Pasta making is ingrained in the Italian culture as a family tradition and true labor of love. I enjoy making pasta on the weekends when I have a little extra time to make it from scratch and want to spoil the hubby. It’s well worth the effort!
Before I ever owned a pasta maker, I used a simple rolling pin to make my pasta sheets, it takes more muscle and gives a little thicker noodle, but still delicious! So don’t be afraid to make homemade pasta if you don’t have the fancy machine.
Here are the basic steps for making homemade pasta:
1. Mix, Knead, Portion, and Flatten Dough
Create the pasta dough by adding flour to a large bowl, making a well in the center and then add the eggs, salt, olive oil, and water. Use a fork to beat the wet ingredients and gradually incorporate the flour until the dough comes together in a mass. Gather the dough with your hands and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Using the palm of your hands, knead the dough for about 10 minutes, dusting as needed.
The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Form the ball into a flattened disc, cover tightly with plastic wrap and rest for 1 hour at room temperature. Portion the dough into four equal parts, covering the used portions and working with one section at a time. Flatten the dough piece with a rolling pin to create a thin rectangle, big enough to fit in the widest setting on the pasta machine.
2. Rolling the Pasta
Set the pasta rollers to the widest setting, passing the pasta dough through the rollers by turning the handle with one hand and guiding the pasta sheet with the other hand.
Lightly dust the pasta sheet, and fold in half. Pass the folded pasta sheet through the roller again on the widest setting. Repeat the folding and rolling procedure until the dough is smooth, which may need 4 to 6 passes.
Tighten the rollers one to two marks, and then pass the dough through the machine. Without folding in half, pass the dough through the machine repeatedly, tightening the rollers one or two marks each time.
The pasta rolling process is complete when the dough is thin enough to be able to see your hand through it, but not so thin that it can tear. You can now use this pasta sheet to make lasagna, or continue shaping it further.
3. Cutting the Pasta into Noodles or Shapes
Attach the pasta cutter to your pasta machine or just use a knife to cut the pasta into desired noodles or shapes (angel hair, fettuccine, spaghetti, ravioli, farfalle). Lay out the pasta in a single layer on a sheet pan dusted with flour to dry.
Use the pasta immediately or store in a plastic bag and freeze until ready to use. To cook the pasta, fill a large pot with enough water to cook the pasta, and salt the water. Bring the water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 10-12 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside until ready to toss with desired sauce.
The great thing about making pasta from scratch is that you can have the flexibility to create different shapes like spaghetti, fettuccine, sheets for lasagna, ravioli, or cute bow ties (farfalle).
Pasta making is simple, but it does take a few times to practice, and you will be a pasta pro in no time! The pictures show how to make pasta using a whole wheat dough. However, this method can be used for regular pasta as well, or any flavor that you would like to create!
Now that you have mastered creating homemade pasta, it’s time to make your friends and family a delicious Italian dish! You can try Jason’s favorite: Grandma’s Italian meatball recipe or healthy whole wheat shrimp pesto pasta recipe.
Hopefully, you enjoyed this easy how to make pasta tutorial. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions.