I have a couple of questions for you experienced homemade pasta makers out there.
Recently, my best friend/cooking buddy and I spent the most marvelous Saturday afternoon. We made homemade pasta for the first time. After years of talking about how we must do this, he bought the pasta attachment for his Kitchen Aid and the ice tray-like ravioli maker and we were good to go. We made quite the project out of it: two different dough recipes, different cooking times, three different ravioli fillings and three sauces.
All in all, we were pretty satisfied with our first attempt. Marcella Hazan's dough recipe was the clear winner. I'm sure we'll continue to experiment, but for now, hers is the control.
One thing we need to work on is the texture of the pasta around the seams. While the top and bottom parts of the dough were silky and properly cooked, the seams were chewy. Adding a minute to the cooking time helped, but didn't eliminate it altogether. We were both loathe to cook them any longer, as the bulk of the pasta surface was nicely cooked and we didn't want that to get gluey. Note that this was less marked in Marcella's pasta, which had a higher egg:flour ratio than the other recipe.
We glued the seams with an eggwash, as every source we consulted directed. But I'm wondering if the protein from the eggs might have contributed to the chewiness. Recently, I watched Lidia Bastianich making hand-formed stuffed pasta, and she used plain water for her glue.
Another thought we had was that the dough might have taken a bit of a beating with the ravioli form. You know, where you fill the little wells, and then use the little rolling pin to close everything up and cut the raviolis. Might we have had a differerent result if we'd hand-formed the raviolis instead, an experiment we discussed but just forgot to do in our giddiness?
Or, is there another explanation?
Thanks for your help.
bolivianita: While we got both doughs very thin, I do think that we got Marcella's the thinnest. It just handled easier than the other dough recipe we tried. Since the chewey seams were less marked with her pasta, the thickness may have played a part. Something to pay attention to in Round 2. Thanks.
I don't use 'glue'. I make mine by hand - have always wondered about the tray and rolling pin thing thinking it would make life easier but have never bought it! Making by hand does mean that you can press the seams together thoroughly and as a result the pasta at the seam is the same thickness as the pasta covering the filling so it cooks in the same time. It sounds to me like the chewyness problem is caused by the pasta at the seam being thicker than the pasta covering the filling - does the rolling pin situation just seal the edges and cut or does it actively roll the thickness of the pasta down at the seam so all the pasta is the same thickness?