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Old 10-17-2005, 01:14 PM   #1
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Making pasta from scratch

I recently purchased a pasta maker. I quickly figured out how to use the thing, but the noodles just don't taste that good. I followed the instructions exactly as specified by the manufacturer. I use flower and eggs, and my mom suggested using salt to add flavor, but the noodles turn out kinda soggie looking and they just don't taste that good at all. What am I doing wrong or forgetting to add? Anyone have any suggestions or good recipes for pasta making? And how long should I boil the noodles for once I put them in the boiling water?

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Old 10-17-2005, 02:22 PM   #2
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I would suggest using Durham Wheat flour rather than baking flour. Durham Wheat is the hardest wheat variety and makes the best pastas. You may have to look around at various stores to find it, but it is worth the effort for wonderful home made pastas.
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:16 PM   #3
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What recipe do you use now?

A basic egg pasta recipe would be:
1 1/2 cups of flour
2 eggs
1/4t salt
2T extra virgin olive oil

It's important not to overmix the dough and to knead it until it is smooth and shiney and when cut in half, doesn't have any little bubbles in it.

Then you need to let it rest.

Fresh pasta cooks in maybe 2 minutes in boiling water.
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainsawxecutioner
...but the noodles turn out kinda soggie looking ...
In addition to using the right flour, you could try a little less water and a little more salt. If you're using an AP or softer flour instead of a harder flour, the amount of water specified by the recipe would bee too much. Harder flours absorb more water than AP or softer flours.
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Old 10-17-2005, 05:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainsawxecutioner
I recently purchased a pasta maker. I quickly figured out how to use the thing, but the noodles just don't taste that good. I followed the instructions exactly as specified by the manufacturer. I use flower and eggs, and my mom suggested using salt to add flavor, but the noodles turn out kinda soggie looking and they just don't taste that good at all. What am I doing wrong or forgetting to add? Anyone have any suggestions or good recipes for pasta making? And how long should I boil the noodles for once I put them in the boiling water?
Really need to see the recipe to add any constructive criticism.

Also if you mean that the machine makes and extract the pasta for you,then all I can say is I've never seen one that was any good,unless it's a full blown commercial unit.

Here's my standard recipe:makes 2 lbs

1 lb 2 ounces of plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of olive oil
4 eggs
6 yolks

place the flour,salt and olive oil in a food processor and
blend for a few seconds.Add the eggs and yolks and process until the pasta comes together in a loose ball of dough.Then knead by hand until the dough is even and smooth.Takes about 10 minutes.Run this through rollers
for further neading and then cut to your desired shapes.
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Old 10-17-2005, 07:03 PM   #6
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My two cents is to make sure the eggs are room temp. Don't know that it will change the flavour of the pasta, but does help to work with it.
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:42 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=chainsawxecutioner]I recently purchased a pasta maker. QUOTE]

If you mean that you add the flour,eggs etc in the top and out comes extruted pasta shapes out the side,then it's the machine for sure.These machines at least the home ones for a few hundred dollars are not capable of kneading the dough
long enough and with enough force,making a loose dough.

I would suggest you make the dough by hand then either using a hand crank pasta rolling machine or using the attachments for a mixer like the Kitch Aid,which I have and work wonderfully.
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Old 10-20-2005, 02:42 AM   #8
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Making Pasta

I make homemade pasta on a regular basis... If your pasta is "soggy" You either cooked it too long or your water wasn't at a rolling boil.... Did you salt the water liberally? By that I mean, after the water comes to a boil, did you salt the water untill it tastes slightly "briney"?
You can make pasta from regular flour but the taste is far more delicate... If I am making a dish say with seafood in it I will use regular AP flour otherwise I use Semolina flour which is a fine duram wheat... You can find Semolina in Italian specialty stores or I've found very finely ground Semolina in the "ethnic foods" section in a Mexican food store in my home town...
Remember, that depending on the size that you end up on the pasta sheet will also determine how long to cook it to al dente... As a rule of thumb, I think pasta can take anywhere from 3 - 6 minutes depending again on the thickness of the pasta sheet. But taste it first, there is no real rule for how long or short to cook pasta.

Just for ha-ha's let me give you my recipe for pasta:

5 large eggs
pinch of salt
2-3 C of Semolina flour aproximate
AP flour for dusting and kneading

Let your eggs and flours be at room temperature, beat the eggs and salt untill mixed and 1/2 to 1 Cup Semolina untill combined continue to add Semolina untill the eggs won't take anymore and it has formed a thick sticky batter (I do this in a bowl by hand -- it makes less of a mess in my tiny kitchen) Each day is different and you may need more or less depending on the humidity and the size of the eggs etc.

Put a generous amount of AP flour on your counter top and place your Semolina mixture on the flour. Proceed to knead in more flour untill the dough comes together and becomes smooth and elastic but no longer sticky.

Bring together in a ball and cover with plastic wrap or a bowl and let the dough rest on your counter or in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hr.

After the dough has rested for at least a half an hour proceed to devide the dough and roll out as usual.

Another hint: To ease the cutting of the pasta let the full sheets dry for a couple of minutes that way it won't stick to your knife or cutting attachment.

WARNING: This makes a large amount of pasta, but you can make a batch cut the dough in half and freeze the unrolled pasta dough.

I hope this works well for you let me know if you can.

Gnomesmom
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:53 PM   #9
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Chainsaw,
Follow the advice of these people. There is nothing I can add except to persevere.

Your pasta dough must be fairly stiff and it is imperative that you do not overcook it.

I do not put anything in my pasta beyond eggs & hard flour, no salt or oil. Occasionally I've had to add a little water, but hey, "life's tough". Everybody is entitled to a mistake or two.

My rule of thumb is: Weigh your eggs, add double the weight in flour and you should be very close.
e.g. For 2 X 55gm eggs add 220 gms flour.

Allow the dough to rest before making the pasta.

After making your pasta allow it to rest & set.

2 minutes at the boil max.

My personal view is that commercial pasta is for the birds. I don't like it since I've been making my own.
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Old 10-20-2005, 10:05 PM   #10
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They're all right - all I can add is keep on keeping on! It's the most marvelous stuf in the world and you are going to spoil your family rotten with it and they will love you forever!


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