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Jan 13, 2007 08:27 PM

Reposting - how to dry pasta noodles in a "nest" without sticking

I am not understanding something on how to dry homemade pasta noodles, e.g. fettucini.

Several web postings say to loosely curl them into a "nest" to dry but if I do they turn to a sodden mush. If I try to dry them enough ahead of time (over the back rung of a chair), they are not flexible enough to curl and they break.

It does not seem to matter how much I flour them.

I'm baffled.

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  1. Are you doing fresh egg pasta with all purpose flour, or semolina with just water? I have had good luck drying semolina pasta in nests. Fresh egg pasta I usually hang for brief drying...just until I get the rest of the batch made. I have made floury "nests" (more like mounds) of fresh egg pappardelle and other wide noodles, but not dried for storing.

    1. hi. i used to grapple with the same problem until a pal came over and set me straight. first, make sure your pasta is the right consistency going into the machine. i usually roll itthrough the machine a few times, let it sit a bit to dry and then put it through the fettucine setting on my ancient machine. don't let them overdry before nesting them. it takes a few times to get the hang of it but once you get it right, you'll be knocking yourself on the head! it's hard to put into words but i sort of grab it very loosely and wrap it around my hand. don't overthink it and be as natural as possible.

      i throw some flour or semolina on them and give them sort of a little shake and to be sure they are separated.

      buona fortuna! let us know how you do!

      p.s. last time i made them i left them on my table to dry and my chesapeake bay retriever ate them all.

      1. I am making egg nooles with a mix of white flour and semolina. I will try the techniques. Thanks!

        What did you mean, Potterstreet, when you said "shake them to make sure they are separated?" They will be in contact with each other when loosely looped into a nest.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SkipII

          i think potter meant to fluff with the flour...i usually toss my nests with flour in my hands and this seems to work

        2. The dough should be very stiff and dry so when it's rolled into sheets and cut, it isn't sticky at all. Instead of using flour, use cornstarch. It is much better at keeping the strands separate, unlike flour which is absorbed. It's what all Chinese use when making noodles to make sure nothing sticks.

          1. It does sound as if your pasta dough is too moist to start with. Cut back a little on the mositure or add a bit of flour. Flour's moisture content fluctuates with the amount of humidity in the air. It's not always going to work with a set formula.