How to Make Pasta

Have you ever made homemade pasta?

How to Make Pasta, recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

It is actually quite a rewarding — and surprisingly easy — thing to do.  Homemade pasta is so fresh, so succulent, so yummy.

I admit: I do tend to put my pasta maker away in the cabinet and forget about it. For quite a while.  I’m sorry.

However, once I actually decide to make homemade pasta, I remember just how simple it really is to do.

How to Make Pasta, recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

I mean…the ingredients are as follows: flour, salt and eggs.  Really?  So basic.

I remember the first few times I used my pasta maker, way back when Dustin gave it to me as a present, I was quite tentative and overwhelmed and didn’t really understand how to make pasta. I remember not wanting to make a mistake or tear the pasta or somehow burn the house down or something, so I figured I’d provide some step-by-step photos to help you out in case you have similar worries and would like to know how to make your own pasta.

How to Make Pasta, recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

So, dust off that pasta maker you’ve kept hidden away deep in your cabinets and let’s get started!  If you don’t happen to have a pasta maker, homemade pasta still very possible to make — you will just need to hand roll out the dough and then cut the dough (as evenly as possible) with a knife.  If you’re interested in purchasing a pasta machine, I use the Roma 6 Inch Traditional Style Pasta Machine and it works great — not as fancy schmancy as the ones that attach to those pretty KitchenAid Mixers (totally on my wish list, by the way!), but it’ll do!  Trust me.

Please don’t let the length of the instructions overwhelm you — once you’ve done this process once, you’ll pretty much understand how to do it again without having to re-read the instructions.

How to Make Pasta

Place flour on a flat, clean and dry surface and make a well in the center to allow for the eggs. Drop the eggs into the well and add the salt to the eggs.

How to Make Pasta, recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Carefully mix the eggs together using a fork, trying not to disturb the outer well of flour. Gently and slowly start to incorporate the flour into the eggs, bit by bit.

How to Make Pasta, recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Once most of the flour is incorporated, use your fingers to fully incorporate the flour, eggs and salt.

How to Make Pasta, recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Using your hands, gather the flour mixture together. If the mixture feels too dry and doesn’t want to form, add about 1 tbsp. of water (more if necessary) to assist it. If the mixture is too moist, add a bit of flour.  Form the dough into a ball.

How to Make Pasta, recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Knead the dough, by pushing down and away from you with the palm of your hand , remembering to turn the dough 90 degrees with each push. Each time you rotate the dough, push down and away again, continuing to fold the dough over on itself. Continue this process until the dough is smooth, about 5-7 minutes.

How to Make Pasta, recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Once the dough is smooth, divide the dough into 3 equal portions and form each portion into a ball. Cover the 3 balls with a towel or bowl and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

How to Make Pasta, recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Taking one ball, flatten with the palm of your hand until it is about 1/2-inch thick (you can use a rolling pin if you’d like). Make sure the flattened ball is no wider than the opening on your pasta machine (mine is 6 inches). With the machine on its widest setting, usually a “7,” turn the handle while feeding one end of the dough into the opening. Gently cradle and hold the flattened dough as it is released from the other side of the pasta machine. Don’t pull the dough, just allow it to come out as you turn the handle.

How to Make Pasta, recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

After the dough has passed through all the way, turn the slot to the next smallest setting (a “6,” for example) and pass the dough through again, following the same technique as before. Continue this process, reducing by one slot size each time, until you have your desired thickness, usually a “1” (for linguine and angel hair) or “2” (for spaghetti or fettuccine).  The dough will keep getting longer and longer as it gets pressed thinner and thinner.

How to Make Pasta, recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Take care to hold the dough as it gets longer and longer so it doesn’t tear.  After you’ve reached your desired thickness of dough, it’s time to cut the pasta. Cut the long rolled dough into 2 or 3 pieces each (cutting across the width, not the length) so the pasta will come out with your desired length. This will make it easier to maneuver and will not leave you with mile-long pasta noodles.

How to Make Pasta, recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Attach the preferred pasta blade, whether it’s linguine, fettuccine, spaghetti, etc., to the pasta maker and move the handle so it now controls the blade. Feed the dough into the cutting blades. Use your non-turning hand to receive the cut pasta in one bunch. Immediately after cutting the dough, lightly dust with flour and toss the noodles to keep them from sticking and place them on a towel, cutting board or plate.

How to Make Pasta, recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

The pasta can be used right away or stored for about one week or even hung out to dry and stored for longer.

How to Make Pasta

makes approximately 1 lb. pasta (4 servings)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Directions

Place flour on a flat, clean and dry surface and make a well in the center to allow for the eggs. Drop the eggs into the well and add the salt to the eggs. Carefully mix the eggs together using a fork, trying not to disturb the outer well of flour. Gently and slowly start to incorporate the flour into the eggs, bit by bit. Once most of the flour is incorporated, use your fingers to fully incorporate the flour, eggs and salt.

Using your hands, gather the flour mixture together. If the mixture feels too dry and doesn’t want to form, add about 1 tbsp. of water (more if necessary) to assist it. If the mixture is too moist, add a bit of flour.  Form the dough into a ball.

Knead the dough, by pushing down and away from you with the palm of your hand , remembering to turn the dough 90 degrees with each push. Each time you rotate the dough, push down and away again, continuing to fold the dough over on itself. Continue this process until the dough is smooth, about 5-7 minutes.

