How to Make Homemade Pasta

I can’t think of anything better than a bowl of homemade pasta dripping with a ladle full of my grandmother’s famous tomato sauce.

How to make all kinds of pasta at home | Foodal.com

You don’t need to have been raised in Italy or even by an Italian family to create this delicious feast at home. As long as you have a bag of flour in your pantry and a few eggs in the fridge, you can make homemade pasta.

If you happen to have cheese and veggies too, you may even find yourself enjoying a large bowl of ravioli or tortellini after just a few hours of effort in the kitchen.

How to Make Homemade Fresh Pasta (Egg Noodles) | Foodal.com

As you become more proficient in the art of making pasta, you can play with the ingredients and experiment with different types of flour. This recipe is pretty straightforward.

Most Italian grandmas use their hands to mix up their dough, but you can feel free to use your food processor or an electric mixer with a dough hook.

I prefer to work the dough with my hands, in order to adjust the amount of flour and eggs needed. I will admit, sometimes my measurements are not always exact, but my dough turns out perfectly each time. Chalk it up to a lot of experience.

There are a variety of pasta makers on the market these days. To roll out your dough, you can use a rolling pin, a specialized KitchenAid attachment, or a standalone tool.

Hand-rolled pastas can be fun, but I enjoy using my hand-cranked pasta maker to roll out thin sheets of dough, which I then cut into ribbons of fettuccine.

How to Make Homemade Fresh Pasta (Tortellini) | Foodal.com

Don’t fret if you don’t have time to whip up a fancy sauce to top off your noodles. Jarred sauce from the grocery store works just as well. Or you can prep and forget our slow cooker meat sauce.

I even have a little secret:

Sometimes I dress up a simple jar of sauce with diced tomatoes, spices, and other fresh or frozen veggies. It’s “almost” homemade!

My grandma would probably shake her head and cluck her tongue at me, but a busy mom has to do what a busy mom has to do.

Homemade Egg Noodles | Foodal.com

Don’t worry, most of the time my sauce is 100% homemade. I am an Italian girl at heart, after all.

Plus, there are tons of sauces out there that can be made really quickly, with super delicious results.

Egg Noodles

Homemade Egg Noodles | Foodal.com
Homemade Egg Pasta
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Homemade Egg Noodles | Foodal.com
Homemade Egg Pasta
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 large eggs
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Create a well in the center of the flour and crack the eggs into this well. (My Italian grandmother would have worked directly on the countertop but you can use a mixing bowl if you find that easier.)
  2. Combine the eggs and flour using a fork or a whisk. Gradually pull all the flour in from the sides to create a soft texture.
  3. Knead the dough, adding extra flour if needed. Start by folding the dough in on itself, flatten it down, and fold it again. It will slowly become firm enough to knead. As you work the dough you may need to add more flour to prevent it from sticking to your countertop.
  4. Place the dough ball into a clean mixing bowl. Cover and allow to rest for at least a half hour. If you are not planning on preparing the pasta until the next day you can place the covered bowl in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.*
  5. Generously dust a baking sheet or cutting board with flour and place the dough on top. Divide it into four equal portions. Sprinkle each section with flour and cover with a clean kitchen towel. From this point forward all dough needs to be kept well-floured so it doesn’t stick to the workspace or the pasta machine. Also, any dough not in use should be dusted with flour and covered with a kitchen towel.
  6. Set your pasta machine to the thickest setting so you can begin rolling out the pasta. Flatten one section between your palms and start feeding it into the roller. Repeat three times. Fold into thirds and repeat the process.
  7. Change the settings on your machine to roll out the dough thinner. Repeat multiple times at each setting. If you find that the noodles are becoming long and unmanageable. Cut it in half and continue with rolling it out.
  8. Once your pasta has reached the desired thickness it is time to cut the sheets into noodles. Switch the out the roller for the noodle cutter and run the sheets through. Toss the noodles with flour to prevent them from sticking and place them in a bowl or roll them into little nests. If you are making filled pasta, you can start shaping it at this point.
  9. Fill a large pot with water, add salt, and heat. Once the water boils toss in the noodles. Unlike boxed pastas these noodles will cook very quickly. Check after 60 to 90 seconds to see if they are done.
  10. Drain and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

 

*If you are not planning to serve the noodles immediately you can easily store them to enjoy later.

● To dry: lay the pasta over a clothes rack or the back of a chair and let air dry until brittle. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve. This will keep for a few weeks.
● To freeze: place pasta nests or flat noodles on a baking sheet and place in freezer. When completely frozen place in an airtight container and store for up to three months.

 

If you do not own a pasta machine, you can still enjoy homemade pasta.

After forming your dough ball, split it into four sections and use a rolling pin to flatten them into sheets.

Homemade hand rolled egg noodles | Foodal.com

Roll it as thin as you possibly can, generously sprinkling the dough with flour to prevent it from sticking. Using a very sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut the sheets into strips and cook as you would normally prepare fresh pasta, boiling for a few minutes in salted water.

