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Mar 9, 2008 10:10 PM

Fresh pasta - help!

I've begun making fresh pasta. I'm doing pretty good with it, but the pasta that I get has a texture more like egg noodles than like pasta. It's missing the "bite" that pasta typically has, and has the "slippery" noodle-y-ness that you get with egg noodles. Can anyone suggest how to get more pasta-like texture from fresh pasta?

Here's what I do:

3 cups flour / 2 eggs (water if needed)
Knead, fold over itself 4 times through pasta machine
Then thin out

I don't let the dough rest at any point (unless there's time between cutting it and dropping it in water).

Thanks in advance.

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  1. 1 - If you're using only two eggs for three cups of flour, I can only presume you're adding a significant amount of water. Don't use water at all. More egg, less flour. Of course it varies depending on your flour, the eggs and the humidity, but you should be using about 1/2-3/4 C. of flour per large egg... not 1 1/2.

    2 - Knead, knead, knead. How long are you kneading? If it's less than 8-10 minutes, it probably isn't enough.

    3 - Some recommend a rest (tightly wrapped in plastic) between kneading and rolling. I haven't noticed an appreciable difference, but YMMV.

    4 - When you're first starting to roll on the widest setting of the machine, ignore numbers and keep folding (I fold over three times -- right to the middle, left to the middle, roll). Keep going until it's firm and smooooooooooth. Baby skin smooth. Then stretch it out stepping down.

    1. Have you tried using semolina as part of the flour? Something like this recipe:

      1. We use a combo of AP, durum and semolina and it has the bite you're looking for.

        1. Why are you trying to un-re-invent the wheel? (Or something like that.)

          Fresh pasta and dried pasta are different things. Dried pasta is made with semolina. You'll burn out every appliance you own trying to knead that into proper water-dough, which is how dried pasta is made and you're "supposed to" get that texture. Fresh pasta, with eggs, is indeed "egg noodles" and meant to be that way. If you want the texture of dried pasta, why drive yourself nuts making an inferior version of your own instead of just buying a good quality product in a store? In short, save the fresh pasta for dishes where "it's supposed to taste like that" would be my suggestion...

          2 Replies
          1. re: MikeG

            Absolutely agreed, Mike, but I didn't take from the OP that s/he was looking for dry pasta bite from fresh pasta (I might've misunderstood). You can (and should) get a nice bite from fresh pasta well beyond that of run-of-the-mill packaged egg noodles.

            But Mike is right, binkis, you aren't going to get nearly the kind of bite you get with dry, packaged pasta and you shouldn't try (if that is, indeed, what you were attempting). You don't have the equipment for it and it isn't meant to be that way, anyway.

            1. re: Dmnkly

              I understand what you're saying, but I'm not going for the bite of dried pasta. When I'm at restaurants that make their own homemade pasta, it definitely tastes like pasta, and not like noodles.

              Thanks for your thoughts.

          2. my basic fresh pasta recipe is 100g or 1 cup of soft flour and 1 large egg and a little olive oil. Using the well method combine to form the dough. You may or may not need all the flour, it just depends. When I last made pasta I replaced 1/3 of the soft flour with semolina. Gave it a little more body but not much. Dried pasta is really different. Also don't over cook your fresh pasta. It takes so little time. I aways pull mine before it's done and toss into the "sauce" or other ingredients so it can gain some flavor from the other condiments.