Questions about fresh pasta
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  1. #1
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    Default Questions about fresh pasta

    I made my first batch of pasta today with the pasta maker I got at GW a couple weeks ago. What fun! The noodles came out a little thick because I forgot that pasta swells when cooked, but they still were good and Husby is in the kitchen stuffing his face with half the batch of tuna hotdish I made for supper.

    I made the pasta using half white wheat flour, and it worked very well. But I have a few questions for anyone who has more experience than I do making pasta.

    I'm wondering how fresh, uncooked pasta would hold up if a dish was put together but not cooked right away. For example, sometimes I throw together a lasagna and then hold it in the fridge for a few hours before I cook it. (I don't cook the noodles ahead of time.) Would this method work with fresh pasta? Or would the noodles get soggy and fall apart?

    How does fresh pasta work out if dishes are assembled and put in the freezer?

    Anyone have any good recipes for pasta, or good cookbooks about making pasta from scratch?

    Any tips for making pasta? It seems pretty easy, but I've only done the one batch so maybe my success was only beginner's luck.

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    Fresh uncooked pasta or dough keeps a couple days. It may start to turn grey after that.

    Uncooked pasta can be frozen and then used like store-bought frozen pasta.

    I've never tried to keep something like an uncooked lasagna in the fridge overnight.

    Pasta recipes can be variable according to humidity and moisture in your flour, if you have any experience with bread making you know what I mean.
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    I've never dealt with fresh pasta before, frozen or otherwise.

    Yeah, I know the deal with bread and moisture. I had to add quite a bit of water to the pasta dough today to get the right consistency. It's very dry here right now because it's so cold and the furnaces are running so much.

    If I dry pasta, can I store it in the pantry? What's the best way to dry it? I might need to buy a rack. A folding one.

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    I hang pasta over a tension rod with a sheet pan under it. When it dries completely it is quite brittle so I save the bits for soups or "broken pasta" dishes. I made orzo (rolled by hand) last winter, let it completely dry on a sheet pan and have it stored in a mason jar with a tight lid. It is still is delicious.

    I usually use all semolina or a blend of semolina and AP flour, egg, oil and water and I've never had a problem with keeping pasta dried and on the shelf. Though other than the orzo, I don't make it to store it.

    I've never made a dish with fresh pasta that wasn't cooked right away. I'm thinking if you made the pasta a few days a head and let lasagna style noodles completely dry, it should hold up in the fridge for a few hours before baking. You may want to experiment with a small 2 by 2 inch square of pasta and let it sit layered in sauce for a while to see how well it holds up.

    You Tube has some videos of Italian Grandmothers making different shapes of pasta. I remember one where she must have had 10 pounds of dough in front of her prepping food for a holiday feast. There were probably 2 dozen people milling around the house and the kitchen was full of women cooking.

    My favorite shape is the little ears, orechietta, and I really like that the thicker part is nice and chewy.

    Have a great time experimenting. I really enjoy making pasta as much as I enjoy eating it.

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    Thanks, Cea.

    Can you provide more details how you shaped the orzo?

    I don't see myself making a lot of hand-shaped pasta, but you never know.

    I'm wondering about the pre-assembly because I'm thinking about making something for Christmas dinner to take to my mom's house, and it would probably have to be made the day before. I wish I'd thought about putting some uncooked pasta in sauce as a trial yesterday, but I still have some time to experiment. I was thinking of some kind of dish that I can roll a stuffing up in the pasta, sort of like Italian enchiladas of some kind. I haven't looked for a recipe yet. I'll have to make something up before Christmas just to try it.

    I'm planning to make up some sheets of pasta that fit in my lasagna pan and then drying them. It's going to be nice to be able to make up that stuff and not have to buy it anymore.

    I really did enjoy the process of making the pasta, so I hope that continues. I think a half batch of the recipe I made yesterday will be a nice amount for the two of us.

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    I roll the pasta into a thin log and cut off in small bits and hand roll. It takes me forever but I like the small barley size grain. I remember a you tube video and they made theirs larger. Since mine has lasted so long on the shelf, you might want to make a whole batch of pasta, eat half and roll the other half.

    Orechietta (small ears) are also easy to make How to Make Orecchiette Pasta by Nonna Romana - YouTube hers are much daintier than mine. I just use my thumb and roll a divet in the coin size pasta.

    How to Make Orecchiette Pasta by Nonna Romana - YouTube I make mine much smaller but this would be a quick way to make some for a soup or stew.

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    Thanks again.

    My new pasta machine which only makes rolled pasta has renewed my interest in the vintage extruded pasta maker I bought a while back for my old Oster Kitchen Center and never used. Now I'm on a mission to figure out how to overhaul the motor in the KC base so it doesn't scream whenever it's turned on. Then I should be able to make a large variety of pasta shapes.

    I've also been watching YouTube videos of how to make pasta with the Kitchen Aid pasta attachments. Very, very nice, but I didn't see anything I can't do with the manual machine I just bought, as far as rolled pasta goes. The Kitchen Center will do much more than the KA will for extruded pasta shapes. So I should be well-covered, once I get the KC re-greased. I'm excited! I'm also very, very glad I didn't buy any of the expensive pasta attachments for my KA.

    Love my vintage stuff! And my new KA for mixing that heavy dough.

    I can see I need to buy a ravioli maker of some kind too, but I think, from watching YouTube, the best type for us is the type you use with a rolling pin because of the types of fillings we're most likely to want. I think I can get one on Amazon for not too much. Yea!

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    I have a ravioli mold and it works not too bad. I gave my friend and pasta making buddy (we would make it once a month) a ravioli stamp and that works very well.

