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Homemade pasta tips?

Hello all,

Earlier today I made homemade pasta for the first time following Marcella Hazan's recipe - tagliatelle w/ bolognese was a great Sunday evening dish; I only wish I hade made more of it! I was quite pleased with the results but can't help thinking my technique could use some refiniment, so I've been browsing through some of the old CH posts on homemade pasta and have come up with a couple questions:

- Hazan's recipe doesn't have a rest period after kneading the dough and my dough seemed to get a bit fragile toward the thinner stages; would adding some resting time eliminate this?
- I used good old unbleached AP flour - does cake flour or 00 produce appreciably different results?

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  1. I'm not familiar with her recipe. I always rest the dough for a bit , it lets the gluten and gliaden relax and then they stretch in the same direction better
    Check out other flour options too, Something with some semolina in it would make a great product

    1. I, too, am not aquainted with the Hazan recipe for pasta dough. I notice that a lot of recipes are just egg and flour, but in the recipe that I have been using I always add a tablespoon (more or less) of olive oil. The dough is just pliable enough, handles and rolls out easily and always cooks up very quickly with good texture. I use a pasta machine for rolling out. Does anyone else add a touch of oil to their recipe?

      Also use part all-purpose flour and part semolina.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Lisbet

        Adding olive oil helps, but really the key is in using semolina over all flour.

        1. re: Lisbet

          The Hazan recipe is just 1 cup flour to 2 large eggs; she specifically recommends AP flour for both its resulting taste and texture. I'll have to try adding olive oil and see what the differences are.

          What's a good semolina to flour ratio to try?

          1. re: moglia

            It's difficult to say just how much semolina. I like 1/3 semolina and 2/3 of all-purpose flour. Just try a bit of experimenting. Semolina is a hard wheat and gives a gluten to your recipe.

            Here is a good sebsite to use as a guide for technique and proceedure:


        2. i like 00 flour with semolina added. no olive oil ever for me. resting is essential. my italian mother always used 1 egg to 1 cup of flour and would add additional yolks as necessary. her pasta rocked and now so does mine!

          1. I use Marcella's recipe. I think the key to any pasta is to keep dusting it (and the wheels of the pasta maker) with flour as it thins out. If I keep the pasta well floured, then I don't have problems with it splitting apart, even without resting.

            1. Likewise I like to rest my pasta. I also like 1/3 semolina to 2/3 regular flour.

              1. Based on my Italian Grandmothers recipe, I use regular all purpose flour and eggs. No oil, no salt. I do let the dough sit for about 15 minutes or so under an overturned bowl or in a ziplock bag. One trick I learned from her is this: If the dough starts to get too thin as you get to the last adjustment on the pasta machine, instead of running it through the last setting, run it through the second from last setting twice. Also I do use a lot of flour sprinkled on the rollers and the dough as I work.

                1. I use Mario Batali's recipe and he says to let the dough rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling. My pasta gets too thin on the last setting as well, I think I'll try the above mentioned tip, thanks!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: izzizzi

                    I remember seeing an episode of Molto Mario where Mario stressed that he puts his pasta through EVERY setting twice, not just the last one. Sounds more time consuming but probably worth it. Now I just need to figure out how to make the dough not so grainy!

                    1. re: roasted138

                      Twice, we do sometimes 4 or 5 times for the first setting, but twice for the rest.

                  2. In looking around for different ideas on the subject, came across this website:


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Lisbet

                      I found this site for the first time a couple of months ago, searching for something new to do with halibut. Good site.

                    2. Depending on what I'm doing depends on whether or not I use the last setting on the machine.I normally work on the basis of if you can 'see' your fingers through the dough, it's thin enough. I normally use 00 flour or a 00 and semolina flour mix (all semolina is pretty dense) and I do put oil in my pasta, most of the time. I find the 1 egg, 1 cup flour mix, plus extra egg yolks to be richer than I want for most dishes but that is a very personal decision. I like a lot of Sicilian dried pastas that do not contain eggs though... (It's far lighter)

                      1. I usually use 1/2 semolina and 1/2 durum because I like the pasta to be chewier. I also use a stand mixer. I break a dozen eggs into the bowl, add a little olive oil and salt and then just keep adding flour until the dough hook picks up the ball. I always let it rest at least 1/2 hour.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Den

                          Get your hands a little dirty and work it with your hands :)

                        2. While I was living in Italy I found people were mixed on what kind of flour they recommended (0 or 00). I usually go for the "00", but I find AP to work fine in the States. I don't know anyone in the region that I live in (border of Tuscany/Umbria) who uses durum wheat (semolina is ground durum) at home. Traditionally the durum is used in commercial brands, and if you do use the durum, all durum flour is not created equal. Be sure to buy the good stuff (and new stuff).
                          I think that Lidia Bastianich in "Lidia's Family Table" has an excellent description of how to make pasta, and I use her "poor man's pasta" over and over again. Just as a tip, you want to use a pasta that is a bit thicker for a tagliatelle, linguine or pappardelle, than you would for a lasagna, or one that you would fill like a ravioli. fayefood.com