How to Make Homemade Pasta
Make like an Italian grandma and create fresh pasta in your own cucina.
Make like an Italian grandma and create fresh pasta in your own Cucina.
Although more involved than tossing a handful of dried pasta into a pot of boiling water, you don’t need fancy equipment or hours of free time to make fresh pasta.
1 Start Your Dough
Egg pasta is super simple ingredient-wise: flour, salt, eggs, and olive oil. Begin by whisking together 2 cups of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and add three large eggs and one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. TIP If you want to flavor your pasta with dried herbs or spices, or wet ingredients like tomato paste, pesto, or squid ink, mix them in with the flour and salt before adding the eggs.
2 Whisk & Knead the Dough
Whisk the eggs and oil with a fork while slowly incorporating some of the flour from around the edges as you go. Once the dough becomes too thick to whisk with a fork, turn the dough out onto a clean work surface, along with any leftover flour from the bowl. Knead the dough and remaining flour until you’ve got a smooth, stiff ball of dough.
3 Let the Dough Rest
Wrap the dough loosely with plastic and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. The wrapped dough can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to a day if necessary. TIP Resting the dough allows the gluten matrix to relax and allows the dough to be rolled thin without it springing back like a rubber band.
4 Divide the Dough
When you’re ready to make your pasta, divide the dough into four smaller portions. Work with one portion at a time, leaving the remaining three covered with plastic to prevent them from drying out.
5 Roll the Dough
Dust the dough liberally with flour, then flatten it into a rectangular shape with your hands. Once flattened, begin to roll the dough into a long, thin sheet, dusting liberally with flour on both sides as you go.
6 Keep Rolling
Roll the pasta as thin as possible, keeping in mind that it will plump considerably when cooked. TIP You should be able to see your hand through the pasta when it’s held up to the light.
7 Slice Noodles
Dust the pasta liberally with flour once again, then fold it into a wide, flat roll. Folding the pasta into a flat roll instead of simply rolling the pasta up into a tube will help prevent the pasta from being squashed as it’s cut. Use a sharp knife to cut the pasta into strips.
8 Loosen the Noodles
Shake the cut pasta strands out into a loose pile and dust with flour. At this point, the pasta can be dropped into boiling water to cook or can be piled onto a baking sheet in single portions and frozen.
If freezing, transfer the individually frozen pasta nests to an air-tight freezer bag for storage. To dry the frozen pasta, hang the strands through a hanger over clothes drying rack, or over the back of a chair in a cool, dry place. Once the pasta is dry and brittle, it can be stored in an air-tight container.
9 Cook the Pasta
Keep in mind that fresh or fresh-frozen pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta. A quick three- to four-minute boil in lightly salted water is all you need for a plateful of springy, flavorful homemade pasta. The sky’s the limit with shapes and flavors, so take this base recipe and make it your own.