Homemade Pasta How-To

Making fresh pasta certainly takes more time and effort than tearing open a box of the dried stuff, but superior taste, texture, and other hidden benefits may just win you over.
By / Photography By Jennifer Bakos | March 07, 2016

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

About this recipe

If you’ve never tried DIY, here are five reasons to start:

1. Kneading dough is cathartic after a long workday.
2. Pasta-making is a fun family activity:  Let the kids help you roll and cut shapes, then give them some extra dough to play with while you finish assembling dinner.
3. Working with homemade dough allows you to experiment with different colors (think beet or spinach pasta) and shapes that you can’t find in the grocery store.
4. Cook time is quick – generally 3 to 5 minutes.
5. The texture is *like butter* and only gets better with practice.  It’s an elegant way to make an unfussy meal.

Tips for better pasta:

1.  Cook in at least 4 times the volume of boiling and heavily salted water.

2. Experiment with “00” or doppio zero flour instead of all purpose.  The “00” indicates how finely the flour is ground (think baby powder).  The result is a more refined texture.

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. 

Tip: You may need slightly more flour than what’s called for if experimenting with doppio zero

Instructions

Step 1 – MIX: Mound the flour onto a clean work surface.  Make a deep, high-sided well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the well, add the salt and stir gently, gradually pulling flour in from the sides until incorporated. Set aside any flour you don’t incorporate to flour the work surface while kneading.

Step 2 – KNEAD: Mound the dough into a ball and knead by placing the palm of your hand in the center of the dough and pressing down and forward, stretching it about 3 inches.  Flip the stretched dough back onto the disc, make a quarter turn and repeat.  Do this for 7 or 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and springs back ¾ of the way when poked.

Step 3 – REST: Shape the dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.  Rest for 30 minutes.  At this point, you can make your sauce and set up your pasta machine.

Step 4 – ROLL: Cut the dough into three even pieces.  Flatten the first piece and feed it through the machine on the widest setting.  Fold into thirds, flatten with your palm and feed through the roller again, narrowest side first.  Decrease the roller width one notch and repeat.  Sprinkle both sides of the dough with flour if it becomes tacky, and repeat until you reach the second narrowest setting. Place the sheet of dough on a clean kitchen towel and cover with another towel so it doesn’t dry out.

Repeat with remaining two pieces of dough. For spaghetti, fettuccine, or tagliatelle, sprinkle the sheets with flour and feed through the appropriate cutter on your pasta machine.  For ravioli, tortellini or other shaped dough, work with the long strips.

Note:  To store, curl small portions of the pasta strands into nests and set on a baking sheet sprinkled with semolina flour.  Let it sit 30 minutes to dry out slightly and refrigerate for a few days, or freeze for up to a month.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
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