    Check out Alton Brown's method of ravioli making. He used his ironing board as it was very long and folded the pasta in half lengthwise after putting dabs of filling every few inches. They weren't uniform or pretty but I'm sure the taste buds won't mind.

    I have also held off on the pasta attachments for my KA. I love the roller and would prefer a separate extruder.

    I would love to see pics of your kitchen center if you are able to get it working.

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    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    Hubby is getting the KA pasta roller (and fettuccine and spaghetti cutter) for Christmas.The only way we have rolled pasta before was with a rolling pin. So very excited.

    I have put on my wish list a ravioli mold. We will see if I get it.

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    I just eBayed a ravioli attachment for my Mercado pasta maker. It claims to be the one that fits my machine and the price was acceptable. I might still buy the one that you lay the sheet over, put the filling in the little divots, then add another sheet of pasta and roll with a rolling pin to seal. A stamp would make me crazy. I hated making the wontons the other day because it's just so tedious doing stuff like that one at a time. I worked in manufacturing too many years not to want to streamline anything that requires repetitive steps.

    I think I actually saw that ravioli episode with Alton Brown. He just cracks me up! But I like how he goes into the science and history behind food and also thinks outside the box for food prep.

    I was surprised to see the ravioli attachment is manually operated on the KA, no motor involved. It also costs $125. That made shelling out the $25 for the vintage Mercado attachment a lot easier to take. So I saved $100 and it should actually be easier to use than the KA because the crank on the Mercado no doubt has a lot more torque than the knob on the KA.

    I won't make enough pasta in this lifeteim to justify what it would cost me for the KA attachments. We don't eat much pasta anymore. But I do want to be able to make wheat pasta because it's hard to get much of that here, and what we can get is usually very overpriced.

    Was there something in particular you wanted to see on the Kitchen Center? Like how the pasta extruder works? Or just what the KC is? I know I'll get it going. It actually runs fine, it's just so old that the grease in it is lacquer by now. I know a guy on another forum who buys up just about anything and rehabs it, and he and a couple other guys have advised me how to get the gunk out so I can put in new grease. I'd be very surprised if that doesn't take care of it. The KCs were popular in the late sevenites/early eighties and came with a mixer, blender, food processor, food grinder, and I forget what all. I have most of the optional accessories by now, too, because I've picked them up cheap at garage sales over the years. I love all the accessories but KCs were built with way too many plastic parts where it matters and not enough torque. Still, I like it enough to hang onto it. Mostly I use certain attachments on a blender base I picked up for that purpose, so I don't have to drag out the big KC base.

    I think I need more counter space.

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    I'm sure you'll like those attachments, Imagine. I've been looking at those attachments since I got my KA a couple years ago but because they would have cost me more than I paid for the whole mixer, I was just not willing to part with that much money for the little pasta we eat anymore.

    For us, I'm happy with the manual one I got NIB at GW. I would have to move our KA mixer to the kitchen island to use pasta attachments on it, which I wouldn't be happy about since that thing is so dang heavy. That's another reason I was so pleased to get the Mercado a couple weeks ago. With the pasta maker I just got, the ravioli maker I bought on eBay for that today, the pasta extruder attachment for the Kitchen Center I got a couple years ago on eBay, and the ravioli mold I'm eying on Amazon, I'll still have less than $100 in it all and I should be able to make pretty much any pasta we'd like. I hope so anyway!

  13. #12
    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    Good Deal on you GW pasta roller.

    A few years ago I passed on a Ravioli mold ( the one you use the rolling pin on) that I found at the GW. I had only seen two part ones so I was unsure.
    I looked on line and saw that it was a complete one not partial so I headed back. But it was already gone.

    Been looking every time I go In for over a Year now.

    Our Kitchen Aid was a present from my mil.
    The pasta attachment is Christmas present from my mom.
    The food grinder and sausage suffer is on loan from a co worker - Going to make Swedish potato bologna ( potato sausage). If it works out well we will buy one of our own so we do not always have to borrow hers.

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    I waited three years to find my Mercato. I wasn't sure if we'd like homemade pasta and I know we won't use it much, so didn't want to pay for a new one. I still can't believe this one was sitting there waiting for me, NIB with the manual and everything, and a good brand, too. Love that! Over our lifetime, I'm sure we'll get our money's worth from it. My mom said she would pay for the attachment I bought today, but I'm not sure if I'll let her or not.

    Too bad about the ravioli mold you missed. I hate when that happens. I think I'm going to order the large size one from Amazon to make mahndu, wontons, and other stuff with lumpy fillings. The Mercato will make nice small ravioli. Two sizes would give me nice options.

    We eat potato sausage here too, but not enough to make it ourselves. One of our local grocery stores makes it in-house, so we don't have to. There's a large Finnish community here so it's a popular item.

    I dragged out my KC pasta accessory and it has a disc for making lasagna noodles. It doesn't have as many options as I thought so the KA extruder probably has more after all. But I still think we'll have all we need. I dug out the booklet that came with it and it has a pretty decent selection of recipes, so that's a start.

    We got a sausage maker at a garage sale for $2 but I've never used it. It occurred to me about an hour ago I could use the KC pasta attachment on that. Well, duuuhhhhhhhhhhhh! Some days I wonder about me.

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    Moderator Ceashels's Avatar
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    I have something similar to the Oster Kitchen Center but it was specifically for pasta and extrudes only very soft doughs. I wasn't able to successfully make any of the other shapes. Oh well, sometimes you get what you pay for. lol

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    I've never tried the KC pasta maker, Cea. I might not have any luck, either. At least I'd still be able to make rolled pasta with the Mercato, so I'm not worried about it. I'm not fussy about shapes, so for our purposes rolled pasta would be fine for the most part.

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