Happy Friday, friends! Here’s my promised tutorial for delicious homemade pasta. There’s something so delightful about the bouncy, supple texture of fresh pasta– it’s flavorful, robust, and unforgettable. I might even say that once you’ve tasted this stuff, you’ll want to make it for all your friends and family; and no one will want to go back to boxed macaroni product!
FAQ: Is It Difficult?
The short answer is, it depends on how familiar you are with working with dough. Your hands will get covered with flour and stickiness, as this recipe requires kneading. Furthermore, you won’t be able to make the dough in a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer. As you will see, it requires slowly incorporating ingredients together.
However, I am a strong believer that YOU CAN DO IT!!!! Like anything, making pasta takes some practice but the payoff is so great that it’s worth the hard work. And unlike French macaroons, once you get this right, you’ll probably always get it right. That’s good news!
Last tip– this is not a neat and tidy process. It requires lots of patience, courage, and a little cleaning-up. But that’s real cooking: dough in your fingernails, flour in your hair. Personally, I enjoy the messiness.
A quick word on tools…
You’ve probably heard of a pasta roller or attachment before. While these gadgets are not necessary, they’re quite preferable to a rolling pin and knife. I’ll show you how you can cut your own pasta into diamonds and triangles (maltagliati), but for narrow strand pastas (linguini, fettuccine, cappellini, etc.) you’ll probably need a cutter.
If you have a stand mixer such as the Kitchenaid, you can purchase pasta rolling attachments that will run the pasta through electrically. If you’d like to see a manual pasta roller at work, check out this video by YouTube chef, Byron Talbott. The pasta roller we used is a Kitchenaid attachment, available at Williams-Sonoma.
And if this is a one-time experiment for you, go ahead and try it with a rolling pin and knife! And once you enjoy the deliciousness, you’ll probably go out and get yourself a pasta roller.
A note on ingredients…
There are hundreds of pasta recipes out there, and the one you select is a matter of preference. My husband and I love eggs in our pasta for the texture and color, so this is our favorite recipe.
Ready to try this? Here we go! (Oh, and the unfamiliar set of hands are my husband’s. It’s such a hands-on process that I had him do the hard work while I took these photos for you!)
Homemade Pasta Recipe
Ingredients (makes about 20 oz pasta; 8 full-size servings. Pasta dough can be frozen and defrosted for later use, or refrigerated for a day):
- 2.75 cups flour, plus more for dusting
- 6 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
- 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch of salt
Step One: Make the Dough. On a flat, clean surface, sift the flour and form a well in the center. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and salt until just combined. Pour the mixture into the well, being careful to not let it “leak” out the side.
With a fork, slowly begin incorporating the flour into the egg mixture. Work circularly around the well, allowing the flour and egg mixture to absorb into each other. Continue to do this until a dough is formed. This will take at least 5-10 minutes. Be patient!
Once the dough has come together, prepare to knead the dough by hand for 4-5 minutes. Flour your work surface, and begin to knead. Push the dough away from yourself, then fold it in half, and repeat. If necessary, you can separate the dough into two parts to make the kneading more manageable.
You should now have a smooth, elastic dough. Form it into a ball, wrap with Seran and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight. You may also divide the dough at this time and freeze a portion for later.
Step Two: Roll the Dough. If using a rolling pin, flour your surface. Divide the dough you are using into manageable chunks, and begin to roll it out. Once it’s rolled out, fold into thirds, and roll in a perpendicular direction from the fold. Repeat. For most pastas, the dough should only be 1/16 inch thick.
If using a pasta roller (or attachment), be sure to follow the instructions that come with it. You want to start the roller at the lowest (thickest) setting, and slowly feed the dough through. Fold it in thirds and repeat in the other direction. You can cut the dough if it gets too long. Continue until you’ve taken the roller to the preferred setting, and the dough is thin enough.
Remember that the pasta will expand in both width and thickness when it cooks! Therefore, make sure your pasta is rolled thin enough, or you will end up with thick doughy chunks (yuck!).
Step Three: Cut the Pasta. Now you should have thin rectangular sheets of pasta! Almost there! Depending on what kind of pasta you would like to make, you can begin to cut it.
If cutting by hand, be sure to flour your work surface sufficiently. To make maltagliati, cut the pasta into triangles or diamonds with a regular knife. If you’d like to hand cut some fettuccine or pappardelle strands, flour the long sheet of pasta. Fold the sheet into thirds, and slice to desired width. Unfold the pasta and make sure it doesn’t stick together.
If using pasta roller or attachment, feed the pasta through the cutter of choice. There is only one setting for these, so it should be pretty self-explanatory!
Step Four: Cook and enjoy! To cook your pasta, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a splash of olive oil (to prevent sticking), and pour in your pasta. Fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta, so stay close by. Cook for approximately 3 minutes, and drain immediately. Toss with your favorite sauce and enjoy! In these photos, I used the pureed version of my 5-Ingredient Tomato Sauce. In last week’s photos, I served homemade pasta with my Butternut Squash pasta sauce.
Are you going to try this? Have you ever had fresh pasta? I’d love to hear about it! And let me know if you have any questions about this process!