Ravioli

I like to keep my freezer stocked with ravioli or other cheese- and veggie-filled treats. A basic ricotta-filled ravioli makes for a delicious meal on a busy evening.

Recipe for Fresh Homemade Ravioli | Foodal.com

There are even types of cheese pasta that you can make with the cheese mixed right into the dough, and formed into irregular shapes without boiling – no need for added worry or perfectionism here!

It is also very easy to make, especially when you have a ravioli maker or cutter to help speed the process along.

Fresh Homemade Ravioli Recipe | Foodal.com

When preparing fresh pasta for dinner, make a few extra servings to freeze for later. This dish can be prepared quickly on one of those busy nights when you are on the go.

Homemade ravioli with Parmesan cheese | Foodal.com

When making homemade ravioli, prepare your dough as you normally would. Next, decide which fillings you would like to include.

Below is the recipe for a basic ricotta-filled ravioli, but feel free to add spinach, veggies, cooked squash, different types of cheese, or meat to this dish.

Recipe for Fresh Homemade Ravioli | Foodal.com
Fresh Homemade Ravioli
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Recipe for Fresh Homemade Ravioli | Foodal.com
Fresh Homemade Ravioli
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Ingredients
  • 24 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Prepare the dough and form into a ball, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Divide dough into fourths. Roll one section out to about 1/16 inch thickness.
  4. If you do not have a ravioli mold, place a teaspoonful of filling on top of the top half of the dough sheet, roughly 1 inch apart.
  5. Fold sheet over and moisten the edges using water and a pastry brush.
  6. Press down around the lumps of filling to to create a seal.
  7. Cut into squares using a pastry wheel.
  8. Repeat with the remaining three sections and the rest of the filling.
  9. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add ravioli. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 1-2 minutes or until the ravioli begin to rise to the surface.
  10. Drain and serve with sauce.

 

Tortellini

As with ravioli preparation, you will need a fresh batch of homemade dough to start. Once you decide on your fillings, you are ready to roll.

Recipe for Homemade Fresh Tortellini | Foodal.com

Choose fillings that resemble a thick, dry paste. Runny liquids will leak out the sides and cause the noodles to explode.

Tortellini make a great addition to soups, as they are perfectly designed to capture broth in their delicate folds.

Homemade Fresh Tortellini Recipe | Foodal.com

A two-inch cookie or biscuit cutter is an essential tool for creating this stuffed treat. When your filling is cooled and ready, you will need to transfer it into a pastry bag or gallon-sized zip-top bag with one corner snipped off.

You will also need a pastry brush and a small bowl of water to seal the dough.

Recipe for Homemade Fresh Tortellini | Foodal.com
Homemade Fresh Tortellini
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Recipe for Homemade Fresh Tortellini | Foodal.com
Homemade Fresh Tortellini
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 egg* lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Separate the dough into quarters and roll each section out one at a time, keeping any unused portions covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
  2. Roll out the dough to about 1/16th of an inch.
  3. Once the dough is ready, lie it out on a flour dusted surface.
  4. Cut out each circle and place about a half teaspoonful of the filling in the middle of each round. Take your pastry brush, and dip it in the water.
  5. Dampen the edges to seal the dough.
  6. Lift up one side of the circle and fold it down on the other side to form a semi-circle.
  7. Press out any remaining air as you seal in the filling.
  8. Pick up the tortellini wrapper by both corners and bring them in towards each other, working slowly so as to make sure the dough does not break or split.
  9. Tuck one corner behind the other and stick them together using a dab of water if needed.
  10. Place the completed tortellini on a floured baking sheet.
  11. Once the tortellini is formed, you can transfer them to freezer bags and freeze them for later use.

 

Do you have any pasta making tips? Share with me and your fellow readers in the comments below.

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About Jennifer Swartvagher

Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.

27 thoughts on “How to Make Homemade Pasta

  1. Pasta is one of my favourite foods, yet I have never tried to make it myself. Probably because I would be worried about waste, as I live alone and as much as I love it, I don’t want to eat noodles for dinner five nights on the trot. However, I see from the recipe you have shared with us that the tortellini can be frozen which solves my problem! Could the basic egg pasta ribbons be frozen once made, or does it only work for a filled version?

  2. Thank you so much for these wonderful recipes! My grandfather used to make homemade gnocchi from scratch and this now gives me more ideas of homemade pasta to try to make.

  3. I really need to make my own pasta again. I’ve done it a few times over the years, and the results were always good. But I usually reserved it for birthdays and holidays. I don’t know why, it really isn’t that hard between letting my Kitchenaid do all the kneading, and then using my hand cranked pasta machine do the rolling and cutting.

    The very last time I made a batch, I made ravioli. The filling was a simple mixture of fresh whole milk ricotta cheese and a small recipe of shrimp scampi. Dump the shrimp scampi in the food processor with the ricotta, process for about 30 seconds, and you have a really wonderful shrimp filling.

  4. Never made pasta at home, but I’ve made gnocchi and how different can it be? Besides, I’ve been dying to taste fresh pasta, and these recipes are going to fulfill my wish for homemade saucy goodness. And don’t you love how you know that tortellini are ready when they start to float? I’m like a little child plopping them in the water and waiting to see them rise to the surface. When I make mine I’ll even be proud! Thank you so much for these recipes, they are being appreciated!

