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My homemade pasta looks a little grey!

Carbear99 Apr 30, 2009 11:36 AM

Made homemade pasta with eggs on Monday and it's looking a tad grey.. is this normal? Any thoughts? I was planning on using it this evening.



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  1. shaogo RE: Carbear99 Apr 30, 2009 11:45 AM

    I have never experienced grey pasta in the 30 years I've been making homemade pasta. Could it be a mold/mildew? Is there any reason you didn't just dry the pasta for use later?

    2 Replies
    1. re: shaogo
      Carbear99 RE: shaogo Apr 30, 2009 12:12 PM

      First time making homemade pasta, I figured it would be fine for a few days in the fridge... I didn't even think of drying it. I just took a look at it again... it's definitely not mold or mildew, it just has a greyist/beigy tinge, maybe it's the normal color, it still is golden, with just a bit of grey or beige tinge.

      1. re: Carbear99
        pikawicca RE: Carbear99 May 3, 2009 07:53 AM

        Did you, perhaps, use a new pasta machine? They are usually coated with a light film of industrial oil that needs to be removed before you use it for the first time. This would definitely turn your pasta grey.

    2. c oliver RE: Carbear99 Apr 30, 2009 12:23 PM

      I'm a total newbie to pasta making but I tried to refrigerate just overnight and it definitely had a color change (seems like it had a grayish tinge but can't really remember). It looked so unappetizing that I threw it out. Seems like I got advice here that pasta doesn't really hold overnight. To either use it or dry it or, as in ravioli, freeze it. Again, don't take my two cents worth to the bank.

      1. chef chicklet RE: Carbear99 Apr 30, 2009 02:27 PM

        Eggs do not keep more than a day, or two max once cracked and mixed with other ingredients. They deteriate very quickly. I have had this happen with my pate brisee that has eggs, and crepe batter. And of course pasta with eggs, it also will turn.
        Fresh pasta does not keep,or you simply can freeze it. You just need to use it right away is all.

        1. Den RE: Carbear99 Apr 30, 2009 02:39 PM

          Could be chef chiclet is right but I never leave my fresh pasta out w/o freezing it. As I make it, I portion it out on trays and when a tray is filled it goes right into the freezer which works the best for me.

          1. a
            adamshoe RE: Carbear99 Apr 30, 2009 03:54 PM

            According to Hazan, "fresh pasta should never see the inside of refrigerator!!" If you dry your egg pasta thoroughly, either in little "nests" w/ lots of flour, or better still on drying racks, it has never gone grey or moldy on me yet. I was leery about the raw egg, too. But have never gotten ill from my pasta. adam

            1 Reply
            1. re: adamshoe
              walker RE: adamshoe May 1, 2009 02:20 AM

              Yes, in her book she says your can dry it and leave it in your cupboard; I have not tried this yet, have you? Anyone??

            2. gmm RE: Carbear99 May 1, 2009 07:14 AM

              I had the same experience just last week. I used King Arthur unbleached white flour, eggs, salt and a little olive oil. Didn't want to spend the time to roll all of it out at that moment. Rolled out about half and cooked it, wrapped the other half of the dough in plastic and threw it in the fridge. The next day it was a very unappetizing gray. I've used semolina instead of flour in the past and not had this happen.

              8 Replies
              1. re: gmm
                c oliver RE: gmm May 1, 2009 07:41 AM

                Good to know about the semolina. And it rolled out and cooked okay also?

                1. re: c oliver
                  gmm RE: c oliver May 1, 2009 06:48 PM

                  It did. I used Bob's Red Mill Semolina.

                  I would have used it this time around but the opened bag had been sitting in my cupboard for a while and smelled off. Probably should have kept it in the fridge.

                  1. re: gmm
                    c oliver RE: gmm May 1, 2009 06:51 PM

                    So DO you think it should be refrigerated? Other flours also? Boy, there sure is a lot to learn about this whole dough thing :)

                    1. re: c oliver
                      gmm RE: c oliver May 3, 2009 02:56 AM

                      The leftover semolina dough? Definitely refrigerate. Given my failed attempt last week, I don't think I'd try to keep any pasta dough made with regular flour.

                      1. re: gmm
                        c oliver RE: gmm May 3, 2009 07:11 AM

                        Sorry. I meant do you recommend keeping the semonlina flour itself in the fridge?

