Q: Really, what's the deal with making pasta dough? Is it really necessary to make the little well and incorporate the flour slowly, or can I just bang it in my KitchenAid with the dough hook? Will the texture be different? Is there something to the slow method or is it just tradition?
Sent by Erica
Editor: Erica, the goal in making homemade pasta dough is to make it as dense as possible. There should be zero air pockets in the dough when you cut into it with a sharp knife. I find that the stand mixer and food processor both do a great job of getting the dough most of the way there, and I have no problem with using a handy machine, if there is one around. But I do find that it's best to finish off the dough with a bit of hand kneading to really get all the air pockets out (and the food processor usually isn't strong enough to do this anyway).
Readers, what are your opinions on making pasta dough? Do the old-fashioned methods work best for you? Or do you happily use the food processor or stand mixer?
Related: How To Make Pasta: Tips From My Italian-Mother-in-Law
(Image: Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan)