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Old 10-29-2004, 08:55 AM   #1
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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!

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Old 10-29-2004, 11:00 AM   #2
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How about posting a pic of the pasta drying machine?

Or better still, the plans? I might like to have a go at making it, then I can dry my own 1/2 wholewheat pasta and store it. Some others here might like to too.

You are welcome for the help. I have posted the basics of filling the ravioli. Depending on the feed back, I might supply some more recipes.

And if you want I will deal with gnochi. It took me a LONG time to get to grips with them. That was because I doggedly tried to follow the recipes, which do not work, instead of starting again from the beginning and designing it myself. I expect your engineer son could comment on that.

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Old 10-29-2004, 12:10 PM   #3
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I'll try to remember to get a shot for you, Darkstream. I just discovered that the batteries are dead in my camera and are now recharging....

In the interim, he took two 24-inch lengths of 1-inch half-round and two 18-inch lengths, cut 45-degree miters at each corner, then glued the rectangular frame, held with right-angle clamps, and allowed to dry. Next, he predrilled holes into each corner, then reinforced the joints with small-diameter, approximately 1-1/2-inch screws.

He stapled the stainless mesh to the underside (flat) of the half-round moulding, then attached lathing strips that he had ripped to 1/2-inch width by predrilling and securing with much shorter versions of the same thin screws.

He then cut four 2-inch wide discs from one-inch-diameter dowels (sorry, I was wrong about the half-inch in my previous description) and secured one of these "feet" at each corner of the frame. He obviously drilled from the top of the frame into the "feet", because the heads of the screws are on the top.

It's really well done and I look forward to posting a "brag-book" picture as soon as I can!

Bring on the recipes, Darkstream! I posted under your ravioli thread, but would reinforce here that I would deeply appreciate your tutelage on freeforming some shapes. Gnochi is more than difficult and I've little doubt can only be accomplished through lots and lots of practice. ANY tips and advice (and recipes, ahem) offered will be met with a squeal of joy!!!

Deepest thanks!
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