                        1. re: c oliver
                          Den RE: c oliver May 3, 2009 07:21 AM

                          I buy 50# bags of durum and semolina for my pasta and keep it in plastic containers in my basement (55 to 60 degrees) that hold 25# each.

                          1. re: Den
                            c oliver RE: Den May 3, 2009 07:30 AM

                            Holy cow!!!!! I bought one little bag - maybe a pound? Since we turn our heat UP to 60 when we get up in the morning, that's equivalent to your basement :)

                          2. re: c oliver
                            gmm RE: c oliver May 3, 2009 07:44 AM

                            Oh, right - yes, I should have kept the semolina in the fridge. I usually do refrigerate or freeze any flours or grains that I don't use regularly, but I neglected to do so in this case. This site has storage info on several kinds of different flours.


                            I don't know exactly how old my semolina was, but it was definitely more than a few months old. I could tell it was past its prime just by the smell of it.

                2. jfood RE: Carbear99 May 1, 2009 02:55 PM

                  Pasta and the calendar turn every night.

                  Make the pasta and cook it the same day. Jfood only kept it in the fridge once overnight. New batch needed to be mixed the next day.

                  1. alwayscooking RE: Carbear99 May 1, 2009 03:01 PM

                    Agree that pasta is best made and eaten immediately. The remaining dough can be rolled, cut, and then dried under cloth overnight and then stored. Not as tasty but can be used within a couple of days.

                    I once left my unrolled dough in plastic in the refrigerator (lazy and tired) and pulled to use on the second day - it was grey. And so I tossed it and learned my lesson that it doesn't take that long to finish a small project (or to make less dough!)

                    1. m
                      mlglov21 RE: Carbear99 Nov 9, 2013 11:45 PM

                      I recomend using durum wheat flour. Its not as fine as bakers flour or plain flour. Durum flour is taditionaly used in quality italian fresh pasta/s. Simply rolling, cutting (to the desired type)and drying the pasta will give the best 'reuse' result.
                      I am a chef and have 7years experience in italian cuisine.

                      1. c
                        cook72 RE: Carbear99 Feb 5, 2014 03:27 PM

                        I refrigerated my egg pasta dough (2 c all purpose flour + 3 yolks & 2 eggs) and used some of it the next day and all was fine. But, when I took out the remaining dough I had had in the refrig for 2 days, it was gray-green on the outside, but not on the inside. So, I cut off the green and used the remainder. It made very good pasta. However, from now on, I'll either use it all up or cut and dry and store at room temp in a tightly sealed container. That has worked in the past.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: cook72
                          walker RE: cook72 Feb 5, 2014 05:00 PM

                          I read in an Italian cookbook (can't remember which one) that you should not add salt to the dough, that it's the iodine in salt that make it turn gray after a while. Maybe that's why Marcella Hazan's recipe does not have salt in it. (I was putting some, anyway .. will not do that in the future.)

                          1. re: walker
                            cook72 RE: walker Feb 5, 2014 06:13 PM

                            You could always add iodine-free salt and see if it is the iodine. My recipe was one from Mark Bittman for frazzoletti.

                            1. re: walker
                              ElsieB RE: walker Feb 6, 2014 07:10 AM

                              I read in a Chinese cookbook that salt in dumpling dough would make it turn grey on the outside if left in fridge overnight.

                          2. h
                            HillJ RE: Carbear99 Feb 5, 2014 08:24 PM

                            Its the eggs. I make homemade pasta quite often , and they can even be refrigerated for a day but u will soon start to notice that the color changes. The longer it stays refrigerated , the darker it gets.

                            The eggs will cause the darkening of the dough especially the dough wasn't used in the same day or the day after. Freezing is a great way to keep dough, such as pasta dough, for longer periods of time. But if they are kept out or not frozen you will soon see them darkening.

                            Pasta needs to be dried and used, or dried, cut and made into little nests and frozen.

                            Also, using a small amt. of citric acid, keeps the egg from turning pasta dough grey.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: HillJ
                              jammy RE: HillJ Feb 6, 2014 09:35 AM

                              HillJ is right. It's the sulphur in the eggs. That's the same grey ring you see in overcooked boiled eggs.

