Selfmade pasta

Let's make homemade pasta! If you have flour, two eggs, a dash of olive oil, and some salt, you can do it now. You don't need any special Italian pasta flour to make great homemade pasta, and you don't have to worry if you don't have a pasta maker. You can make pasta by hand with a simple rolling pin. I make pasta at home all the time, and this has become my “everyday” recipe. It makes a wonderful, versatile dough that you can roll out into a range of pasta and shapes.

What you will find here is my basic pasta dough and process. The basics. I will also give you an ear. I'll guide you through a number of variations and considerations below. And I will add pictures of making pasta dough step by step. You can do this by hand, with a stand maker or with a pasta maker. Homemade pasta is absolutely one of my favorite things to do and I summarize everything I've learned about it over the years in this one post along with links to my favorite resources. It is an ongoing journey for me, so I will continue to update it. Have fun and happy pasta!

Homemade pasta equipment

Let's start with the equipment. I have opinions on some of the pasta machines out there and have bought and used a number of them over the years. My takeaway food? In the end, you don't need much. Under no circumstances get started. Start by preparing your pasta by hand first. If you feel like it, buy a Marcato Atlas 150 pasta machine with hand crank. I have had mine for almost twenty years and with a little TLC it should last a lifetime. I make my pasta by hand and roll it out with the atlas.

  • Rolling pin: When you start and make pasta by hand, a rolling pin (and a sharp knife to cut the pasta) should do the job. If necessary, a large water bottle could do the trick if you have a short rolling pin.
  • Pasta maker: My Atlas 150 pasta maker is a workhorse. You can collect different attachments over time to experiment with different pasta shapes. With a little practice, rolling pasta dough to a uniform thickness becomes child's play. You need a counter or table top to clamp them in place. An alternative? Many people like to mix their dough in a blender and use the KitchenAid Pasta Roller & Cutter attachment to finish their pasta. I will also explain below how you can use that.
  • Pasta dryer: Let me be honest, I have a number of them. Rarely use one of them. If I want to keep pasta for later, I freeze them (details below). I bought a stack of these Eppicotispai drying racks, but I use them more than anything else for herbs and chili peppers.
  • Nice pasta tools: I have a weakness for beautiful pasta tools and have put together a small collection. Some favorites are a traditional Garganelli board, and I ask for a new LaGondola brass tool or pasta stamp every Christmas. My fantasy is that one day I can use a Mattarello to roll out a perfect sfoglia made from uncut pasta. But my reality is that I love my atlas, my Folglia adventures are frustrating and that's where I'm on my pasta trip.
  • Spray bottle & dough scraper: I will put these two items in the bonus category. They are nice to have, but not necessary. I like the spray bottle to control the amount of water in my pasta dough. You don't want your dough to get too wet. With the spray bottle you can spray it if necessary to add some moisture. The dough scraper is ideal for cleaning worktops with flour, confusing liquids that have run away when breaking through walls of flour and cutting dough into pieces.

Homemade pasta ingredients

  • Flour: You can make homemade pasta with lots of different flours. Experiment! It's half the fun. When it comes to pasta, I tend to think of flours with a spectrum from silky and fine to hearty and strong. The type of flour you use determines the personality and "grip" of your pasta, but the idea that you need super-specific flour to make wonderful, beautiful, and delicious pasta is not a good one.
    • All-purpose flour: It seems like a stigma against using all-purpose flour for homemade pasta, but I think it's a great place to start. Especially if you have that in your pantry right now. You get silky smooth noodles that I love in different ways. I like to combine pasta made from all-purpose flour with super simple tomato sauceIf you put them in a lively broth, they are also great as a curry component (boil them, drain them and scoop them with curry broth). And now that you have a baseline with the all-purpose flour, you can start experimenting using different ratios of “00”, semolina, and / or whole grain flour. And you will notice the differences.
    • "00" flour: Fine powder grinding with low-gluten soft wheat flour. This is used in most of the traditional egg noodles you encounter. It looks and feels almost like powdered sugar.
    • Wholemeal flour: Every wholemeal flour has its own taste, its own texture, its own protein profile and its own personality. Play around and start with a percentage of all your flour. I generally experiment with flours that develop gluten – rye, spelled, farro, kamut or whole wheat. Try half a cup, or if you're feeling braver, take a full cup. The recipe below provides 2 cups of flour, so that would be half of your total flour. See how you like it, take notes, adjust. To repeat.
    • Semolina flour: Made from durum wheat, a durum wheat, semolina using semolina leads to a stiffer pasta dough. I like it when I want my pasta to be toothier, textured, or more rustic. Track semolina flour if you want to make the egg-free pasta dough (see below). I noticed that the grindings between the brands can be slightly different. For example, Bob's Red Mill Semolina is slightly sandy compared to the powderier Hayden Flour Mills Semolina. I made delicious pasta with both of them. Just note what you like so you can develop your own style and personal preferences! If you increase the amount of semolina flour in your dough, you need to extend the cooking time.
  • Eggs: My basic, everyday pasta recipe (the one we're working with today) requires two eggs. I made a lot of pasta with a higher percentage of eggs and sometimes I make pasta without an egg (see below) – I like two eggs. It gives the dough that I find little wealth, color, elasticity and durability, which makes the pasta very versatile. Especially when I later make a good amount of pasta to freeze. That said, I'm not sure what type of sauce or preparation I'm going to make. Good eggs are important here.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Not everyone uses olive oil in their dough. I use a touch. I feel like it helps keep the dough hydrated and makes it easier to roll smoothly through the pasta rollers if you go that route.
  • Fine-grained sea salt: You want to salt your pasta dough and your pasta water.

