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Jul 28, 2009 10:27 AM

Homemade spaghetti clumpy after cooking - suggestions?

I made a recipe in this month's F&W for Pasta with sizzled Sage (it was delicious BTW) .. I make a lot of homemade pasta but rarely use it as spaghetti - almost always in sheets for lasagna or canneloni.

I made the recipe in the F&W which is an egg pasta - ingredients were

7 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cup AP Flour

In my Kitchenaid mixer I mixed the Flour with the salt and added the egg yolks - it said to mix at medium speed until the dough resembled wet sand about 1 1/2 minutes. Well almost instantly it formed a ball so I stopped mixing.

Did my usual kneeding and rolling using the Kitchenaid - rolled it out to the thinnest setting and cut it for spaghetti. All was fine - lightly dusted with flour and it didn't stick at all while I prepared the rest of the recipe.

After you fry the sage leaves in butter (I used clarified) you cook the pasta (it cooked really quickly) and then toss the pasta with the butter the sage was cooked in and some reserved cooking liquid. This is where the pasta started to clump - not badly but I couldn't get any kind of separation to coat the strands.

Oddly enough it didn't affect the flavour or enjoyment of the dish - it didn't stick so much that it was gluey - but it was difficult to twirl on a fork so we ended up kind of cutting it into big pieces and forking the pieces......the pasta was quite delicious and very light.

I had some left over so I dried it for a day and tried again - slightly better but still not at the fork twirling stage.

Any suggestions? I have tons of fresh sage in the garden and so enjoyed the flavours - want to serve to guests this weekend and would prefer the pasta be better.


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  1. Sounds like your pasta dough was too wet. Is it humid where you are? That will affect it too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Phurstluv

      Toronto - so yes and it was humid that day......also the eggs were very large so maybe I'll knock it back to 6 egg yolks to start with. Thanks!

    2. I find that the thinnest setting (8?) on the KA is just too thin for spaghetti. I usually stop @ 5 or 6 and then cut for spag. For fett. and ravioli I ususally stop @ 7. adam

      1 Reply
      1. re: adamshoe

        Yes it was 8 - the recipe said to go to the thinnest setting (this is probably the first time I have followed a recipe this closely!) - so I'll knock it back to 5 or 6 - like you I usually stop at 7 for sheets


      2. Update - attempted this recipe again this weekend with much better outcome.

        Added 6 eggs yolks (reserving 7th if necessary) - it was the stiffest pasta dough I've made but I resisted adding the 7th yolk and it rolled out just fine.

        Rolled it to the #6 position and cut with the spaghetti cutter - and one cooked it was much easier to toss with the sauce and we were able to twirl it with a fork.

        Thanks to all for your suggestions!

        1. Factory (dried) made pasta and home made (fresh) pasta are different animals and yield different results.

          Fresh pasta is stickier and more absorbent that hard pasta. Most italian recipes take that into consideration and pair them with condiments based on these dynamics.