Stretching pasta

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by jerryag, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. jerryag

    jerryag

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    Does anyone know of a site with instructions or a video that shows how to make and stretch fresh pasta? Preferably angel hair pasta.
     
  2. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Check out "pasta making," and "pasta machine" at you tube, you'll find plenty of video.

    Italian style pasta is not stretched like strudel or some kinds of Chinese noodles.  Rather it is rolled by hand or with a pasta rolling machine and cut on a chitarra or the machine; or it is extruded.  A good pasta roller is relatively inexpensive, good extruders are on the other hand are pricey. 

    More specifically, whether cut or extruded, very fine pastas like angel hair are nearly impossible to make at home. 

    BDL
     
  3. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    Why are they so difficult, BDL? Surely it's all in the final cutting, yes?
     
  4. jock

    jock

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    Yes it is and since angel hair is such a fine cut it makes it difficult for the home cook to execute. I'm not aware of a die that is available for the standard hand crank pasta rollers we use at home. Home made pasta dough is quite soft and delicate and not well suited to really thin cuts.
     
  5. chefross

    chefross

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    I make Angel hair pasta and find that a little extra flour in the dough will make the difference between allowing the cutters to cut through the dough, and making a sheet of pasta with very fine grooves that you can't separate.
     
  6. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    I'm with Chefross. You can also use a little cornstarch with the flour for dusting, and let the sheets hang a little longer. Use a long, very sharp knife, a neatly folded pasta sheet, and a gentle forward motion with the knife. By the time you're halfway through the second sheet or so, you'll have lovely thin pasta.
     
  7. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    This is how I understand it.

    Angel hair pasta (cappellini d'angelo) is a round pasta; and as such it isn't cut, it's extruded.  Any decent extruded pasta is made from very stiff dough, and very fine pastas are made from extra stiff doughs.  While it's possible, none of this (super stiff dough, extruding pasta that fine, and handling it after its extruded so it doesn't break) is easy at home.

    The less expensive pasta extruders like the Popeil (no slouch, actually) and De Longhi can be had with "angel hair" discs, but they're more like extra fine spaghettini than an actual angel hair -- at least in my opinion.  Also, without really powerful mixers, they don't make stiff enough doughs and the result, consequently, tends to be gummy.

    There's not much benefit to "fresh angel hair" as opposed to a high quality dry, boxed version.  Because it is so fine, it even cooks almost as quickly.

    I'm interested in what type of cutters chefross uses to make his flat angel hair.  I've never seen any nearly as fine as angel hair for any of of the popular roller/cutters.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  8. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    It's an extruded pasta? I didn't know that. What's ultra-fine cut pasta called? -- cappellini leaps to mind, but I have no idea why, as my Italian is and probably always will be mediocre at best. But yeah: I've never used an extruder, but everything I know about them tells me that BDL is totally right.

    Actually, 99% of what I know about BDL tells me the same thing....