How To Keep Fresh Pasta Dough From Drying Out As You Roll It

There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of crafting homemade pasta from scratch. The feel of soft, pliable dough beneath your hands, the tantalizing aroma that fills your kitchen, and the promise of a mouthwatering meal to come — it's a culinary experience like no other. However, as any pasta enthusiast knows, keeping your fresh pasta dough from drying out during the shaping and cutting process can be a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, there is a technique tip that will keep your pasta dough perfectly fresh and ready to create mouthwatering dishes.

The key to preventing your fresh pasta dough from drying out lies in a simple but crucial rule: Work with one portion of the dough at a time. While it may be tempting to roll out the entire batch in one go, this can lead to disastrous results as the exposed dough quickly dries out due to the extended exposure to air. Instead of leaving it out, turn to a kitchen staple you likely already have at home, plastic wrap.

Try these steps instead

To keep fresh pasta dough soft and pliable, begin by dividing your pasta dough into manageable portions. For instance, if you're making fettuccine or tagliatelle, consider working with a quarter of the dough at a time. Take the portion you intend to work with and wrap the rest tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. This step is crucial to keep the unused dough shielded from air exposure. 

Once you've shaped one portion of dough, move on to the next, leaving the wrapped dough undisturbed until you're ready to use it. This process ensures that each piece of dough remains fresh and pliable. You can even individually wrap the portions of dough if you know there will be several portions or a lot of time in between working with each section.

By adhering to this method, you'll find that pasta-making becomes not only more manageable but will also yield consistent results. No more frantically rushing to shape pasta before it turns into an uncooperative, dry sheet of disappointment. So, the next time you decide to make homemade pasta, keep that dough wrapped tightly until it can have your full attention. The resulting pasta will ensure you won't regret the extra effort.