How To Make Pasta Dough
I will show you step-by-step how to make fresh pasta from scratch with a pasta roller and by hand! Make fresh pasta dough is simple and doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. I have also included a recipe for spaghetti and meatballs for you to try with your simply delicious homemade pasta dough!
I am really not sure why I haven’t written and posted this a long, long time ago. We LOVE pasta. I’m pretty sure that there is some pasta dish on every holiday menu and we love to make the pasta ourselves.
DJ’s sister really got us into making pasta. She came home one weekend from college, and made us fresh pasta, and we all fell in love, and started thinking “why don’t we make this more?” And it is so simple to make, it really was silly for us to be buying store bought pasta. Yeah, it’s more convenient, but if you make and dry your own pasta, like this post shows you how to do, it’s just as easy – and homemade pasta tastes better!
Homemade pasta is really very simple to make and doesn’t cost a lot of money. With just a few simple ingredients you can transform any pasta dish into extraordinary by making your own pasta.
Making pasta dough at home is a great family project too. You can get your kids involved in the mixing, kneading and rolling of the dough and once it’s all cooked, your kids will see what an incredible job they did making their own dinner. If your kids are picky, try getting them involved. Kids love trying their own work!
The classic ratio for fresh pasta dough is 3 parts flour to 2 parts eggs. And this works well if you weigh your ingredients. But, most of us do not have a kitchen scale so using this formula instead: 2 1/2 cups flour to 4 eggs.
Fresh pasta can be flavored with various ingredients including; spinach, beets, roasted red pepper, herbs and saffron.
This recipe is simple to make at home and can be rolled and cut by hand or by using a pasta machine.
Gather your ingredients
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose or “00” flour
- 3/4 cup semolina flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Whisk together dry ingredients.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, semolina flour and salt.
Make a well in the flour.
Pour flour into a mound on a clean work surface and with your fingers, gently make a well large enough to hold the eggs. If you want to keep the mess to a minimum, do this in a large bowl.
Pour eggs into the well.
Cracks eggs into a measuring cup and add oil. Pour into the well.
Whisk the eggs.
With a fork or small whisk, whisk eggs without adding any flour.
Add the flour.
Using your hands, gently add flour into the well and mix until all of the flour is blended and it looks like a ball of shaggy dough.
Bring the shaggy ball of dough together until it forms a ball. If the dough is still a little sticky, add some more flour a little at a time and mix it in. Start kneading the dough bu pushing it down and away from you on a floured surface and turning repeatedly until te dough feels smooth. This takes about 8 minutes.
Let it rest.
Shape the dough into a ball and press into a disc. Cover the disc with plastic wrap or place in a ziplock bag. Let rest for 30 minutes to an hour before rolling.
The Only Homemade Pasta Recipe You’ll Ever Need
Now that you have mastered making fresh pasta dough, it is time to make pasta! I will walk you through every single step in detail. Rolling out and cutting the dough takes about 20-25 minutes, depending on how many helpers you have and how quickly you go. This is definitely something that you can do alone, but it is so much more fun with you kids, some friends (girls night with some wine, perhaps?), your hubby or whoever else, and much easier with some help.
Once you have made your pasta, you can cook it right away, dry it or freeze it for later. Remember that when you cook homemade pasta, it cooks much more quickly than the dried stuff you buy at the store. Give it about 3 minutes in salted boiling water, and you’ll be good to go!
Cut your dough.
Using a sharp knife or a pastry cutter, divide the dough into four equal portions. Dish with flour and cover with a clean dishtowel. The dish towel prevents the pasta dough from drying out before you roll it.
- Set your pasta machine to the thickest setting, usually ‘0’ or ‘1’.
- Flatten one piece of dough between your hands and start feeding it through the pasta roller. Repeat two times
- Fold this piece of dough into thirds like when you fold a letter and feed through pasta roller again.
- Fold pasta dough in half on top of its self and roll through pasta roller to make a loop.
- Begin changing the settings on your pasta roller to roll thinner and thinner pasta. Roll the dough two or three times at each setting.
- If making spaghetti (like this tutorial), roll dough until it is 1/16” thick, or setting 7.
Cut the pasta sheets.
Cut the long loop of pasta in half and cut the sheet into noodle-length pieces. About 12”. Set cut sheets over a pasta drying rack, or coat hangers and let dry while you finish rolling out your dough.
Attach the spaghetti cutter attachment to your pasta roller. Feed sheets of pasta through. Carefully move the cut spaghetti to drying rack, or coat hangers to dry.
Cooking the pasta.
To cook the pasta immediately bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente – about 3 minutes. Remove from water with tongs. Serve with your favorite sauce. We like ours with marinara and meatballs.
You can dry the pasta you’ve just made by letting it dry on a pasta rack or coat hangers until completely brittle. It will store in an air-tight container for two-three weeks. Completely dried pasta will take an extra minute to cook.
You can freeze pasta in either nests or flat. To freeze, place noodles in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Freeze until completely frozen (duh!), and transfer to an air-tight container. Frozen pasta will take an extra minute to cook.
Pasta dough can be made up to a day in advance. Just bring to room temperature before rolling out.
Making Pasta By Hand
It is possible. We used to do it all the time until we sucked it up and spent $80 on a pasta roller. If you make pasta a lot, like we do then it is totally worth the money!
To make pasta dough by hand, divide the dough into pieces like above and using a rolling pin and some flour, roll the dough as thing as possible, lifting and moving the dough frequently to make sure that it doesn’t stick.
When making pasta dough by hand, it is easiest to make pepparedelle and roll the dough into a log (like rolling cinnamon buns) and use a very sharp knife and cut the pasta into noodles. Make sure to cut the noodles all the same size so that they cook evenly. Unroll the coils and toss with a little bit of flour. Cook like you would any other fresh pasta; in salted boiling water until al-dente.
Spaghetti & Meatballs