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Fettuccine Pasta Is A Little Tough

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

So I made my first batch of fettuccine pasta and it went really well! I had to do it without a pasta machine so it took a good amount of time, but was A LOT of fun! Only problem was, I boiled it for around 7 minutes and when I finished some noodles were still a little tough and chewy I guess would describe it best. Would that mean I should cook them longer or could it be a problem with the way I made the dough? Thanks!

post #2 of 29

Could it possibly be too much flour/semolina?

post #3 of 29
Could be overworked. 7 minutes seems plenty fresh pasta but watch out for noodles sticking together.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by janedoe10001 View Post

Could it possibly be too much flour/semolina?
It could be but since this is my first go at pasta from scratch, I really don't know. The dough wasn't cracking or dry seeming though. Do you not think it would be the boiling time?
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grande View Post

Could be overworked. 7 minutes seems plenty fresh pasta but watch out for noodles sticking together.
So in general, if you want softer "mushier" pasta, you would cook it less? And for pasta cooked al dente (a little tougher from my understanding) you would cook it longer?
post #6 of 29
No no no, you misunderstand. Fresh pasta you don't really do al dente; its a dough, like bread or pancakes. You cook it until it's cooked. Undercooked fresh pasta has wierd, gummy texture. But your dough coild be overworked; kneaded too much. I had that problem last time i made pasta at home, and it made the noodles tough.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grande View Post

No no no, you misunderstand. Fresh pasta you don't really do al dente; its a dough, like bread or pancakes. You cook it until it's cooked. Undercooked fresh pasta has wierd, gummy texture. But your dough coild be overworked; kneaded too much. I had that problem last time i made pasta at home, and it made the noodles tough.
To my understanding, I thought al dente almost exclusively talked about pasta? That's at least what I've read and heard Italian cooks in videos say lol. Am I mistaken?
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Al Dente - "An Italian expression (meaning literally 'to the tooth') indicating the correct degree of cooking for pasta, which must be removed from the heat and drained while it is still firm enough to bite into. The expression may also be applied to certain vegetables, such as green beans, which are served while still retaining their crunchiness."

 

 

 

 

 

@Grande while I agree with you that it is a dough I view fresh pasta more as a dumpling not a bread dough or pancake. And yes often overworking the dough as in all doughs to create a tough product.

 

@mathnerdm what type of flour did you use?

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post #9 of 29

My guess is, since you didn't use a pasta roller, that you didn't roll it thin enough. Overworking pasta dough is hard to do, not impossible, but easier if you used a food processor. 

 

And hey, kudos for making fresh pasta. Another couple of batches you'll be wondering why you've never done it before. 

post #10 of 29
@nicko absolutely you're right; just examples. Dumplings are a better one though.
@mathnerdm what I was saying is that, when you cook dry pasta, there's a point at which it still has a little bite- al dente- that is desireable. With fresh pasta you just cook it until its cooked- and no longerlol.
Someday has a good point, if some of the noodles were thicker than others that also could make them tough.
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grande View Post

@nicko absolutely you're right; just examples. Dumplings are a better one though.
@mathnerdm what I was saying is that, when you cook dry pasta, there's a point at which it still has a little bite- al dente- that is desireable. With fresh pasta you just cook it until its cooked- and no longerlol.
Someday has a good point, if some of the noodles were thicker than others that also could make them tough.
If I post a picture of the final noodles could you see if they were too thick?
post #12 of 29
Me, probably not. Try it again, you said they were mostly good; but now you have some pointers to watch. Make sure you roll them all out nice and this, and when they're cooked taste one before you drain it to check that its as cooked as you want it. Practice makes perfect! Now i want some fresh pasta...
post #13 of 29

@mathnerdm post some picks. I am also going to invite one of our resident pasta experts @Jim Berman to throw in his two cents.

 

@Jim Berman has written an excellent How-To here: 

 

 

How To Make Fresh Pasta
By Jim Berman Posted 1182 views
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post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for replying everyone! It is greatly appreciated! This pic is just a small amount of what I made but you can see the thickness of a couple noodles really well. I know it's not good looking pasta, but it is my first true dish from scratch lol (if you would even call it that)... 

http://[URL=http://s1302.photobucket.com/user/micah796123/media/20140725_235043_zps71d31433.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag138/micah796123/20140725_235043_zps71d31433.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

 

Thanks Nicko for adding that "How to" article, definitely will check that out!

post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for replying everyone! It is greatly appreciated! This is a picture of my first plate of pasta, I know it's not good looking pasta but it was my first dish really made from scratch lol (if that's what you would call this). Please any input on thickness or anything else would be awesome! Also, thanks for the link to the article Nicko, definitely gotta check that out! Thanks again!

 

 

post #16 of 29

Looks rather thick to me. But if that is your very first pasta i see a great pasta maker in the future!

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #17 of 29

I am with @ordo it looks like you might of rolled it a bit thinner.

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post #18 of 29

Your problems is almost definitely too thick pasta. Unless you are an Italian grandmother you'd best invest in a pasta roller. You could probably find one on ebay for cheap. If you plan on making fresh pasta often it is a necessity. 

