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Drying fresh pasta, how to stop it curling up

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

 

I've just started to make my own fresh pasta [Fettucini], and attempted to dry some for storage. However when I hang them overnight and come back in the morning they are all curled and twisted. This makes storage a nightmare since they all break up and don't fit conveniently into a spaghetti storer.

 

Any idea how to make spaghetti/fettucini dry straight? I did also try to wrap them into 'nests', but all the strand just stuck together, and I was left with a useless 'brick' of pasta, not good.

 

cheers people

 

Charlie

post #2 of 12
I've never tried to make them dry straight so I can't really help you there, but I do make a lot of tagliatelle at work and prefer to dry them in little bunches.I didn't want to say birdnests because the shape is the same as those ribbons for breast cancer awareness( amongst many other causes). The trick for me is to pull the pasta out to the desired thickness( thinness) & cut them into sheets roughly 14 inches long. Or however long you want your pasta to be. Then I lay the sheets out to dry on a table. Usually I'm working with more pasta than will fit on the table so I use tablecloths to separate layers and build up a stack. Now for the tricky part...

The tablecloths are going to slow the drying of the sheets so I point a fan at em to start drying them. Sometimes in the winter when there is very little humidity, I don't need the fan at all. The trick is to dry the sheets just enough so that they won't stick together when you bunch them. Too dry and they won't bend or just break into pieces as you put them through the machine to cut the pasta. I make sure that the bend is not very extreme and that the ends are not smashed together. The bunches are placed on a sheet tray with a fan over it to finish the drying.

Alternately, if you flour the pasta before making the birdnest you really shouldn't have a problem with sticking. Again make sure the bends aren't super extreme and that nothing is smooshed.

When you hang the pasta, you may want to try sandwiching the pasta between two tablecloths. I've noticed when I don't use them for the technique above, that the edges of the sheets begin to curl up as they are drying faster than the inside of the sheet. Might solve your problem but I can't be sure.
Edited by Sparkie - 11/26/11 at 10:35am
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
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A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
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post #3 of 12

It might be your recipe and/or method.

I don't hang mine but dry it on floured pans and I toss the pasta lightly with some of the flour.

I cover it with plastic but not tightly....just draped over the top.

A few days later when it's time to cook the pasta, I bring a pot of salted water to a running boil and add the pasta.

I use a spoon or tongs to gently stir the individual strands so they release from each other and start to cook. It only takes few minutes, unlike store bought.

post #4 of 12

I don't have that curling up problem either, I usually dry it for about 20mn or so, then either use it right away or wrap and refrigerate until I use it. 

 

Isn't drying pasta overnight overkill anyway? Isn't it super dry in the morning? On occasions I've left pasta to dry for more than the usual 20mn and then I found it to be too dry. 

post #5 of 12
Yes, if you post your method & recipe, there may be something there for us to pick apart.

FF- drying times are going to vary greatly depending upon humidity. I usually find the pasta to be still a little damp the next morning if I don't have time to leave the fan running long enough. My pasta is stored in dry storage so it needs to be very dry. When I've decided that I don't want it to dry anymore, usually after a day or two, I will put a plastic bag over the trays.
Edited by Sparkie - 11/26/11 at 3:02pm
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkie View Post

FF- drying times are going to vary greatly depending upon humidity.

 

Makes sense. I'm in L.A., which is, I believe, considered quite a dry climate - so what you're saying makes sense. 

 

Then maybe the curling has to do with the humidity? After all, that's how my hair reacts when the weather is humid. smile.gif
 

Charlie, where are you located? 

post #7 of 12

379396_826954459877_40609216_38344550_439444192_n.jpg

A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
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post #8 of 12
Sorry about splitting this into two posts but it wasn't working out trying to write under the photo( first time I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually). Anyway, that's how I make them, although the techniques used by Ross & FF are probably more commonly used. Unfortunately, I just made a ton of this stuff and won't be doing it again for a while. Otherwise, I would try making the pasta dry flat. Still might just for fun!
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
post #9 of 12

I usually lay them flat on a baking sheet and freeze. I've never dried my fresh pasta.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

FF i am located in Southern England. I spoke to  chef in a 2 michelin starred restaurant about it. He said overnight is overkill for drying, here's his reply.

 

 

One tip is to heavily dust your pasta sheet and machine with flour during the cutting stage if u are using the attachment. This will mean the pasta won't pull through the machine, it will slip, making a straighter cut and dry. The main factor will be the drying conditions, you want a draft free area, away from light. The cooler the better. Adding the additional flour at the rolling/cutting stage will speed up the process. Leave it to dry till it starts to firm up and then take it down and store it in a large kilner jar. Leaving it overnight could be causing it to dry out too much. What recipe are you using. If we make tagliatelle etc we use a recipe of 2:1 ratio of yolks to whole egg. So for 400g flour use 4 yolks and 2 eggs (medium size), tsp water and tbsp olive oil, and salt of course. Make, REST, roll, cut.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlievb View Post

FF i am located in Southern England. I spoke to  chef in a 2 michelin starred restaurant about it. He said overnight is overkill for drying, here's his reply.

Well there you have it. Thanks a lot for sharing his detailed reply with us.

post #12 of 12
That's a good connection to have! How does it work as far as flouring the sheets before cutting? I've thought about trying that in the past but was afraid that they wouldn't go through the machine if it can't pull them through. I've had problems with this a few times when I allowed the sheets to dry to much.

Now that there's been a few mentions of over drying the pasta... I gotta ask: what are the negative side effects from drying them too much? For me, they can become very brittle & are nearly impossible to pick up without breaking. I hadn't really considered if there could be anything else, so now I am curious.

The recipe I use comes to about 90g durum flour to 1 X- large egg.(& some salt) this is for ravioli. For tagliatelle its more like 95g. In the winter these ratios work fine. During the summer months & rainy days, the amounts could go up to 95 & 100g. Don't really weigh what's added, nor do I use metric unless weighing small amounts. Also, I will weigh the eggs. For a standard batch (60 eggs) I use 8.5 pounds of egg. Got into this habit after my boss ordered large eggs and I failed to notice the difference.
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
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