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homemade pasta tips needed

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I purchased the roller/cutter set for my KA mixer. Last nite was my first attempt ever at making pasta, and i used recipe in KA booklet. The dough was stiff and crumbly, it took a lot of rolling w/ regular pin to get it thru KA rollers. I did kneading in mixer first. Tips on dough handling in booklet were not great.. I did add extra water and oil. In the end, it came out OK, we had linguini with sauce and meatballs. Firm, not mushy texture. Rolling and cutting was a little dry and crumbly still.
I am looking for tips on the dough handling, texture, recipe, etc. I was planning to make homemade ravioli for a dinner party next Saturday! I was thinking smoked trout incorporated into the filling....

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  1. I have finally mastered making pasta so let me share some tips.
    -dont be bothered if you have to pass the dough through the #1 dial on the roller many times ( 8-10) in order to smooth it out
    - mix the dough by hand on the counter, make a well in the flour add the eggs, mix, then knead, its messy so have a dough scraper handy
    - let the dough rest covered in a kitchen towel for about 30 min before starting to roll.
    -experiment with different doughs. I use 2 c all purpose flour, 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks and a tsp of salt. I find this works best.
    -as you get used to doing it, divide the dough into quarters so you arent dealng with a huge amount each time

    14 Replies
    1. re: cassoulady

      i just started making my own pasta with the KA mixer attachment. i used exactly the recipe and technique above except, i don't knead it very much at all. i mix it in the mixer. i usually use a little extra water or olive oil if necessary. when i've run it in the mixer for about ten minutes, i ball it up real tight and wrap it in saran for 30 minutes and then quarter it. i run it through the first setting about eight times and then each additional setting at least four times.

      now, when i tried to make 50/50 white/wheat flour pasta, i had problems with it falling apart, although i was able to still make the pasta. i noticed it also had a lot more "bite" to it.

      good luck!

       
      1. re: deepsouth

        Whoa, deepsouth! You're trying to tell us that you're not much of a cook except for grilling. But you make your own pasta. Liar, liar, panties on fire :)

        I LOVE that rack. Can you give a link to it?

        1. re: c oliver

          hahahaha, i try.

          here is the rack...

          http://www.amazon.com/Marcato-Atlas-P...

          1. re: deepsouth

            I have that same rack; I find the pasta sheets will stick to it so now I flour them lightly before I place them on there and periodically I move each one a bit so they won't stick.

            My dough goes better if I don't add olive oil or water. Last one I did was 4 eggs, 1 cup fine semolina, 1/2 cup unbleached flour, 1/2 cup 00. (If you don't want to buy 00, just use all unbleached. Same goes for the semolina -- I just think it gives it more bite.) I always need to add a bit more flour as I'm kneading so it is not sticky.

            I knead for 10 minutes, wrap in plastic wrap and leave on counter an hour before rolling -- I like the pasta attachment for Kitchen Aid mixer.

          2. re: c oliver

            Looking for a fresh pasta recipe I came across this thread, somehow I missed it the first time around. My gosh this is a thing of beauty. I'm speechless.

          3. re: deepsouth

            I've always found it easier to put pasta through the rollers if I use a little olive oil when I make the dough. I've almost always made it in the Cuisinart, put it in the fridge for an hour, then roll it out. I use a little cornmeal to keep things separate on parchment-lined half-sheet pans, as I no longer have the clothes rack I used to dry pasta on. (I must say, though, I like the looks of that mercato rack jason is sporting. What is it, clear blue plastic?)

            Back when I was just learning to cook Italian, when Marcella H. and Giuliano B. were it, cookbooks-wise, he put EVOO in the ingredient list, and I have always found that made the rolling so much easier.

            Love the pics, Jason.

            1. re: Jay F

              Oh yeah, I do use olive oil. Thought I saw that. I actually made homemade pasta with my dads red sauce and meatballs!

              The rack is acrylic, I guess that's plastic. Hahaha

              And thanks. I really need to
              Use a real camera.