 

If you have the duckets then Kitchen-Aid makes a pretty darn good pasta roller attachment. I think they are 50-70 bucks, but IMO worth it. 

post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday View Post

Your problems is almost definitely too thick pasta. Unless you are an Italian grandmother you'd best invest in a pasta roller. You could probably find one on ebay for cheap. If you plan on making fresh pasta often it is a necessity. 

If you have the duckets then Kitchen-Aid makes a pretty darn good pasta roller attachment. I think they are 50-70 bucks, but IMO worth it. 
I'm glad to hear all of you agree the problem is that it's too thick because I did think I made the dough really well and would have had no idea what to do differently lol! I'm going to make some more tomorrow, so before I do, I must ask. What is a good time range to expect fettuccine to cook in? Like when would be a good time to start tasting it? Thanks again for everybody's help!
post #20 of 29

The thinner the quicker it will cook. It it is thin, 2-3 minutes is probably good. Then you always finish in the sauce with a little of the pasta water thrown in. I'm sure youtube has thousands of videos on how to do this. 

Let us know how it turns out. 

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathnerdm View Post


I'm glad to hear all of you agree the problem is that it's too thick because I did think I made the dough really well and would have had no idea what to do differently lol! I'm going to make some more tomorrow, so before I do, I must ask. What is a good time range to expect fettuccine to cook in? Like when would be a good time to start tasting it? Thanks again for everybody's help!

 

You can't relate to established cooking times. You need to taste the pasta. Get the pasta out of the water a liitle on the tough side cause it will be cooking a while in the sauce. You can also let the pasta rest for a couple of hours before cooking.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #22 of 29

Thank you, @Nicko, for tapping me for input. One of the aspects that I see missing from the discussion above is the resting time. It is soooooo critical to allow fresh pasta dough to rest. I have read anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. I go with the latter. I will often make dough in the morning, allow it rest (covered, gently oiled) all day and then roll out in time for dinner service. Once the resting period is over, do not work the dough any more. A proper rest will ensure no broken/tough noodles and will give you the product for which you are searching.

 

Also, I have toyed with a pasta dough recipe for a long time. I think (uh oh.... I'm dangerous like that!) I have stumbled on a very good/reliable/quality formula: equal parts all purpose flour to equal parts semolina moistened with whole eggs. No water. The dough takes on a silky texture, is malleable and has good mouth feel. While water makes the dough more pliable, the cooked pasta just doesn't feel right.

 

As @ordo said, pull your pasta a bit before complete doneness and allow the final step of cooking to happen in the sauce.

 

Keep us posted! Hope the input helps!

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post #23 of 29

I recommend you use a pasta machine when learning to make fresh pasta.

 

I'd almost given up on fresh pasta because it always tasted pretty terrible when I made a few attempts at it. I used a rolling pin and rolled it as thin as I could.

 

But when I started using a pasta machine, my fresh pasta tastes much better. The machine rolls it thinner and more uniform than I was ever able to by hand. I only cook it for 1 minute and it's ready.

 

When I've truly got the hang of it, I'll start trying to make it by hand, as the texture will always be different from the machine's (according to Marcella Hazan). But I couldn't learn it without understanding the machine first.

post #24 of 29

Having lived in Italy, I have had the good experience to see a commercial enterprize make pasta. The dough is worked a long time which will make it silky. If the pasta is worked until silky then you a very strong armed person as it takes a lot of elbow grease to do that by hand. If you want you home made pasta to be al dente, it has to be thouroughly dried (hanging on plastic coat hangers works)

 

Fresh pasta cooks in 3 to four minutes. Taste as you test. It done when cooked but it will NOT be al dente because the pasta was not dried.

 

The Italians like a fairly course grind for their semolina which requires a lot of passes through rollers to get silky. King Arther's Perfect Pasta blend consist of blend of semolina, high protein durum (hard winter wheat) & all-purpose flours.

 

I agree with a previous author, a machine is great. I use a Kitchenaid pasta attachment on my mixer. I use only eggs and flour blend - no water.

 

If you want the cooked noodles to be creamy, toss the cheese and or sauce in the pot for at least 2 minutes.

 

Carry on.

post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone who posted and gave awesome advice! I made more yesterday using all the advice (particularly about the thickness) and it came out so well! I could not be happier with this forum and even more so, my new ability to make fresh pasta because of yall! Thanks!
post #26 of 29

Excellent!  Any day now I'm going to get the pasta roller for my Kitchenaid. Last hand rolled batch was not very impressive.

 

mjb.

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post #27 of 29

BTW. Look nonna Elena making pasta fresca from scratch. She says every Sunday she makes pasta that way! Mamma mía!

 

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #28 of 29

@teamfat @mathnerdm post pics of your finished products please.

Thanks,

Nicko 
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All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
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Thanks,

Nicko 
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All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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post #29 of 29

After watching that video I'm inspired to do another batch of hand rolled pasta this weekend. And yes, there will be pictures.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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