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Jul 20, 2012 04:28 PM

pasta machine help

first, the cutting isn't going well. I go down to the second to last thickness setting, dry 15 minutes then cut. i still have to pull them apart in the end. Do they need to be run through the final setting before they can be cut? Do i need more drying??

that is the machine I have. I don't like the way this guy screws down, i disagree with the very high reviews btw.

Second. . . . how chewy do you think fresh pasta should be? I've had it in restaurants and it's been all over the place on this one. I, personally, don't like it to be chewy. I rest 20 or so minutes before thinning the dough through the rollers to help relax the dough, I think this helps. Any other tricks to keep it from getting tough and chewy? Or is all of this moot and its all a matter of cooking time?

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  1. The type of flour you choose to make the past dough makes a huge difference in texture. You don't list the type of flour and it would help if you did that.

    1. maybe your pasta dough is too moist to start with and doesn't cut well. You could also try letting it rest before rolling. I typically make pasta for ravioli or lasagne and haven't noticed excessive chewiness.

      1. Well, it's been several hours so I'll try to make some suggestions without knowing what flour you're using for your pasta.
        Read this thread:

        It'll help a lot.

        6 Replies
        1. re: todao

          AP flour. I'm no Romney, I can't be mail ordering fancy 00 stuff.

          the recipe is from Hazan, 1 cup of flour to 2 eggs.

          as i've typed, i've tried the rest and it seemed to make a better textured noodle, but the cutting issue remains. I'm drying longer than the recipe says, but it has been hot and humid. also drying on paper towels might be a mistake. the lady says dry on towels though (I think, i don't have it in front of me)

          1. re: j8715

            Giuliano Hazan's pasta recipe in my file calls for 2 1/4 cups (or just over ten ounces) of flour and three eggs. Using that ratio as a basis for comparison, your formula looks to be a little heavy with flour. However, if you're pushing about 1/3 of the flour aside when blending the dough and working in only what you need that shouldn't be an issue.
            I agree that drying on paper towels may not be the best choice. A linen towel usually works best for those kinds of operations. But you're issue is with cutting (and chewiness) so whether you dry them on towels or paper towels shouldn't be a factor.
            I'm inclined to focus on the way you're kneading the dough. The dough needs to be stretched, rather than pressed (but not torn) and kneading needs to be long enough to develop a very smooth dough (5 - 6 minutes). Keep in mind that if you find it necessary to add flour while kneading you'll have to knead longer so that all the flour gets worked into the dough ball.
            If you stick your finger into the ball of dough and can't pull it out without the dough sticking to your finger the dough is too wet.

            1. re: todao

              I think you mean mine is heavy on egg. or double check your math.

              I am pressing the dough out with the heel of my hand as the lady says. i could try stretching, though I am seriously dubious about all the talk of how to knead. I think it is all old wive's tale hokum.

              1. re: j8715

                Yes, you're correct. In my own defense, my original math was good, it was my ability to interpret my math and convert it to text that was lacking.
                So, you may be a bit heavy on the egg side.
                Glad you caught that. Tnx ....

                1. re: j8715

                  I make my pasta dough in a food processor which Marcella Hazan also uses. The pasta machine for the first half dozen times through is the place where my dough gets kneaded. Once it seems smooth and supple I put one piece through all the numbers to the thinnest--if it shreads that means to me it is still too wet. But once it goes through there easily, no matter whether I stop on 5 or 6 once it sits for a few minutes it will be perfect for cutting.

                  1. re: j8715

                    Hazan's first book, The Classic Italian Cookbook, has 1 1/2 cup of AP flour to 2 eggs. This ratio has always worked for me. For some reason, she changed the proportion in her Marcella' Italian Kitchen to 1 cup of flour to 2 eggs. I think this is incorrect. Also let the dough rest, covered, for about 20 minutes before rolling. It makes for much better pasta. How chewry fresh pasta should be depends on your own preference. Cook it the way you like it.