Moisture May Be Why Your Fresh Pasta Is Off, According To Danny Freeman - Exclusive

Picture this: It's fresh pasta night. You've got your eggs, you've got your flour, and your marinara sauce is bubbling on the stovetop. You begin to roll out the new dough — but something's off. It's either too dry or much too sticky, and you just can't get a handle on it to make the homemade ravioli you've been dreaming of throughout the grueling work week. Where did you go wrong? According to Danny Freeman, it's probably the moisture content.

In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, the social media creator and cookbook author advised you "to be mindful of the moisture content and the feel of the dough" because that's what can really make or break your fresh pasta. Freeman recommended measuring the ingredients as you create the dough, explaining, "Your eggs might be slightly different sizes, or you might have a lot of humidity in the air or moisture in your hands." Without taking those variations into account, you might end up with the problem he says people often message him about: too-sticky dough that forms into a big ball rather than taking your intended pasta shape. Fortunately, there's an easy fix.

Don't be afraid to adjust

If moisture is to blame for your pasta dough woes, a few adjustments can help save the day. If you're getting the sticky dough ball, "Usually, that's because your dough is too wet," Danny Freeman told Tasting Table. In the case that "you're kneading the dough and it's sticking to your hands, add more flour." Conversely, if the dough is too dry, add a tiny bit more water. Freeman describes pasta as "very forgiving" as you are able to adjust accordingly while rolling it out. As long as the dough isn't sticking to your person or the counter, you should be in good shape.

In addition to the tips Freeman suggested, make sure to keep track of any other factors that could influence the moisture content of your dough. For instance, don't leave the window open when making your fresh pasta — it can really dry out your dough and ruin homemade spaghetti night. Of course, moisture isn't the only mistake you can make with pasta; making it fresh is a delicious and fun activity, but it takes time to perfect. In a pinch, dried boxed pasta makes for a simpler substitute that can save your meal if your dough prep just isn't going your way.