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When making Pasta with my new pasta maker I had the following Steps:

  1. Make sheets from the dough using the roller part of the Pasta Maker
  2. Let these sheets dry to a certain extent
  3. Put the pasta sheets through the spaghetti or linguine cutters

It seemed if it wasn't try enough the pieces would stick together to much and if it was too dry it would break up a little and be a little hard to get started in the cutter.

What qualities do you look for in the pasta sheets to tell when it is the ideal dryness to pass through the cutter?

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Personally I just flour it until it doesn't stick too much. That seems to work well. –  justkt Jan 23 '11 at 23:28

2 Answers 2

The real answer is that you learn by feel. So what you do is, start feeding it and if it is a little sticky, dust some flour on it. Conversely, if it is too dry and starts to crack, spritz it with a little bit of water from a spray bottle. Soon you will learn when to make these adjustments.

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I think it is rare that the pasta would be too dry to cut. If it is hard to get started, rub just a little bit of water on the end of the sheet. Once it gets going, you should be OK. A more likely problem is that it would stick together after cutting. If you are making several flat sheets, you can dust them with flour so they won't stick to whatever surface you are setting them on. Similarly, once the pasta is cut, you can toss it with a little bit of flour if it seems sticky. Finally, small batches make everything easier to control.

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