pine. I have a large clothes dryer that I got from stacksandstacks.com many years ago. It is all metal covered with white plastic. Works fine for pasta and clothes drying.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:26 PM   #18
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You need to either soak those dowels in bleach or cover them to keep the finish from transfering to the pasta. The dowels on the clothes dryer are stained to keep the splinters down. Broom handles that have been painted are fine. The paint covers the wood. Even if you get wood that has not been treated, a lot of wood has natural resins in it. Like pine. I have a large clothes dryer that I got from stacksandstacks.com many years ago. It is all metal covered with white plastic. Works fine for pasta and clothes drying.
Sounds like mine. I have used it for drying pasta many times.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:34 PM   #19
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I did that today, the sprinkle with flour and toss it around a bit. Worked a treat. The excess flour just fell off. Thanks for the suggestion.
I prefer to use cornmeal and save the flour for baking. It keeps the macaroni from stickiing together.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:39 AM   #20
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Please, don't hate me, but I feel the patriotic need to behave like a sort of encyclopedic pest here...
About pasta, in Italy we basically have two different products: dried pasta (we call it just pasta) and fresh pasta (pasta fresca or pasta all'uovo).
Dried pasta (from big large scale producers, like Barilla or Buitoni, and from small producers, which sometimes are more careful about the selection of wheat varieties), which is made with flour made from "grano duro" wheat variety (Triticum durum wheat), grown in southern and central Italy. This is the classic spaghetti, penne, farfalle, and so on kind of pasta.
Fresh pasta is a different product. The difference is not simply in the dry/fresh alternative, but in the fact that it is produced with a softer kind of flour, made from the Triticum aestivum wheat variety, which is grown mainly in northern and, again, central Italy, with or without eggs. The most diffused pasta fresca types we use in Italy are lasagna, tagliatelle, fettuccine and many kinds of filled pasta, like ravioli, tortellini and agnolotti, just to name a few.
However, to add further confusion (we're Italian after all ), we also make home made "pasta fresca" with grano duro, too, for example to make orecchiette (Puglia region), strangolapreti (Naples), cavatiddi (Sicily), malloreddus (Sardinia) and so on. And to drive you mad, you can also find industrial made "pasta all'uovo", which should be pasta fresca, well dried and sold in commercial packages…

Ok, now I’m going to prepare some good old spaghetti all’amatriciana!
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