Pasta problem solvers
There’s nothing more satisfying than sitting down to a comforting pasta dish created entirely by your own two hands. However, if you’re new to the world of pasta making, as with any new skill, you may well have encountered a few issues or have a few questions. Worry not, we’re here to solve your pasta quandaries with lots of hints and tips – you’ll be a pasta pro in no time!
My pasta dough is too dry/moist
If your pasta dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water to the mix, and repeat until you have the desired consistency. If your dough is too moist, add a small amount of flour and mix in, adding more if necessary. It’s essential you only add a small amount at a time, otherwise you will end up in a never-ending cycle of dry dough to soggy dough to dry… until you end up with more dough than you know what to do with!
Even if you’ve followed your recipe to the letter, you may have to make these adjustments as there are variants you can’t control, like the size of the eggs you use. So don’t worry, you haven’t ‘gone wrong’ – cooking is all about experimenting and adapting.
How do I stop my pasta from sticking together?
When you’re cutting and hanging your pasta, the last thing you want is for the strands to stick together, tearing your lovingly prepared tagliatelle or spaghetti. Sprinkling a small amount of cornflour over your strands of pasta should solve this one. If your pasta is overly sticky, it could be that you made your dough too wet, in which case you might want to try adding more flour to your dough next time.
How do I stop my pasta from tearing?
Tearing can be caused by your pasta dough sticking to the roller on your pasta machine. A sprinkle of cornflour should help. Pasta can also tear if you move the dough through the machine too quickly, so slowing down the process could help too.
How do I store home-made pasta?
One option is to toss it in a little flour (this will stop it sticking) before putting it into an airtight bag; you can then store it in the fridge for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Another option is to fully dry your pasta. If you have made pasta shapes, you can lay them out on a tea towel on top of a wire rack, or you could use a food dehydrator. For longer pasta – like spaghetti, tagliatelle or lasagne sheets – you will need to drape them over a drying rack, ensuring there is enough separation between each so they don’t stick together, and so air can circulate.
If you don’t have a specific pasta-drying rack, you can improvise by using the rack inside your oven (just don’t turn it on!), or simply lay the strips flat. The length of time it takes to dry depends on the thickness of your pasta and how warm or humid your room is. Once dried, your pasta can be stored in an airtight container for several months.