  5. It’s been quite osme time since I made fresh pasta but I do agree that you really don’t have to have a pasta machine at all – yes it makes for easier work but the end result from using a rolling pin and pizza cutter is exactly the same. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a pasta machine, your meal will turn out just as good withut it.

  6. It’s been quite osme time since I made fresh pasta but I do agree that you really don’t have to have a pasta machine at all – yes it makes for easier work but the end result from using a rolling pin and pizza cutter is exactly the same. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a pasta machine, your meal will turn out just as good without it.

  7. I’m not too into the tortellini but I like the fettucine noodles and the short spirals. My family loves pasta so this is a great breakdown of the different tings we can make with it. You can do a lot of fun stuff with pasta.

  8. I haven’t plucked up the courage to make my own pasta yet, but the recipes do look simple and inspiring. I don’t want to invest in a machine in case I never use it, so it’s good to know you can still make your own without one.

    Maybe on a day where I have nothing else to do I will attempt it, but it does look easier than I imagined.

  9. Your photos make this pasta look to die for, I’m sure mine would be far less amazing to look at!
    I’ve always wanted to jump on the homemade pasta bandwagon, but most of my household (myself included) have a wheat allergy, so it’s kind of off the menu.
    Have you tried any of these recipes using different kinds of flour? Rice/Corn for instance? I feel like I don’t have enough experience to be able to tell if the dough is a good consistency or not, and rice flour products especially seem to make quite stodgy results.

  10. With so many food sensitives for some people they may have given up pasta. I like the idea of making your own pasta because you know exactly what it in it You also know how fresh it is because you made it yourself. I like to watch the Italian chef Lidia on TV and I have watched her make pasta. I thought it was hard to make your own pasta.

  11. I’ve always wanted to make homemade pasta, and I plan to, as soon as I can get my table cleared and the kitchen organized. I don’t have a pasta machine yet, so would be rolling the dough out with a rolling pin. One thing i’m particularly interested in making is ravioli. Does the dough need to be any thicker or thinner for that, or the same basic thickness as for other noodles?

  12. I’ve always wanted to make my own pasta from scratch, but I never really got around to it. I always found it easier to go to the store and buy some. This article is making me wonder if homemade pasta tastes better than just any store brand. Looking over the recipe and process, it does seem slightly arduous, but it’s definitely something I can handle. I think I’m gonna use your tortellini recipe and try inviting my folks over to see if they can taste the difference. Thanks!

  13. Nice, exactly what I was looking for since I was out of ideas for dishes! I love those recipes, they seem really delicious. I usually just cook generic pasta, mostly with meat (fish is the best for me in this situation).

  14. I have been contemplating making my own pasta for a while now. It always seemed so hard to do! I have made homemade egg noodles, but only because my mother showed me how to do that. Anything else just seemed to be out of my depth. This really made it seem much easier than I originally thought.

    Do you think for longer storage life they could be dehydrated?

  15. My grandma would always make homemade pasta when I just a little girl, I remember it being so delicious! She passed away before I was old enough to learn how to make it and my mom was never very interested in cooking. I’ve been searching for a good recipe for some time now and these looking very promising and very descriptive… Just what I need! I’m excited to give them a try!

  16. Always wanted to try my hand at making my own pasta but I never really bothered since I didn’t have a pasta machine. This article makes it seem so simple and easy for me to make such wonderful looking pasta, it makes me want to go and try to make my own right now!

  17. This is a good read. There’s nothing like homemade noodles and homemade sauce to go with it. I don’t have any issues making home made pasta but I have a hard time making the specialities that get me.
    Every Christmas Eve my aunt makes homemade stuffed shells. They come out so much better then the ones you buy in the store. Maybe it’s because she makes such a large quantity but I feel like she spends all day in the kitchen making them.

  18. Yummy, I love pasta and I have tried making my own without a pasta maker. However, it does help to get some tips and advice as to how to do it properly. This article gives new inspiration to all Italian food lovers and especially those who aspire to be ‘chefs’.

  19. Thanks for this lovely article and recipes. I have made homemade pasta many times and absolutely love it, it tastes so much better than store bought. I always add a little bit of olive oil to the dough. I have never frozen any of my pasta, I like the idea of making more than you need and freeze the rest for a quick meal on a busy day. I think when freezing ravioli or tortellini, it is best to freeze them in a single layer to avoid them sticking together. What do you think?

    I have tried to make pasta with wholemeal flour, it turned out OK, but the dough was a bit stiffer. I once used flour straight from the flour mill, not bleached or processed, but it did not work, the dough just fell apart. Would be interesting to know if other flours (like rice, chickpea or quinoa flour) would work.

  20. Yum! Excellent ravioli recipe! I’m glad to see you don’t NEED any special gadgets to make pasta. Needing special tools is usually the downfall of my creativity. I don’t have a very advanced kitchen…YET!

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