How to make pasta without eggs

I know some of you want to know how to make pasta without eggs or vegan pasta. No problem. I use a dough like this for one of my favorite pasta shapes – Pici. They basically cut 1/4 inch strips of dough and roll them out by hand. Eggless doughs like this are not usually used for pasta like the others we mainly focus on today, but for forms like Pici, Cavatelli, Trofie and Orecchiette. To make a pasta dough without eggs: Combine 200 g of 00 flour, 200 g of semolina flour, 200 g of warm water and 1 teaspoon of fine-grain sea salt. Use these ingredients and continue with the instructions under “Making Pasta by Hand” in the following recipe section. Rosetta Costantinos My Calabria, which is made from all-purpose flour, also has an egg-free recipe for fresh pasta.

How to make pasta dough by hand

This is covered in the following recipe, but I wanted to add some reference pictures and step-by-step information. Start by making a mound of flour directly on the countertop. Make a deep crater at the top and add the eggs, olive oil and salt.
"How to make homemade pasta dough

Use a fork to break the eggs open without breaking the walls of your hill. You want to try to keep the eggs at bay, but don't worry if they break through. Use a spatula or scraper to scoop them back in. Work more and more flour into the eggs one after the other. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cold water over the mixture and continue mixing until a batter comes together.
How to make homemade pasta dough

If you use all-purpose flour only, you may no longer need water. Some of the other flours are a little thirstier. If you feel that your dough is too dry, you can drizzle a little more over time. It should look like the pictures, you want to avoid wet dough. For some other flours, I usually use a total of 4-5 tablespoons of water.
Homemade pasta dough before kneading

I've found that a spray bottle is my favorite way to fill pasta dough with water without adding too much, but drizzle works too. Put the dough in a bag with your hands and knead for 7-10 minutes until the dough is silky smooth and elastic. You can see the difference in the dough. The one shown above has not yet been kneaded, and the one shown below is shown by hand after about ten minutes of kneading.
Homemade pasta dough after kneading

How to roll and cut fresh pasta by hand

To roll out pasta dough by hand, make sure your dough is at room temperature. Cut the dough into four equal pieces. Select a piece and wrap the rest immediately so it doesn't dry out. You need a floured surface and you want the pasta to stay a bit floured so that it doesn't stick to itself. If the dough sticks, rub in a little more flour. Roll out the dough to the desired thickness using a rolling pin. I tend to get thinner than I think because the noodles swell a bit when cooking. Once you've rolled out the dough flat, fold the dough loosely into a cylinder and cut it with a sharp knife to cut it into fettuccine (or any width).

Transfer the cut pasta to a floured baking sheet that is whirled into small nests. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

How to roll out pasta with a pasta maker

Sprinkle a generous amount of flour on a baking sheet and set aside. When you're ready to roll out the pasta, make sure your dough is at room temperature. Cut it into six equal wedges and crush one of them flat with your fingers. Wrap the rest of the dough immediately so that it does not dry out.
Homemade pasta dough cut into wedges

Feed your flattened wedge even though the noodles have the widest setting. Do it 2 or 3 times. If possible, you want to get a rectangular shape. At this point, fold the dough in a third so that you have a rectangle. Feed it through the noodle maker 2-3 more times on the widest setting.
Pasta Sheet Rolled to 4 on Pasta Maker