          4. re: cassoulady

            OK, will try these suggestions. I had used 3.5c semolina, 4 eggs and 4?TBSP water, 2 Tbsp oil. Way drier than your recipe.
            What setting would you suggest for ravioli thickness? I saw somewhere that ravioli sheets should be somewhat transparent??? Seems thin.
            Also, can I make dough a day early, refridgerate, then let come to temp. the day of party before rolling? Or would you suggest making raviolis day ahead?

            1. re: mrsgreer

              you can refrigerate the dough overnight for sure.

              1. re: mrsgreer

                I had a nasty experience holding overnight. It turned an ugly grey. I haven't tried it again. But you can make the ravs ahead. They freeze great also. I'll find jfood's recipe and post it.

                ETA:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5907...

                1. re: c oliver

                  uggggg, i haven't actually tried it, but i was reading a thread about pizza dough on the eggheadforum and people were holding it a week before using it. i'll have to go back and see if there was more to it than that.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    thanks for posting. jfood could not locate the recipe and someone asked for it.

                  2. re: mrsgreer

                    Does your recipe call for all semolina? I use a mix of semolina and flour but all semolina, without enough liquids, could be the problem. It absorbs liquids more and could be drier/crumbly. I use the second to lowest setting for ravioli (out of 7 on an Atlas). Too thin could rip, as you put them together. You need some substance. You can make the ravioli the day before, put them on a cookie tray, single layer w/out their touching and freeze. As c oliver said, I wouldn't refrigerate the dough overnight.

                  3. re: cassoulady

                    I wouldn't salt my pasta dough, it should get enough salt in the salted water you boil pasta in.

                    If you have trouble with crumbling dough keep folding and passing through, if it still seems dry I suggest spritzing with water from a spray bottle, distributes the water more evenly.

                  4. I use a rough ratio of 2oz eggs to 4oz flour (approx. 1 egg to 1c flour). I've found that most recipes in cookbooks and whatnot call for too much flour for me, which results in that stiff crumbly dough, so I wouldn't add all the flour at the beginning, just start with a bit and add more when needed. I've never been happy with the product when I used to add water to stop the dough from being crumbly.And I usually roll all my pasta (including ravioli) to a setting of 8 out of 9 to give it more substance and bite.

                    I've made the dough a day ahead many times before, usually I don't bother with letting it come to room temp, after rolling it through a few times it warms up.

                    1. I don't have the KA attachment, but I use a hand crank machine that attaches to my counter. The mix I love comes from Lidia's Family Table & makes perfect pasta every time I make it. Here are the proportions for 1 lb of pasta:

                      2 cups flour, sifted
                      2 whole eggs
                      1/4 cup olive oil
                      3 T water

                      I mix into a bowl, then turn onto a lightly floured board to knead for 1-2 minutes, or until nice & smooth. It gets a rest in tightly wrapped plastic wrap for 30 minutes, then either start rolling, or stick in the fridge until I'm ready to roll later in the day. Then I roll it thru the machine. I put the linguini nests on a floured towel & covered & then pretty much cook it right away. It only takes about 30 seconds to cook in the salted water. I used to dry it out, but found it made too much of a mess on my kitchen floor (thanks to my 2 kiddos that thought it was fun to play with) and I always had clothes on my drying rack that I didn't feel like folding. Cooking it right away was the solution for me :)

                      1. Pasta is very easy. I use the pioneer woman's recipe. 2 eggs to 1 cup flour and it makes a lot! I've also just used yolks once when I had too many on hand and it was lovely!

                        Fortunately for you a machine is easier but I do it all by hand and it's super simple to roll (once it's rested a bit)

                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/adventur...
                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/adventur...

                        Drying for chicken noodle soup:
                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/adventur...

                        Got the rack for $5 from my local craigslist as a gift for my sister who makes a lot of pasta and dries it because she has the machine to roll it out, it's a really handy tool.

