Who doesn’t love pasta? The satisfyingly full taste, the delicious al dente feeling in your mouth and the sense of fullness afterward.
We found an easy way to make delicious pasta at home – which means that it will be as organic and pure as possible, and can be customised to your taste. While homemade pasta might be slightly rougher looking than factory made pasta, the fresh taste more than makes up for any rustic look.
Make your own pasta with basic implements
While restaurants and bistros make their own pastas with machines and pasta-makers, we will need just a smooth counter surface, huge bowl, a rolling pin, a very sharp knife and some time. Making pasta at home might take time – but after that you will be able to make it in half the time.
What you will need
(Makes 4 servings)
- Organic flour – 2 cups (You can use multi-grain if you like. For more servings, calculate 100g of pasta per person.)
- Extra flour for dusting and rolling
- Water – 3/4th cup
- Olive oil – 2-3 tablespoons
- Eggs – 4 (Eggs are optional – though you might need more water and oil in pasta then. If using eggs, increase the number of eggs depending on how rich you want the pasta.)
- Start by heaping the flour in to a huge bowl. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and whisk in the eggs.
- Add the oil and water and knead the dough till firm. We like to think of this as massage time for the pasta!
- When the dough is smooth yet firm and velvety, shape it into a ball and cover with a damp kitchen towel for 1 hour. This allows the dough to relax properly and let the gluten stretch out.
- After an hour, re-knead the dough for a few minutes to keep it stretchy.
- Then, cut it into quarters. Take out a single piece and keep the rest covered with the towel.
- Sprinkle some flour on your clean kitchen counter. Place the quarter piece of dough and flatten gently with your hands.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the quarter dough piece as thinly as possible. The ideal thickness is when you can see your hands through the pasta sheet. Roll quickly from centre outwards to avoid the dough drying out. Also ensure you’re rolling out the dough evenly.
- Fold the pasta sheet like a letter 3-4 times.
- Dust with flour. Then, using the knife, cut the pasta into noodles, according to the thickness you prefer. Use our convenient cheat sheet.
- After cutting, toss the noodles with a little flour and shake them out.
- Let them rest in loose mounds on a towel.
- Roll out the next piece and repeat till done with all four dough quarters.
How to cook pasta
If you’re making pasta immediately, then after letting the cut pasta noodles rest for 10 minutes, drop them into a boiling pot of salted water. Fresh pasta cooks faster than dried pasta.
How to store home made pasta
If you’re storing the pasta to use later, lay the noodles out lengthwise to rest for 10-15 minutes. Then, twirl each bunch on a tray and freeze them for an hour. This helps the pasta stay separate in storage. After an hour, remove, transfer to a container and freeze again. Frozen pasta can be directly put into boiling water to cook. It takes maybe 2-5 minutes longer to cook than fresh pasta but tastes exactly the same.
Once you’ve made plain pasta, consider experimenting. Try adding minced fresh herbs like basil or parsley for added colour and flavour. Or add 1/4 cup of vegetable juice like beet, spinach, carrot or tomato – this gives the pasta a rich colour as well as a faint flavour. We would also suggest investing in a cutting wheel that you could use for pizzas as well. A knife is just as good, but a wheel would make things easier for you.
Pasta thickness cheat sheet
Spaghetti – 1/16 inch
Linguine – 1/8 inch
Tagliatelle – 3/16 inch
Fettucine – 1/4 inch
Pappardelle – 1 inch
Say “ciao” to delicious homemade pasta that’s super easy to make too. We’d love to see pictures and innovations of what you’ve tried!
Featured image credit: “Creative Commons A self-made pasta Lenin would trust…” by Boris from Vienna, used under CC BY / Text added to original