How to make pasta – homemade pasta is a wondrous thing and making your own pasta dough is as therapeutic as it is enjoyable to eat.
Ever so easy yet transforms the most simplistic of pasta dishes into something to savour and cherish. This is my fool-proof, idiots-guide-to making your own homemade pasta.
Homemade pasta covers the spectrum from anyone-can-do-this to seriously complex pieces of art. The pasta dough recipe below is the one I use as it is a little richer than most and I’ve done a couple of little bits you might find interesting, but feel free to stick with the basic pasta dough recipe!
It is almost mandatory that you have a pasta machine – you could roll out the pasta dough with a rolling pin but it is a zillion times easier with a pasta machine and it’s the sort of thing that once you buy you have for a lifetime.
A couple of notes before you find out how to make pasta:
- The flour – ’00’ flour is used to make pasta as it is ground very fine compared to generic plain flour and I would recommend picking this up – it’ll last ages so will never go to waste.
- Measurements – the general rule of thumb is for every 100g of flour you add one whole egg. So 100g of flour equals 1 egg, 200g flour equals 2 eggs – simples! Add a drop of water and that’s a basic pasta dough done. Now you can alter this to change the texture, colour, etc. which I’ve done below.
- Storing – once you’ve made your own pasta dough you can freeze it to use another day or make your pasta (spaghetti, linguine, whatever) and air dry your pasta to last for months.
Pasta Dough Ingredients (makes 60 small ravioli as seen in my picture):
300g ’00’ flour
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
pinch of salt
tsp of olive oil
tiny, tiny, pinch of turmeric (this is just for colour not taste)
- Add the flour to a bowl, make a well in the centre and add all the other ingredients and give it a good going over with a fork (or hand mixer – but I just use a fork) until you get a crumble looking mixture (see image).
2. Now tip this out onto a work surface and knead the pasta dough until it comes together to form a shiny dough.
Knead – gather it together and start pushing down on it. The general idea is to give it a good beating (time to release whatever frustration you have!). The method is to fold it, push down to flatten one edge with the palm of your hand, turn, fold, push down again.. There isn’t any secret or magic cure for this – just keep pummeling away and eventually you will get something that looks like the ball of dough in the picture. This will take some work and the more you knead, the more you release the glutons which will give you a lovely texture of pasta.
3. Wrap the dough ball in cellophane and pop into your fridge for 30 mins or an hour to rest. You can at this stage freeze the dough if you want to use it another day.
4. When you are ready, cut a quarter of the dough off (remember to wrap the rest of the dough back up again so it doesn’t dry out) and I find if using a pasta machine it helps to roll it into a sausage shape (about the thickness of your average banger) and flatten with your hand.
5. Now start passing it through your pasta machine. Start at ‘0’, going through the numbers on the dial on your machine until you reach the desired thickness – general rule of thumb is once you can see through your pasta you’re done. If you don’t have a pasta machine you can use a rolling pin.
At this stage you can transform your pasta sheet into spaghetti, linguine, cut out little open ravioli (as I’ve done in my picture) or whatever you want! Equally you can add a little squid ink to make black pasta, or add some chilli flakes to your pasta or even season with a little cinnamon.. basically your options are endless!
You can obviously cook the fresh pasta right away; if you do remember fresh pasta cooks in literally a couple of minutes in salted boiling water. Equally you can dry out your pasta and it will last for months.
If you do dry out the pasta either hang it over anything available, if you are lying it flat (like my ravioli) you want to dust a sheet of baking paper with some semolina and leave them to dry on that. Don’t put fresh pasta into an air tight container to store as it will start to go off within a day or so – you really need it to air dry for a day / 24 hours.
Check out my other pasta recipes for some inspiration!