There is truly nothing like Homemade Pasta. And it's easier than you think! Sure, it takes some time, but this is a fun family activity. Try it!
When you've got the best ingredients, a pasta machine and some extra time in the kitchen, how Gr8 would it be to make fresh pasta at home? It may seem intimidating, but once you have the technique down, why not reap the rewards on a regular basis? The time spent making homemade pasta will be well worth it and you will know it at first bite!
As soon as we were given the menu for our day of Cooking with Nonna Anna, I hurried and grabbed the homemade pasta duty! Although I have made fresh pasta in the past, to have hands on "training" from a true native of Naples, hello...can it get any better? With Nonna Anna's Spaghetti Sauce or Italian Red Sauce - Take 2! or one of your other favorites, these velvety noodles are smooth as butter...this, my friends, is the best pasta ever!
How to Make Homemade Pasta
Measure your flour. Nonna Anna measures her flour in grams...She is from Italy! (Don't worry, we've converted it in the recipe below.)
Then she makes a "fontana" with the flour and adds the eggs.
Using her hands...as many Italian cooks do, she breaks the eggs and starts incorporating the flour into the eggs.
Work the flour until you have a nice stiff dough. You may not use all the flour or you may need to add more.
When the dough is ready, form it into a "loaf" and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Cut off a small piece, about the size of 2 fingers and put it through the rollers.
Fold it in half and put it through again. (See detailed directions below.)
When it is smooth and thin, switch to the pasta cutter.
And, voilá! you have beautiful, homemade pasta!
If you want to use your electric mixer, you can! The instructions are at the bottom or our recipe below.
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- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the dough, or 500 grams
- 5 large eggs
- Measure out the 4 cups of flour onto a marble slab or smooth counter-top (you can also use a bowl!)
- Make a well in the center of the flour, the "fontana"!
- And crack all 5 eggs into the center of the well.
- Using your hands (see below if you want to use your mixer) break up the eggs and mix together.
- Start bringing some of the flour into the egg mixture. Continue incorporating the flour into the eggs until the dough is very stiff, but still workable. You may need to add flour depending on the eggs and the humidity in the air.
- Knead the dough picking up the stray pieces, until the dough is fairly smooth. About 10 - 15 minutes.
- Let dough rest for 30 minutes. If the dough is going to rest for more than 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out.
Directions for rolling out the pasta:
- Set your pasta rollers to 1.
- Sprinkle some flour onto the pasta rollers. Cut off about 1/5 of the dough and put it through the pasta maker. (If this piece sticks in the pasta maker, add more flour to the whole batch of dough and start again.)
- Fold in half and put through the pasta maker again, still set on 1. After a couple of passes, the pasta should be smooth.
- Set the pasta maker to 2 and run the piece of dough through. Then set it to 3, 4, and 5; running the dough through each time.
- By this time, you should have a long, narrow piece of dough which is quite thin.
- Then switch to the pasta maker that will cut the pasta the width you desire and put the long flat piece of dough through to cut it.
- Lay the strips onto a floured baking sheet and sprinkle more flour on top.
- Do this until all the pasta is cut. Use the flour liberally to keep the pieces from sticking together.
- Let the pasta dry. It can dry for several hours or you can cook it after 30 minutes.
Directions for cooking the pasta:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the pasta and stir to separate.
- Let cook until al dente. This should be only about 4 minutes for fresh pasta, but you will need to taste it to see if it is the consistency you like. Homemade fresh pasta takes much less time to cook than store-bought dry pasta.