I love digging into a plate of pasta. Part of that stems from my love of carbs (and really, who doesn’t love carbs?). And the other part of that stems from the fact that my father is Italian.
Well, he thinks he is, at least.
Growing up we ate pasta at least once, if not twice a week. But now, my parents have limited their carb intake and my sister was diagnosed with celiacs (aka gluten intolerance). Thankfully, I’m married with my own family and I can make pasta as often as I please — which is a lot, especially now that I’m pregnant with baby #2 (six months down, three to go!).
Ahh, pasta – you have a special place in my heart. Right next to coffee, chocolate, and breakfast.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I wanted to learn how to make my own pasta. I’ve learned that homemade pasta is easy to make and much more delicious than store bought boxed pasta. Plus, it’s a fun way to get the whole family involved in making dinner.
All you need is flour, eggs, and a pasta machine. We have this inexpensive pasta machine and it makes making pasta a bajillion times easier – and yes, I just used the word bajillion.
- 1 ¾ cup all purpose or strong bread flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour (you can always just use all white flour (2-2 ¼ cups total), but we like to add in some whole wheat flour for a heartier taste)
- 3-4 eggs, depending on size
- Water, as needed
Start by mixing your two flour types in a large bowl. Other recipes call for piling your flour onto a clean workspace, i.e. a cutting board. I found mixing in a large bowl contains all of the flour, and prevents me from making an enormous mess.
Use your fingers to create a well in the middle of the flour.
Crack open your eggs into the well in the flour. Then dig your hands in to combine. Continue to work the dough until all of the egg is mixed into the flour and you end up with a large ball of dough. Feel free to add a bit of water, as needed, to assist in the mixing process.
Next, you’ll want to break apart your mega ball of pasta dough into more manageable pieces. We normally divide down into four to six smaller pieces.
Now it’s time to get rolling! If you are sans pasta machine, you’ll need to heavily flour your work surface and rolling pin to roll out the dough. Pasta is a tough dough to work with, so be prepared to get a full workout if rolling out the pasta by hand. I’m not that in shape, at least, not currently – hence, the pasta machine.
Once your pasta dough is thin enough, you can cut and shape any pasta your heart desires. Most pasta machines come with spaghetti and linguine attachments. You can also cut out squares to make your own ravioli, or leave the pasta as long lasagna sheets.
Cook your pasta as you normally would, by tossing it into a pot of boiling, salted water. The best part of fresh, homemade pasta is that your pasta is already hydrated, unlike the dried pasta from boxes, so it takes 5 minutes or less to cook. You’ll know your pasta is finished cooking when it floats to the top of the water and the color has lightened.
All that’s left is to whip up your favorite sauce, pour yourself a glass of wine (or in my current state, sparkling grape juice), and dig in to enjoy!
How long does it take to make homemade pasta?
A few minutes to mix the dough, a few minutes to roll it out, and a few more to cook. Honestly, it takes as much time, or less, to make and cook homemade pasta as it does to cook store bought noodles.
Homemade pasta is delicious and easy to make. It’s also an enjoyable way to spend the evening because the whole family is involved in making the food we’re about to share together. Normally, I’ll mix the dough. Then my husband will roll out the noodles while I start to boil water and make a sauce. And we may, or may not, have flour fights while making the dough. What’s better than laughing and making a mess while enjoying each other’s company and enjoying a meal together? Even better yet, as our children grow up they can join in the fun by mixing and rolling out the dough too.
By making homemade pasta, we’re practicing another skill to become self-sufficient by using ingredients around the house to make dinner instead of running out to the grocery store. And there’s something satisfying about making your entire dinner from scratch.
So roll up your sleeves and get pasta rolling!
May your hearts, and your flour bins, be full.