Once the dough is smooth, divide the dough into 3 equal portions and form each portion into a ball. Cover the 3 balls with a towel or bowl and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Taking one ball, flatten with the palm of your hand until it is about 1/2-inch thick (you can use a rolling pin if you’d like). Make sure the flattened ball is no wider than the opening on your pasta machine (mine is 6 inches). With the machine on its widest setting, usually a “7,” turn the handle while feeding one end of the dough into the opening. Gently cradle and hold the flattened dough as it is released from the other side of the pasta machine. Don’t pull the dough, just allow it to come out as you turn the handle.

After the dough has passed through all the way, turn the slot to the next smallest setting (a “6,” for example) and pass the dough through again, following the same technique as before. Continue this process, reducing by one slot size each time, until you have your desired thickness, usually a “1” (for linguine and angel hair) or “2” (for spaghetti or fettuccine).  The dough will keep getting longer and longer as it gets pressed thinner and thinner. Take care to hold the dough as it gets longer and longer so it doesn’t tear.

After you’ve reached your desired thickness of dough, it’s time to cut the pasta. Cut the long rolled dough into 2 or 3 pieces each (cutting across the width, not the length) so the pasta will come out with your desired length. This will make it easier to maneuver and will not leave you with mile-long pasta noodles.

Attach the preferred pasta blade, whether it’s linguine, fettuccine, spaghetti, etc., to the pasta maker and move the handle so it now controls the blade. Feed the dough into the cutting blades. Use your non-turning hand to receive the cut pasta in one bunch. Immediately after cutting the dough, lightly dust with flour and toss the noodles to keep them from sticking and place them on a towel, cutting board or plate. The pasta can be used right away or stored for about one week or even hung out to dry and stored for longer.

Add the noodles to a pot of boiling salted water. They will cook very quickly, so start checking them after about 1 minute.

Add your favorite sauce and you’re set!

Comments

  1. Kate says

    Amazing recipe! I really love making pasta at home, especially linguine. It tastes much better and cooks faster.

  2. says

    Growing up in a mennonite home, my mom often made homemade noodles. I remember a couple times we borrowed a pasta machine, but usually she would just roll the dough out (with ingredients exactly as you stated), really thin, lots of floor on top and below and then she rolled it up starting one end, really tight. Then grabbing one end of the roll, and putting it on a cutting board, she sliced pieces off first from one edge of the roll and then the other edge, so she would get small pieces, not one long long pasta. Then sieve out the excess flour and boil the pasta, or dry it and freeze or even store outside in a container if fully dried. Yummy, with homemade chicken soup.

  3. Fred says

    I made some home made spaghetti yesterday with just a cutting board. after the dough rested i just pinched off a bit and used my hands to roll it into a long strand. I have to admit the first few noodles were very thick, but I got the hang of it before too long. I also added garlic and cheese to the flour before mixing. Oh, and I don’t have a rolling pin (bachelor, can you tell?) so I floured my can of PAM cooking spray and went to town.

  4. Lana says

    I have had the pasta machine for years and have only used it a few times. It is so easy to do and my family loves it but… The thing that bugs me about the machine is how I am supposed to clean it? I have never been able to get a good answer. How do you clean your machine?

    • says

      I learned the hard way with my first pasta machine not to use water when cleaning my pasta machine because it rusted and needed to be disposed of. Now, I let the pasta dry on the machine for a few hours after making the pasta and then use a rag and q-tip combination to clean it out. The dried pieces of pasta usually fall right out.

  5. Italianmommy3 says

    LACEY!
    I did it! I followed your instructions which were amazingly easy and were spot on and sure enough my first try at Fettucini came out perfect! We were in the middle of Hurricane Irene here in NY so it was a great day to try this out! I also followed your advice and purchased the same exact pasta machine you supplied the Amazon link to! My hubby and kids said they never want boxed pasta again, lol!! Thx! Ciao xx

  6. Italianmommy3 says

    I was so impressed by your “homemade pasta tutorial” that I just followed your link to purchase the pasta maker!! I cannot wait to try all the pastas! I have made cavatelli and gnocchi’s from scratch but was nervous about the whole pasta machine
    Idea until your blog!! I’ll come back and let you know how it all turned out!! Thanks for your inspirational site…it’s awesome!! xx Ciao Bella!

    • says

      Yes, Bethany, you can most definitely roll out the pasta by hand as well. People have been doing it for centuries. It just takes a bit more time and effort because your arms are doing the work, as opposed to the pasta machine. Just roll out the pasta by hand with a rolling pin in the same portions until they reach the desired thickness. Then, you can cut the pasta with a sharp knife using a ruler (to get equally-sized noodles) or just by hand if you have a steady hand. Let me know if you have any more questions! Good luck!

  7. Kelley says

    Hi Lacey,

    What great recipes! I just started my “Body For Life” Challange and am ALWAYS looking for healthy alternatives! Do you use whole wheat pasta with your dishes?

    Thank you!

    Kelley from San Antonio!

  8. says

    Thanks for finally sharing this. I have been wanting you to write this post forever. It really is crazy how much better the pasta tastes this way. To think most people have never had it.

  9. Francesca says

    Taking out the machine this week end for sure. Thanks Lacey to remind me! Yummy!!! Usually I make a lot of dough and freeze it. When you need fresh tagliatelle (the name for these flat kind of egg pasta) I just take it out and let it reach the room temperature in the plastic bag on the other hand it will dry too much to use it. Once it is soft again I proceed with the cradle.

  10. says

    Oh my goodness, my husband was JUST asking me to please try to make some pasta. (he grew up with homemade) I didn’t know the ingredients were so basic. I will need to get a pasta attachment for my mixer and learn how to get it rolled thin enough, but thanks for the step by step, this makes it seem less overwhelming!!!

  11. says

    I’ve been hoping for a pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid… Now that I know it’s not that hard, I think I’ll have to get one!

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