The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fresh Pasta Producing and Cooking

dwfender's picture
dwfender

Fresh Pasta Producing and Cooking

I've been experimenting with fresh pasta recently. My latest recipe was 1 part semolina, 1 part durum, 2 parts 00 Farina. 

I use 1 egg per 100 grams of flour, pinch of salt and adjust the consistancy with warm water.

I machine knead using a kitchen aid and folding between 6-8 times before rolling. 

 

So I have two questions. When making fresh pasta, is it best to let it dry out slightly at room temperature before freezing and holding it or should I just freeze it right away. I feel like a good 30 minute dry at room temp would help stop the dough from over hydrating. 

2.) Whenever I read about cooking fresh pasta from either novice or professional, timings suggest 2-3 on average. Rarely more and never less. However, everytime I've made and cooked fresh pasta it is ALWAYS over cooked by the one minute mark. The last time I made it I cooked it with a 30 second timer, finished it in the sauce for about 2 minutes and it came out perfect. I understand that it doesnt matter if it takes 30 seconds to cook or 10 minutes, if it's al dente it's al dente. But WHY? Why is it only taking 30 seconds to cook....am I over hydrating my dough? Am I not kneading enough? I don't get it. 

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated. It's quite difficult find some really high quality videos or blogs talking about making fresh pasta in an artisinal manner so if anyone has any I would appreciate it if you shared. 

Crider's picture
Crider

Since tipo 00 is usually about the same hardness as AP flour, I would drop that and go with straight durum semolina. Also, try a recipe with 100% eggs and avoid water. I weigh my eggs and add the flour based on their weight, since the size of eggs are so variable. Eggs contain about 75% moisture, so getting a consistent dough hydration is much easier that way. 

Noodle dough needs to be very stiff. If you need to add flour while rolling to prevent sticking, then your dough is over-hydrated. Also, if you feel compelled to add salt to your dough, use baking soda instead. Asian flour-and-water fresh noodles use an alkaline solution called kansui, which is composed of potassium carbonate and sodium bi-carbonate, which toughens the noodles.

EvaB's picture
EvaB

handcranked version, only uses egg and flour, and since I made pasta last before  I knew about bread flour or high protein flours, said to hang the finished noodles or pasta strands over the back of a chair to air dry for at least 30 minutes after cutting. I then bagged some and froze them and sent some of the fresh bagged pasta home with my mother who froze hers, they cooked a bit faster than store bought, but if you really look at store bought its VERY dry so part of the cooking time is rehydrating the dried pasta.

By the way if you are obssessive about making pasta (and want to make lots) invest in a clothes maiden or gull wing clothes dryer, to hang the pasta to dry on. If making stuff like ravioli or bowtie etc, then place them on wire racks to let the air circulate and dry. You can expect any homemade pasta to cook up faster because its fresh and never as dried as commercial which they must run through a dryer to get it dry fast enough as I've bought dried ravioli as well as the noodles. (cheese filled never meat)

My bother described our grandmother making noodles for the chicken soup as "she put a pile of flour on the table, broke the egg into a well in it, and started mixing it, she mixed until it was smooth and soft and very pliable, then she rolled it out with a pin, and cut the noodles (broad) and let them sit on the table until time to go into the pot, about 5 minutes before serving. " The pyrogy dough recipe I have says knead the dough until its soft and as silky as a baby's bum, it made the best pyrogy I ever ate, far better than any commercial recipe or a lot of home made ones I've had. I think the secret is the kneading. People get lazy and think that's good enough!

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Firstly, let me say that I profess no expertise in pasta making and claim no Italian ancestry.  Using just 00 flour I add one egg to the first 100g of flour and then 1 egg yolk for each additional 100g of flour.  I make it in a Magimix and add a little evoo.  Once the dough resembles breadcrumbs I turn it out onto a lightly floured worksurface and knead it for 3 to 5 minutes until I have a homogenous dough.  I then wrap it in cling film and refridgerate it for an hour or more.  After running it through the pasta machine I allow tagliatelle, speghetti, linguine etc to dry for at least half an hour (over a tea towel on the top of kitchen cupboard doors) but I do not dry the pasta that I use to make ravioli.  The spaghetti etc takes less than a minute to cook and the ravioli slightly longer so, dwfender, - either we are both doing it correctly or we have both got it wrong! :)  If I have it wrong it still produces very nice pasta so I'm not too bothered :) .

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I happen to know a thing or two about Italian cuisine and traditions so here goes:

1. The first and main point: Fresh pasta is cooked until tender. Only dried can be cooked al dente. Hence why you think it's over-cooked.

2. Semolina is typically made from durum wheat so you are likely using the same thing, texture of the grain does vary and you'll want to use the most finely ground variety.

3. No Italian would ever put salt in their pasta dough!

4. Fresh pasta is made from '00' flour of soft wheat (di grano tenero) with eggs. Durum wheat /semola, hard wheat (di grano duro) is mixed with just water to make dried pasta.

 

1 egg per 100g 00 flour should be about right where 1 egg = 50-60g.

Hope this helps.

Michael

Susan Kline's picture
Susan Kline

I recently made egg noodles for the first time and was very pleased with the results but I did add a little water to the dough since it was too dry.  Here I should add that I simply used unbleached A/P flour and eggs (no salt).  I hung them to dry on a makeshift contraption which consisted of a cookie cooling rack suspended over a large empty pot.  I cooked some immediately in soup and really enjoyed them.  They were very silky.  As the remainder dried, some of them broke off into the pot.  I don't recall anyone else discussing this and it certainly didn't affect the taste, but next time I think I'll try a little of the olive oil mentioned by Ruralidle.