                              1. re: jammy
                                cook72 RE: jammy Feb 6, 2014 01:33 PM

                                Hmmm, guess I should use the dough and call it colored pasta. Has anyone used the gray dough?...my gray-green color was only ~1/4" thick coating on the outside..

                                1. re: jammy
                                  greygarious RE: jammy Feb 6, 2014 06:24 PM

                                  Yes, but the sulfur is ONLY in the whites. You might try using just yolk.

                                  1. re: greygarious
                                    HillJ RE: greygarious Feb 6, 2014 06:40 PM

                                    You can make homemade pasta without eggs, with just the whites or just the yolks. But the whole egg is my family's preference and how I was taught by my Italian sister in law. I've experimented under her guidance and she recommends the whole egg. We usually make a large batch of pasta, cut and dry into portions and freeze batches that also helps set the color.


                                    1. re: greygarious
                                      jammy RE: greygarious Feb 6, 2014 07:12 PM

                                      From OpenLearn:

                                      "The green-grey colour surrounding the yolk of a hard boiled egg (and the rotten smell of sulphur that often accompanies it) comes from the reaction of iron in the egg yolk and sulphur in the egg white. When heated, the two combine to make green-grey sulphide and hydrogen sulphide gas."

                                      Thanks for pointing out the sulphur is only in the whites. I didn't realize the colour was a reaction of iron and sulphur together.

                                      I learned something new today that I thought I already knew. :)

                                      1. re: jammy
                                        cook72 RE: jammy Feb 6, 2014 08:29 PM

                                        1. Does the reaction of the iron and sulphur require heat to produce the green-gray color....my pasta got green-gray without heat (from refrigerator)

                                        2. Shouldn't this reaction have occurred throughout the dough? If so, then the dough should be colored throughout...mine was only gr-gray on the outside 1/4"

                                        I'll have to check some of my Harold McGee books...maybe tomorrow.

                                2. s
                                  sr44 RE: Carbear99 Feb 5, 2014 09:24 PM

                                  Are you using bleached or unbleached flour?

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: sr44
                                    cook72 RE: sr44 Feb 6, 2014 05:05 AM

                                    I am not sure, but I usually only buy unbleached flour.

                                    1. re: cook72
                                      sr44 RE: cook72 Feb 6, 2014 06:46 AM

                                      I've been using unbleached flour for many years now, and have noticed the graying reaction chiefly when I make pie crust and store it overnight or longer. A bit of Googling shows a few discussions of this phenomenon. It's not the eggs, and it's not mold or mildew.

                                      1. re: sr44
                                        cook72 RE: sr44 Feb 6, 2014 07:43 AM

                                        I do the same thing and I've never noticed any graying. But then again, I make the quick oil-milk dough with but a bit of salt. And that has kept many days in refrig, though I tend to use it right away, since it is so easy to prepare.

                                        1. re: cook72
                                          sr44 RE: cook72 Feb 6, 2014 03:54 PM

                                          Do you think the milk and oil do a somewhat better job of coating the flour, thus protecting it from the air, than water and fat?

                                          1. re: sr44
                                            cook72 RE: sr44 Feb 6, 2014 08:33 PM

                                            I really don't know. I use the milk+oil recipe because it is fast and my family is happy with the results. For pies, I sometimes also add 1T. sugar to the flour.

                                            1. re: cook72
                                              sr44 RE: cook72 Feb 6, 2014 10:23 PM

                                              I suppose I could grit my teeth and see if ATK has an answer.

                                              1. re: sr44
                                                cook72 RE: sr44 Feb 7, 2014 05:28 AM

                                                I have access to their web site, so save your teeth and I'll do the gritting!!! My daughter used to work for them.

                                                I'll also check with S. Corriher's "Cookwise"...one of my favorite cooking references.

                                                1. re: cook72
                                                  sr44 RE: cook72 Feb 7, 2014 06:44 AM

                                                  Thank you! I think Shirley Corriher also wrote Bakewise which I may be able to get to at the library if I can get the driveway shovelled.

                                                  1. re: sr44
                                                    cook72 RE: sr44 Feb 7, 2014 09:56 AM

                                                    I checked her Cookwise and there was nothing. So, I'm going to see if I can email her with the gr-gr pasta question. Where are you? I'm in DC area and no snow :-(

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