How to Make Pasta From Scratch

fresh cooked pasta

I promise you, once you feel the velvety softness of fresh pasta dough beneath your fingers you’ll never eat dried pasta again.  Forget fresh pasta’s superior deliciousness; there is something so rich and luxurious about the texture of the homemade dough.  The way it pushes back as you knead it, the way it is transformed into a voluptioius golden ball – making pasta from scratch almost feels self-indulgent, even before you take a bite.

If you’ve never tried making pasta from scratch, I encourage you to try. Not only will you know exactly what is in the food you are eating, you will feel tremendous pride in creating something so amazingly delicious.

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs
2 egg yolks

Place the flour in a pile on a clean work surface. Using a spoon, make a deep hole (also called a “well”) in the middle of the flour.

flour

Crack the 2 eggs into a bowl and then add the 2 additional egg yolks. You should have a total of 4 yolks and 2 whites. Then, pour the eggs into the well in the flour. Using a fork, slowly start to incorporate the flour into the eggs.  You should stir primarily from the center of the bowl so the flour is not incorporated too quickly.  The mixture will be lumpy.

When the dough is about half way combined, continue mixing it with your hands. If the dough seems too dry, you can wet your hands with water and continue mixing.  You can do this several times until the dough comes together.  Be careful, however, not too add so much water that the dough becomes sticky.

Once the dough comes together, it has to be kneaded for 10-15 minutes. Dust your work surface lightly with more flour, if necessary.  Using the heels of your hands, push the dough down and away from you.  Then, fold the top half of the dough back toward you, and repeat.  I also give the dough a quarter turn every few folds so that it is stretched evenly.  Don’t be afraid to really stretch the dough but do be careful not to tear the dough when you are kneading.  If the dough gets sticky, you can lightly dust your work surface with flour, as needed.

After about 10-15 minutes the dough will be very smooth and velvety.

Wrap the dough in plastic and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.  If you don’t plan to use it right away, place it in the refrigerator instead but be sure to use it the same day that you make it — if you don’t it will turn grayish in color.

Once the dough has rested, you are ready to roll and cut it.   Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces using a sharp knife and then, using your hands, begin to shape one section into a flat rectangle.  Dust it lightly with flour then roll it in a pasta machine (following the manufacturer’s specifications) or using a rolling pin.  I like to roll my pasta pretty thin; to the point that you can start to see through it.

After rolling the pasta into a long strip, dust it lightly on both sides with flour and fold it in half (in the same direction) several times.  Using a sharp knife, cut thin strips as shown below.

cutting noodles

Unfold the ribbons of pasta and let them dry a minute or two before dropping them into salted, boiling water to cook until al dente.  Depending on the type of noodle you make this will take anywhere from 1-4 minutes.

Serve with your favorite sauce.  I tossed my noodles in a simple garlic oil before topping them with a slice of Pecorino Romano, and some freshly ground salt and pepper.

finished pasta

Fresh Pasta Dough

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs
2 egg yolks

Directions
Place the flour in a pile on a clean work surface. Using a spoon, make a deep hole (also called a “well”) in the middle of the flour.

Crack the 2 eggs into a bowl and then add the 2 additional egg yolks. Pour the eggs into the well in the flour. Using a fork, slowly start to incorporate the flour into the eggs.  You should stir primarily from the center of the bowl so the flour is not incorporated too quickly.  The mixture will be lumpy.

When the dough is about half way combined, continue mixing it with your hands. If the dough seems too dry, you can wet your hands with water and continue mixing.  You can do this several times until the dough comes together.  Be careful, however, not too add so much water that the dough becomes sticky.

Once the dough comes together, knead it for 10-15 minutes, until smooth and velvety, dusting your work surface with flour, as needed.

Wrap the dough in plastic and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Then, cut the dough into 4 equal pieces using a sharp knife. Using your hands, begin to shape one piece of dough into a flat rectangle.  Dust the dough lightly with flour then roll it in a pasta machine (following the manufacturer’s specifications) or using a rolling pin until thin and slightly transparent.

Lightly dust the rolled dough on both sides with flour and then fold it in half (in the same direction) several times.  Using a sharp knife, cut thin strips.

Unfold the ribbons of pasta and let them dry a minute or two before dropping them into salted, boiling water to cook until al dente.  Depending on the type of noodle you make this will take anywhere from 1-4 minutes.

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