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I've tried several times to make egg pasta from scratch. No matter how much flour I add or how much I knead, the result is the same: the dough is too sticky to pass through a pasta roller or even to roll out by hand. Last night I tried a friend's extruder machine, and the extruded noodles just gummed together before I could even cut them off. What should I be doing differently?

  • In order to say what you should be doing differently, we need to know what you have done (so letting us know your recipe would be helpful). Also, check out both of the answers here: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/36892/…. They're very different, both give good advice. – Jolenealaska Oct 19 '14 at 19:15
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    What kind of flour are you using? Italian OO flour is best for pasta. And if possible, do you know the gluten content of the flour? – Mike Scott Oct 23 '14 at 19:30
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    Agreed; most likely using a flour with not a high enough gluten percentage. – Michael Natkin Oct 24 '14 at 0:27
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Michael Rhulman writes: "The pasta dough ratio is 3 parts flour, 2 parts egg. So I crack 1 egg per serving into a bowl, then multiply that weight by 1.5 and add that much flour."

Try that.

Also, the recipe for extruded pasta is different, most often made with semolina and water...almost always a crumbly texture when entering the extruder.

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No matter how much flour I add or how much I knead, the result is the same: the dough is too sticky

Could be the weather and not you at fault! Seriously, my Italian flat mate swore the British climate was the reason for not achieving the perfect pasta mix every time. He ended up a risotto eater instead.

Apart from that, a couple of things occur to me. Always presuming you are using one medium sized egg to each 100 g of "00" flour, adding more flour is not the solution. Flour + liquid = paste. The more flour added, the stodgier the pasta will become.

If you are making a larger amount -- say 300 g flour -- try only adding two eggs, then the third a little at a time starting with the yolk. Only add the white if required to just hold the dough together. A blender or mixter with a dough hook work well. If still too dry add a little oil. Kneading will take around 10 minutes until silky and smooth. Wrap in cling film and rest in a cool place.

It would be good if you could give your ingredients and quantities @crmdgn. "Egg pasta" can be many things. My basic pasta recipe is 100 g "00" flour, one egg and a pinch of salt (or multiples thereof). My mother used to make pasta with equal parts plain/all-purpose flour and semolina, eggs, olive oil, water and salt. And Umberto, the flat mate? I never found out what his "mama's secret recipe" was, but as it was often a failure when he made it, I suspect it is no loss! To be absolutely fair, it was in the days before "00" flour was widely available.

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Add a little oil and a little salt to your pasta and stop overcooking it.

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    Salt and oil will not make the dough less sticky, and the problem is with the dough, before you've even started cooking it. – Cascabel Oct 29 '14 at 3:25
  • I concur with @Jefromi. The answer is not helpful. – Cindy Nov 7 '14 at 20:10
  • The OP is asking about making pasta from scratch, not about cooking pasta. – Joe M Jan 27 '15 at 15:29

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