So this is my first moderately successful attempt to make pasta. As you can see, it certainly looks the part. And I'll be completely honest -it was totally fun to make. So here's what I learned:
1 - Don't put the entire ball of dough through the machine at once. It can't handle it, and you'll end up tearing your dough. The recipe I used called for two cups of flour and three eggs and I had to divide it into three pieces to get it to go through right.
2 - Pasta dough is soft, especially when you've rolled it out all the way. It's also very fragile, and that pasta you see up there actually mushed itself back together simply through its own weight. Be sure to separate your pasta strands.
3 - Boxed pasta is apparently seasoned. Either that, or however I made my pasta turned it very, very bland. Soft and tender, yes, but bland.
OK, so making pasta was totally cool. I'll admit to being a little hesitant after my first try, but after making sure I properly kneaded the dough, let it rest, and put it into the machine as manageable chunks, it was really actually ridiculously easy. Literally, you just pop it in the machine and it gets long and skinny. Two cups of flour and three eggs equated to a sheet of pasta easily twelve feet long by six inches wide. Now, with that said, I found the pasta just a tad bit chewy, so I think I'll stop at the second-to-last thickness next time.