Pass the pasta through the pasta manufacturer and reduce the width. I run the pasta 2-3 times on each width and dust them on both sides with a little flour if I glue something. The pasta shown here (above and below) were rolled out on my Atlas 150 to 4.
Homemade pasta fettuccine

Once your pasta sheet is ready, attach any cutter attachment and pass the pasta as you crank. Avoid stopping after starting and keep turning. Transfer the cut pasta to a floured baking sheet that is whirled into small nests. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Homemade pasta in the form of a nest

How to make pasta in a blender

Make the dough first. Put the flour, eggs, olive oil, salt and 2 tablespoons of water in the bowl of a blender. Knead with the dough hook for 6-7 minutes at medium speed. You will probably need to add more water, a small splash at a time, until the batter comes together. You want to avoid over-moist or sticky dough. See the pictures above. Mix until the dough looks silky, elastic and smooth.

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a plastic bag. Alternatively, you can wrap in plastic wrap. Let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to a day. You may be able to get away within two days, but the dough will start to change color.

When you're ready to roll out the pasta, the method is basically an automated version of the hand-cranked traditional pasta maker. Connect the pasta roller attachment to your mixer and set the setting width to the widest setting.

Repeat the pasta a few times at each width and decrease the width until the pasta has reached the desired thickness. You want to dab the noodles with a little flour now and then while working through the thicknesses to avoid stickiness. And if your noodles get too wide, just fold them in half or a third and start again with the widest setting.

As soon as you have your pasta sheet, replace the roller attachment with the cutting attachment and pass the dough through the cutter. Transfer the cut pasta to a floured baking sheet that is whirled into small nests. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
How to make homemade pasta

How to cook homemade pasta

When you're ready to cook the pasta, do it in a large saucepan with well-salted water. Depending on the thickness and shape of your pasta, this can only take about a minute. Noodles with a high proportion of semolina flour or whole wheat flour take a little longer to cook than noodles with "00" flour. Reserve a cup or two of pasta water (if you want to use it for a sauce), drain the pasta and use it immediately.

How to take care of your noodle maker

With a little care, your pasta tools should last a lifetime, especially your pasta maker! I use a baking brush to wipe the flour and dough from my pasta maker every time I use it. It enables me to get into all the folds, seams and crevices. A slightly damp cloth can help stubborn areas. However, dry it completely before storing. The same applies to all my brass stamps and cutters with wooden handles.

How to freeze homemade pasta

Freezing is my preferred method of storing homemade pasta, which I don't use immediately. Place freshly prepared, uncooked pasta on a floured baking sheet. When working with shapes such as Trofie, Garganelli, Raviolis, Cavatelli, etc., make sure that they are in a single layer. For longer pasta, fettuccine, pici, spaghetti, etc. – arrange them in nests. Freeze for a few hours and then pour into double-layer plastic bags. You can freeze up to a few months. And you can cook straight from the freezer. You don't need to thaw, just put the pasta in boiling salted water and extend the cooking time a little.

Cookbooks with great information on how to make pasta

I thought I would list a few books in my collection that contain good chapters or sections on making homemade pasta or inspiration for what you could do with them. I am sure that I am missing a lot (sorry in advance). So if you have a favorite, please list it in the comments!

Make recipes with fresh pasta

A few favorite recipes that really sing when you use fresh pasta.

Variations of the basic pasta recipe

Simple beet fettuccine: An easy way to make flavor variations is to replace the water in your pasta recipe with vegetable juice. I love this beet juice-spiced fettuccine, which gives beets a nice pink color, and you can play around with how pale or saturated your pasta is by adding more or less beet juice.
Homemade pasta beet fettuccine

You can of course replace other liquids or use yellow (or orange) beets. If you succeed with these noodles, use the recipe as a starting point for other flavors. The ratio of eggs to flour in this recipe is slightly different – you can use it or the one I bring out here. The ideas are the same, swap strong juice for water in the recipe.
“Homemade Pasta Rye Noodles
Rye noodles: And here is an example of a rye noodle that I made a few years ago. It's a great option for the colder months, it freezes well (so I can do a lot at once) and you can drop the pasta into a series of restoration broths.

Shape: Play with different shapes! You could make pasta every day for a year and never have to do it again.
How to make homemade pasta

I hope this contribution was helpful! Preparing fresh pasta at home is a simple pleasure that everyone can enjoy, whether you are 8 or 88! xx, -h

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