Homemade Pasta

Homemade Pasta from scratch has always been one of those mystifying processes that, I must admit, has intimidated me a bit.

It just seems like such an amazing thing to make and I always hate the high end of the learning curve, preferring genres that are more comfortable and then perfecting them. Was I wrong!

As in all cooking, there are steps to follow carefully, but it doesn't take long to learn the feel of the dough. Flattening and cutting it are pretty straight forward.

If this is something you are interested in, don't put it off any longer. Homemade Pasta is truly spectacular!

What could be more fun in the kitchen than homemade pasta beautifully draped over a chair covered with a clean pillow case (as pictured)?

Next time I may cut the spaghetti in half since it is so very long (it trails down the back of the chair in the same length you see in the front) -- really fun the first couple of times, but not so easy to work with when you introduce it into the sauce.

As I continue to learn I will pass new information and tips on to you.

So, what are we waiting for?

Let's Get Cooking!

Homemade Pasta Ingredients are simple:

3C Flour*

4 Egg Yolks

1/4C Olive Oil

Salt

Water

Recommendation: for the first time try 2C Bread Flour + 1C All Purpose

The second time try 2C All Purpose + 1C Bread Flour

From that point on, you will be able to feel the right amount of moisture and can begin incorporating Semolina to the flour mix. It's all good! And, so much better than dried packaged.

The most difficult part of this process is the water. No particular measure can be given although it is likely between 1/4 to 1/2C. Do not be concerned if it requires more or less. The objective is to get it moist enough to form a ball.

Some cooks put the ingredients in a food processor to reach the "ball stage". We prefer to place the flour in a bowl with a well in the center and add the ingredients to the well (similar to the old Italian method, only they used a board instead of a bowl).

To the flour add the Flour, Egg Yolks, Olive Oil, Salt and begin drizzling the Water until it begins to hold together.

Sift the flour, particularly if you are using more than one type.

Make a well in the flour and add:

the Egg Yolks, Olive Oil and Salt. With the fingers of one hand gently start pulling the flour into the wet ingredients

all the way around the bowl. As the ingredients integrate begin drizzling water (1/4C to start) continuing to mix with your hand until it begins to stick together.

Certainly not a very pretty stage but believe it or not you are well on your way!

Now begin kneading the dough, adding drops of water as needed to help it to stick together. Knead for between eight to ten minutes until it looks like:

At this point, wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour or according to Chef Chiarello overnight.

Giada also refrigerates hers although I have seen recipes where the dough is wrapped and left on the counter for thirty minutes.

When the resting time is up, you will notice that the pasta ball holds together even more. Sprinkle your surface lightly with flour. If you are going to be cutting your pasta by hand, please take a look at this video:

My Nonna Cutting Pasta By Hand

If you will be using a machine to cut your pasta (we do) then go to this video:

Cutting by Machine

Whether you roll and cut by hand, or by machine, the picture on the right shows smoothly rolled pasta dough and then cut into spaghetti on the left. We use the Kitchenaid attachment to accomplish this task

Note: the pasta rolling and cutting attachments are a new purchase for us and we cannot express enough how pleased we are with it!

Now, how beautiful is Homemade Pasta!

And so much easier than you think it is!

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