Homemade Pasta

This is one of those posts that I think really embodies what I’m trying to do with this site. I’ve never made fresh pasta before. The excuse I’ve always said is that I don’t have a pasta press. But a few weeks ago I got to thinking that you know what, pasta was made before pasta presses. Not having that one little piece of equipment shouldn’t stop me from giving it a shot.

This is what I ended up with!

Now I’m sure this whole thing would’ve been easier with a pasta maker but it was pretty cool making it the old school way. I imagine how many Italians do this everyday, and you don’t hear them complaining! Well, not too much at least.

While I had never made homemade pasta before, I had a general idea of how to do it and also knew that I was going to have to apply some of my bread-making kneading skills.

Yield
Serves 4.
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Yum

Basic Homemade Egg Pasta

This is my basic homemade egg pasta recipe. You can roll it out with a machine or by hand if you’re feeling ambitious!

Ingredients

2 Cups all-purpose flour or semolina flour.
1 Teaspoon salt
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks

Helpful Equipment

pasta roller
Print Recipe  

Directions

1) Mix together salt and flour on a clean counter and make a well in the center of the flour mound.

2) Crack eggs and yolks into the center of the well.

3) Using a fork, slowly incorporate the eggs into the flour. Ideally, you’ll do this slowly until you have a nice firm dough, but if the eggs escape the well, you can just stir everything together as well as possible.

4) Once the dough is together, start kneading it. It will be a pretty stiff dough. If it is cracking and not holding together, add some water to the dough, but it should be pretty stiff.

5) Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes until it’s very smooth, but should be still on the firm side.

6) Cover the dough loosely and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

7) Divide dough into quarters and work with one quarter at a time. Run it through your pasta roller until it reached the desired thickness or you can carefully roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it’s the desired thinness. It’s very hard to get it as thin as a pasta press will.

8) Once it’s rolled, cut the dough into your desired strips or shapes and toss them lightly with flour to keep the strands separated. Cook in salted boiling water until they float. It will take only a few minutes to cook.

Drain and serve the pasta immediately!

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

So basically it is just egg and flour with a bit of salt. I didn’t have 5 eggs on hand so I substituted about 2 Tablespoons of water for one of the yolks which worked out fine.

Basically just two ingredients.

Basically just two ingredients.

The first step is to mix the salt and flour together (I just used the old hands) and then make a well on the counter. Add your eggs and yolks in the center of this well.

My well is, well, too small.

My well doth overfloweth.

If you watch an expert do the next step, it may come together perfectly. I learned that this is not terribly easy though. Ideally you want to slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs with a fork until you have a nice even dough. I ended up with this:

Oh dear...

Oh dear…

But do not fret! Keep working and eventually you will get a nice firm ball of dough. Now for the work part. You will need to knead this for about 15 minutes and I’m not going to lie, it is not as easy as kneading bread. The dough is pretty stiff. If it isn’t holding together, add a few drops of water.

You shouldn’t need to add a lot of flour to this, but if it is sticking to your counter you may need to use some.

The technique I use is to push the ball down with the palm of my hand, fold it over, turn it 90 degrees, and do the whole thing all over again.

Worked out after all!

Worked out after all!

Eventually you will have a firm stiff dough. Cover this with a cloth or plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes. You could also refrigerate at this point for 24 hours or so.

Then it is time to roll. Assuming you don’t have a pasta press, get out your largest rolling pin and work slowly. It took me probably 5-10 minutes to get this nice 2 foot by 1 foot rectangle. Try to get it as thin as possible. It is definitely hard to impossible to get it as thin as a pasta press can.

Rolling this by hand is not the easiest thing ever.

Rolling this by hand is not the easiest thing ever.

At this point you can cut the dough into whatever shapes you want. You could make ravioli or any number of other fun things. I wanted to make just a simple linguine type pasta. I turned my dough the other way and floured it pretty heavily to keep the dough from sticking to itself.

Flour is your friend.

Flour is your friend.

Then you just roll this up tightly and slice it as thin or thick as you would like. Use the sharpest knife you have to cut so the dough doesn’t press down and cuts smoothly.

Artsy photo of the day!

Artsy photo of the day!

Once it is all cut, toss it lightly to separate all the strands.

A big mound of pasta.

A big mound of pasta.

At this point you can let this hang to dry and freeze it in a plastic bag, or you can cook it right away in boiling salted water.

It only takes a few minutes for this stuff to cook. I tossed mine with some sauteed mushrooms, butter, parsley, and Parmesan cheese.

Add a simple sauce and this is good stuff.

Add a simple sauce and this is good stuff.

My noodles were a bit thicker than I would have liked, but it was really fun to make and kind of a work out also! Even though it wasn’t perfect, I feel much more confident about my pasta making abilities.

It would be cool if you shared this with some friends using the below little icons!

12 comments on “Homemade Pasta

  1. We are on weirdly the same wavelength. I was JUST thinking of making fresh pasta (I’ve made 100% semolina orechiette before and it was a piece of cake) and now you’ve cemented it. I’m so glad I found your blog; it’s really inspirational.

  2. You made this look really easy, and wow, your pictures are great! (I’ve reeeeally got to get better at taking pics for my blog. I stink.)

    You’ve motivated me to try this. I may go half whole wheat, though, and try to get to 100% whole wheat if I can pull it off with the fam. I’m also going to do the mixing in my Bosch and skip the workout! :)

    Thanks!
    Kelly

  3. I am in awe. Your pics are amazing and you made the recipe so easy to follow.

    Thank you so much for sharing! I will visit again soon.

    H :)

  4. I spit my coffee out at “hand porn.”

    Thanks guys. I may invest in a pasta machine, but it’s nice to know I can roll it out in a pinch.

  5. I;ve been making my own pasta lately and it never ceases to amaze me how simple it is. The machine makes it faster, but even rolling it by hand isn’t totally out of the question for a weeknight. Soo much better than the boxed stuff!

  6. good job nick! the first time to make homemade pasta is so exciting! my grandmom gave us a pasta roller for a housewarming present and i LOVE it. you should buy one. its fun and awesome and easier than doing it without a machine (although you seemed to do a great job anyway!)

    the fun really starts comin when you start mixing the dough with things like spinich, beets, tomato paste, etc to get pretty colors! ima try to convince dan to break out the machine this weekend now cause you’ve made me jealous! (although i doubt “convincing” him will be hard to do hehe)

  7. I'm so glad someone else brought up the "hand porn" issue before I did. Because I would have been way too embarrassed to say anything. But my reaction was the same.

    I can't wait to try this. Do you think I could mix the dough and do most of the kneading in the good ol' stand mixer? (I know it's not as authentic but I'm weak.)

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