Homemade Pasta Without a Pasta Machine: Easier Than You Thought Possible
A New Way to Enjoy Pasta
Pasta plays a huge role in my culinary life. It's cheap, healthy, delicious and the meal possibilities are endless. However, my experience with cooking pasta was always limited to the dried, boxed versions. Despite never having bothered to research how to make fresh pasta, I was convinced it was a difficult process, and one that required an expensive pasta maker. Boy, was I wrong.
Fresh pasta requires just two ingredients - flour and eggs - and the only tools you'll need are a rolling pin and something to cut the noodles; I use either a knife or a pizza cutter. Yes, that's really it. Whip this up and you'll discover what I did: fresh pasta has a tenderness that you just cannot get from dried noodles. That's not to say that fresh is necessarily better than dry, just that the two are totally different.
Homemade Pasta Step-by-Step
Pour 2 cups flour into a large bowl. I've used both all-purpose white flour and white whole-wheat with equal success, so go with whatever type you prefer. Make a well in the center of the flour, then crack four eggs into it.
Use your hands to gently mix the flour and eggs until the dough comes together. Then place the ball of a dough on a clean, floured surface. Knead the dough (massage, punch, pull, just keep working it) until it's smooth to the touch, not sticky. Then let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
After the dough rests, roll it out as thin as possible using your rolling pin (coat the rolling pin with flour if it sticks to your dough). Remember that the noodles will swell when cooked, so they'll end up significantly thicker than they are when cut.
Now use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the dough into noodles. This is the fun part, since you can make the pasta strands as wide or narrow as you'd like. I typically make wide ribbon-like pasta, but you can make anything you want, including lasagna noodles or even ravioli (to make ravioli, just cut the dough into rounds or squares, place filling in the center of one noodle, place another noodle on top and use a fork to seal the edges).
Boil the noodles in a large pot of well-salted water. Since the dough contains no salt, this is your only chance to get it into the noodles themselves (of course, you could also add about 1/4 tsp. salt to the flour when mixing the dough, if you prefer). The cooking time will vary depending on how thick your noodles are, but remember that fresh pasta cooks MUCH faster than dried - usually in just a few minutes. Start with just two minutes of cooking time, then test a noodle. If it's not quite cooked enough, keep tasting a strand every 30 seconds or so, until you get the perfect tenderness.
Drain the pasta and serve with your favorite sauce. You can eat just about anything with fresh pasta but I highly recommend meat sauce; fresh noodles like these have an incredible heartiness that holds up perfectly to a thick, chunky meat sauce.
- HANDMADE PASTA - A Guide for Making Fresh Pasta | Easy recipe for Silky Light Homemade Pasta
A complete guide to creating fresh pasta
- How To Make Homemade Pasta
A more detailed look at making homemade pasta
Thank you to mastermaq for the above photo, which is used under Creative Commons license.