Homemade Pasta is not only fun and easy recipe to make in your own kitchen, but nothing compares to the taste and texture of fresh homemade pasta.
Whether you want to knead and cut the dough by hand, or you use a kitchenaid to mix and a roller to flatten and cut, I’ll share all of my homemade pasta tips & tricks!
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE PASTA
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Homemade Pasta is something everyone should make at least once in their lifetime. I’m sure 99% of us cook the basic dried pasta that comes in a box. There’s no harm in that. I do it myself! But once you make your own homemade pasta, you’ll realize how much different store bought dried pasta, and even the fresh pasta from the store really is!
Think about how delicious some basil meatballs with a rich homemade pasta sauce would taste on top of this pasta? Fettucine Alfredo made with homemade pasta and a rich garlic infused homemade Alfredo sauce. Yes please. How about some butternut squash ravioli in a sage brown butter sauce? Yep – I made that with my homemade pasta. Can you imagine how much better a tender pork marsala would taste over homemade pasta? You get the idea.
I’ve taken a few cooking classes where we made homemade pasta and I have the technique down! Don’t be intimidated by the process. I will walk you through it, step by step, and share as many tips and tricks as I can.
Think you can’t make homemade pasta because you don’t have a stand mixer or a pasta roller? Wrong. They’ve obviously been making it in Italy without any fancy tools for as long as pasta has been around. But like with any job, the right tools make it easier.
How do you make pasta from scratch?
Well, it’s a two part process. First you must make the dough. Then, after a rest period, you will then roll it out and cut it to your desired shape. You can use the rolled dough to make lasagna sheets, ravioli, linguini, etc.
Once the pasta is rolled and cut, you then have three choices. You can throw it in a pot of salted boiling water for a few minutes to eat it. If you don’t plan on eating all of it right away, you can store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator or the freezer. Or, finally, you can hang your pasta on a drying rack.
What kind of flour is used to make pasta?
Well, my pasta dough consists of olive oil, water, eggs, and equal parts all-purpose flour and semolina flour. I’ve made pasta using only all-purpose flour before and thought it was too doughy.
The semolina gives the pasta more bite. It adds to the taste and the texture. You can, of course, only use semolina, but I find that the combination of the two flours yields a dough that is easy to work with and tastes great.
How do you make fresh pasta dough?
Once you combine all of the ingredients, you have to knead the dough. You can most certainly knead the dough by hand, but it is a physically demanding process that will work your biceps for at least ten minutes. Pasta dough is not as soft as bread dough, so you’d be in for a workout.
If you have a stand mixer, you can easily knead the dough with the dough hook. If not, knead the dough on a well floured surface.
If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more semolina flour into it forms into a ball. Likewise, if the dough is too dry to come together, add water by the tablespoonful until it comes together.
You know the dough is ready when there is elasticity. To test, stick your knuckle into the dough. It should slowly push back. If you create an indentation and the dough just stays, you need to continue kneading.
Next, you’ll just need to cover your dough, either with plastic wrap or a towel, and let it rest at least 30 minutes. This is what allows the gluten to form which will give your pasta the chew it needs.
How do you make homemade pasta without a machine?
I’m not going to lie. I highly recommend using a pasta roller, but I’ll explain how to do it by hand in case you don’t have one.
To roll out pasta by hand, simply divide the dough into chunks. Using a dough cutter will make this step even easier. Ensure you’re working with enough all-purpose flour on your surface and roller to keep things from sticking. Roll out the dough much like you would a pie crust. The goal, however, is to create long sheets that are about an 1/8 inch thick.
Once the sheets are rolled out into long and thin sheets, you can slice the dough into noodles. I recommend using a clean straight edge, like a ruler, otherwise you might get very funny shaped pasta.
Tips for using a pasta roller:
The same process works whether you use a hand roller or the KitchenAid attachment. I actually have the Atlas hand roller and highly recommend it. There’s just something fun about cranking the pasta through manually.
- Working with small pieces of well-floured dough, send through the roller on the widest setting. Fold the dough into thirds and send it back through with the folded ends on the sides. Do this one more time and send it through the widest setting. The reason you do this is to get a pasta sheet with straight edges so there’s little waste when you cut.
- Continue to work the dough through the roller, rotating the dial each time to make the pasta sheet thinner and thinner. Ensure your dough always has enough flour so that it doesn’t stick to your roller.
- I usually go to the thickness setting of 5, but you can choose how thick or how thin you want your pasta.
- Once you have your sheet, you can then make your own ravioli or lasagna. Again, having the right tools helps, so if you’re making ravioli I recommend using a ravioli press. If you plan to cut spaghetti or linguine noodles, send the pasta through the cutting side.
- Ensure each of the noodles are well covered in flour so they don’t stick. You can’t go overboard here because it will all come off when you cook the pasta.
I plan on making a video at some point, but if you have any questions in the meantime, don’t hesitate to ask!
My favorite recipes I made with this perfect homemade pasta:
- Homemade Alfredo Sauce
- Fettuccine Alfredo
- Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo
- Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta
- Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups Semolina Pasta Flour
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 eggs room temperature and slightly beaten
- 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 4 tablespoons Water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Homemade pasta can either be made by hand or in a stand mixer.
- If making by hand: Combine semolina, flour, beaten eggs, water, oil, and salt. Mix to make a stiff dough. Knead 10 minutes by hand.
- If using a stand mixer, combine semolina, flour, beaten eggs, water, salt and oil in stand mixer bowl. Knead on medium speed with a dough hook.
- If dough is too sticky, sprinkle on additional Semolina until it comes together. If dough is too dry, sprinkle water until you get the right consistency. You'll want to knead until the dough is elastic. Slice into the dough with a paring knife; if you see lots of air bubbles, keep kneading. The dough is kneaded when it forms a smooth elastic ball and has very few air bubbles when cut. Test by pressing your knuckle into the dough; if it starts to bounce back then it's ready.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap or in a covered bowl and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out to desired thickness and cut as desired. Alternatively, cut into small chunks, flour, and roll through pasta roller. For this process, send through on thickness of 0. Fold in thirds and rotate so that straight edges are on the side and send it through again. Fold in thirds once more, again with straight edges on sides, and then send it through thickness 0 for a third pass. Then, change thickness to 1 and send dough through once. Continue process stepping through thicknesses 2, 3, 4 and end with 5. Give dough sheet one last dip in flour and then run it through the fettucine cutting side.
- You can dredge pasta in flour to ensure it doesn't stick together. Either set on cookie sheet until ready to cook or dry pasta on a drying rack.
- To cook, bring a large pot of heavily-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender (approximately 3 - 5 minutes). When making lasagna, no need to boil noodles. Add directly to your recipe.