Fresh pasta dough advice please
Need some quick advice if any pasta makers are out there. I've never made my own pasta, I always buy fresh pasta sheets from my favourite Italian shop, then feed the sheets through my pasta machine & I'm done.
Well for some stupid reason, I thought I'd try making my own fresh pasta as the pasta sheets I buy can get expensive if I need a fair amount for extra dinner guests.
I found and made this recipe as I liked the idea of being able to use my food processor.
The dough was okay, not great, I did have to mist it a couple of times to soften it up, but other than that, it rolled and cut into spaghetti quite nicely.
My problem now is, the spaghetti strands which were separate as they cut, are now sticking together, and will not come apart without tearing.
I've got the cut spaghetti on a sheet pan sprinkled with flour, as well as the spaghetti sprinkled with flour, and it is covered with press n seal to keep out air.
My question.. is this pasta doomed when it comes time to boil it because of the strands being stuck together? I've never had this problem with the pasta sheets I buy, so don't know the outcome of stuck together fresh spagetti in boiling water.
I do have regular dry spagetti as a back up, but hate to see the 1/2 dozen expensive free range eggs I bought just for this recipe go in the trash.
Any and all advice would be greatly apreciated.
I have tried cooking stuck-together pasta many times in hopes that it would separate itself. So far, no luck. I second the suggestion that you put it back through the pasta maker, let the sheets dry until tacky, then cut into noodles. In my experience, if you cut when the pasta is too wet, there is no amount of flour that can stop them from sticking together. If you're really in a hurry and don't want to wait for the pasta sheets to dry, you can flour them well and catch the noodles on your arm as they come out so that they never get the chance to stick together. Then straight into boiling water and stir immediately.
Thanks to all of you for the valuable advice. I've pretty well done everything wrong, and should have done more research before going ahead with a food project I'm not familiar with.. I followed the recipe I posted in my question to the tee, but it had no instructions as to what to do with the dough, except cover it and let it sit 30 mins before using. The dough itself was not sticky, so I did not use flour when rolling or cutting. I now know thats what I should have done.
I also put the cut spaghetti in the fridge, (hoping that might salvage it) and because it was not to be served untill 6 pm this evening. I believe putting it in the fridge was a mistake also, but I was concerned about it sitting in a hot kitchen since the recipe is only flour & eggs.
I've tried to separate the spagetti again but have had no luck, so packaged spaghetti it is as I've got other sides I need to finish before my guests arrive. Thanks again for your help, and next time I'll be sure to ask my questions a few days ahead of time!
Thought I'd add an update on my stuck together spaghetti. I had decided I'd trash the whole thing & use boxed pasta, but since I still had a bit of time left before my guests arrived, I thought I'd give LaureltQ, acgold7, & jvander's advice and ball up the spagetti and try one last time to salvage it. This time I used flour through every step, a step I did not do on my first try, as my dough was not sticky so did not think I needed flour.
The dough was not as giving passing through the machine the second time around, it did tear once or twice, but all in all it still wasn't bad. I let the re-rolled sheets dry for about 15 mins before cutting also. That made a big difference,so many thanks to acgold7 for that suggestion. I did not cut the dough into spaghetti the second time around, as I didn't want to take the chance of the strands sticking together again. The dough was cut into fettuccine, which I might add, ended up being a better choice for the barely cooked fresh tomato basil, garlic sauce I make in the summer.
In summary. The pasta was salvagable. I did not have to throw out the dough with the expensive free range eggs I bought especially for the dough. Whew on that one!
And.. I received compliments from my guests on the great pasta. (if they only knew!) : )
Thanks again everyone!
I find that when the dough is easily workable in a lump, it is much too sticky to turn into strand pasta like spaghetti or linguine. My method is to continually reflour the dough every time I run it through the rollers to get as much flour into the dough as possible prior to cutting. Worst case scenario, you could run the mashed up spaghetti back through your pasta machine and add some flour.
I agree -- it should be fairly resilient, and in the original post, the link's title of "no-knead" made me suspicious. You have to work it to get it right.
After rolling in my hand-crank pasta machine and cutting, I toss the fettucine or spagetti strands with a little flour and separate them, leaving them to dry for at least a half hour on floured towels.
I'd just spread them out and cut them by hand with knife if you really want to save your spaghetti. You might end up with something more like linguini, but that would be better than having them all stuck together in a gluey mass for your guests.
I have ended up with pasta like yours and I cut it crosswise and cooked it in chicken soup like dumplings. It's not something I'd feed my friends, but it was fine to us. It's a shame to waste all that effort!
Sprinkle some corn meal on the tray, then swirl the fresh cut spaghetti around in it. That helps keep it from sticking. Also, I would NOT cover it in plastic. That makes it sweat, which makes it stick, especially in this weather. (I don't know what "press n seal" is.)
Let it air out. When do you plan to serve it?
re: Jay F
I second the corn meal advice. The flour gets wet and becomes like glue but the corn meal will drop off the pasta when it cooks..
Press n seal is an airtight plastic wrap. It's great for liquids because it seals the top completely, even if it falls over. In this case, it held in all the moisture, which with the extra flour, probably was glue-like on the pasta.
Answering my own post. My spaghetti will not separate upon boiling according to the advice I found on peggys pasta.
She advizes the strands be separated before boiling. Considering the fact I'd need a magician to do that task, packaged dry pasta will be on the menu instead.
I'm far from an expert on this, but it seems to me the misting and sealing out the air are some of your problems. Your sheets should be fairly dry and dusted with flour when you cut them, and then you dust the cut spaghetti with flour and either hang to dry or lay out on towels after cutting to dry more -- you would never seal to keep out the air.
As for being stuck together now -- yeah, I think you're done for. I don't think they'll come apart when you cook them. At least mine never have when they're stuck before cooking. I could be wrong.