                        1. Thanks for all the tips!!! I successfully made smoked trout ravioli. I combined some tips, and used 1c flour, 1 c semolina, 2 eggs, 1 yolk, 1/2 tbsp oil. After resting it was beautiful!!! I rolled out to 7, too thin for mold. Finally used a 5 which didnt break in ravioli mold and had a nice bite..
                          THank you ALL!
                          It was delish.. made a gruyere bechamel for a topping. Even kids 7 & 9 loved it!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mrsgreer

                            That sounds fantastic! Really. I just make mine with my hands :)

                          2. My go-to pasta recipe:

                            4 cups flour
                            4 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk
                            1 teaspoon salt
                            1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
                            1 to 3 tablespoons warm water

                            Mix all ingredients, except water, in a KA stand mixer. Add water in small amounts until a dough ball begins to form. Don't use any more water than necessary. Change to kneading hooks and knead for five minutes on medium speed. Cover dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate if not using right way or leave at room temperature for at least 30 minutes for glutens to form before cutting dough.

                            I roll this dough out fairly thick and then cut with a noodle cutter for homemade chicken noodle soup and the noodles puff up perfectly! I have an Atlas manual crank pasta machine and a roller/cutter set for my KA mixer when I'm feeling lazy. This recipe makes a perfect, tasty and forgiving pasta, whether making noodles, linguini and ravioli. I've used many, many recipes over the years and this is the best ever, IMO. I think the olive oil is the secret ingredient!

                            1. I don't use the egg white and I find the texture is nicer.

                              1 Cup Semolina
                              1 Egg Yolk
                              3-4 Tbsp Water
                              1 Tbsp Olive Oil

                              1. I agree with Andrewk512 about rolling to 8 or 9. I've been getting good results with 4 eggs, 1 cup of AP and 1 cup of Bob's semolina processed in a food processor, scraped into plastic wrap, chilled a few hours, and then cut into quarters and worked and rolled with liberal flour to prevent sticking. I makes good ravioli and good papparadelle. I have tried other flour mixes and none has come out as toothsome. I use an old Atlas and if the roll tears or gets crumbly I just wad it back into a rollable shape, flour it lightly, and start rolling again. No one has complained, but I never let Chef Ramsey into my kitchen.

                                1. I am a first timer as well. We have an Imperia Pasta Maker/Machine that was given to us by my brother-in-law. I found a recipe for eggless dough that I tried. It was 2 c flour, 1 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 1/2 cup hot water. I found I had to add more hot water just a little at a time because my dough was really dry and wasn't forming. I was nervous, but I did have fun with this and I think it came out alright. We will have to buy a hanging accessory. I have them flat on a cutting board drying and the rest on the counter. The ones I didn't get real flat to dry are taking longer and are a little tangled. I saw somewhere on chow you can form a few strands into a wheel shape, dry and save on storage space. I guess we will see in a couple hours how they taste when I boil some for our pasta sauce. =)

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: MrsJTW

                                    IMHO, recipes for fresh pasta are even more approximate than most recipes. Once I'd done it several times I realized it's not so much a recipe as a type of dough. You start with a given amount of flour and add however much moisture (eggs, water, whatever) to get the necessary dough. I live in the desert of E. Washington State now, used to live in humid Missouri, and pasta/bread doughs require very different amounts of liquid. Makes sense -- the flour is much drier out here. So there is no one correct pasta recipe -- only the correct kind of dough. If you get a good batch, pay close attention to how it felt and keep shooting for that.

                                    1. re: bkling

                                      Good to know that you can play around with it. I am never exact with most things as it is. And BOY is MO humid! I am not a native and was surprised! I have had bread go moldy in a couple hours out on the counter before. I am a fan of refrigerating bread! Even before that happened.

                                  2. I use James Beard's recipe in the James Beard Cookbook. 2 large eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 to 1 1/2 cups of flour. I stir by hand in a bowl, knead (it's smooth & easy to knead), let stand for half an hour, and roll through a hand-crank pasta machine. If I use eggs from my neighbor's chickens, it's really beautiful. It has vastly improved my lasagna.