Quick Tip: What’s the Right Texture for Pasta Dough?

Given that I learn most things the hard way (skim directions and dive into trial and error), my learning curve can sometimes be rather tedious (I make up for lack of quality learning with the quantity of experimenting).

Pasta dough is one of those tough lessons.  I’d never seen it made (in real-life or on video) and followed instructions which often finished with something like “adjust flour and water until you get the right consistency.”  This wasn’t overly helpful and led to mixed results.  I turned to a friend (who was raised in Italy, in the Kitchen) and asked the question; “What’s the right texture for pasta dough?”  He smiled wryly and replied with a word:

Quick Tip: Whats the Right Texture for Pasta Dough? Semolina Flour Flour

Playdough.

He explained there were variations but if I needed a single guideline when adjusting water and flour, this was it

Every batch of pasta since has worked!

Quick Tip: Whats the Right Texture for Pasta Dough? Semolina Flour Flour

Comments

  1. Interesting! I too started making pasta without seeing it done in person–and started with 100% stoneground whole wheat flour, no less. So it’s not in any way authentic, I suppose. But I’d say that my dough has never been anywhere near as soft as play dough; I make it (almost) as stiff as it can be & still hold together (1.5 cups flour to 2 eggs & 1-2tbsp water, usually) and have been very happy. It never sticks to the pasta machine or itself, and cooks up to the right texture. I guess it shows that it’s still a personal thing!

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