You can't get much better than chowing down on super-fresh pasta smothered in your favorite sauce. With our easy homemade pasta recipe, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how simple the process can be.
With the right cooking equipment alongside a little expert advice, homemade pasta can be fun and easy to make. All it takes are four basic ingredients: flour, eggs, salt, and olive oil. You'll need a pasta maker and a food processor to make the recipe a whole lot quicker to prepare.
Mouthwatering Homemade Pasta
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of olive oil
Directions for the dough
Gather your ingredients in the kitchen and prepare your food processor and pasta maker.
Pour all of the flour, salt, and olive oil into your food processor's mixing bowl. Next, crack all four of your large eggs into the bowl.
Turn your food processor on and pulse the ingredients together, so they create a crumbly mixture. It only takes 10 seconds to crumble (yes, it's quick with a food processor!).
When you have a crumbly dough, place it on a lightly floured kitchen surface and roll it into a rough ball.
Knead the dough continuously for at least 2 minutes, until you have a smooth and springy texture.**
When you have the desired texture, roll the dough back into a ball and wrap it up in plastic wrap. Leave the dough to sit for at least half an hour.
After the dough has sat at room temperature, store it in the fridge for 24 hours or get to work turning the dough into pasta right away!
Directions for rolling pasta with a pasta maker
After you've let the dough stand for 30 minutes at room temperature, take it out of the plastic wrap, and place it onto a lightly floured kitchen surface.
Cut the ball into four roughly even quarters using a sharp knife.
Take one piece (it's best to keep the rest of the dough wrapped up again, or it can quickly dry out), and use a rolling pin to flatten it into a disk.
Set your pasta maker up in the kitchen and set it to its widest setting.
Feed your disk of dough through the machine to flatten it further into a sheet.
Remove the sheet and fold it into thirds. Pass it through the pasta maker again and repeat the process until your dough sheet is the right thickness for the type of pasta you love best. You can narrow the settings as you do this, to create a thinner sheet.****
When it's the right thickness, attach the fettuccine cutter to your pasta maker.
Feed your long sheet of dough through the machine to slice it into fettuccine noodles.
Place the cut noodles on parchment paper, or hang them up to dry if you have a pasta drying rack.
Repeat until the dough is gone!
Once you've prepared your dough and rolled out your pasta shapes, you can either dry out your fresh pasta to save it for later, store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours, or cook it up right away.
Directions for cooking fresh pasta
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil on the stovetop. Add a dash of salt for seasoning.
Use tongs to place your freshly rolled pasta into the boiling water delicately.
Keep stirring the pasta continuously in the boiling water; otherwise, the noodles might start to stick together.
You only need to cook the fresh pasta for 2 minutes. Any longer and it will begin to become too mushy and could fall apart.
Once the fresh pasta has cooked through, turn off the heat and drain thoroughly using a strainer.
Serve your freshly cooked homemade pasta with your favorite pasta sauce for a delicious dinner!
*This recipe needs both a food processor and a pasta maker for the best results. Check out the FAQ below for instructions on making and roll homemade pasta by hand if you don't have these two pieces of equipment in your kitchen.
**At this point, if the dough seems too sticky, then you can add more flour as you knead it. If it's far too dry, then you'll need to add an extra egg and give it another pulse in the food processor to continue.
***If your dough begins sticking to the machine during the rolling process, you will need to sprinkle it with more flour.
****You can use your pasta maker to roll out and cut different types of pasta with different thicknesses. The directions in this recipe are for fettuccine style pasta noodles.
Homemade pasta recipe FAQ
With four simple ingredients, a food processor, and a pasta maker, you can quickly prepare homemade pasta in no time at all in your kitchen!
There's always room for improvement, though, so we decided to get our chefs together to answer the most commonly asked questions we hear about our homemade pasta recipe. Keep reading to find out more!
How do I make pasta dough without a food processor?
A food processor makes the whole process of preparing homemade pasta a whole lot smoother and easier, but it's more than possible to prepare the recipe without one, but plan to put in a little bit more time and energy!
To make the pasta dough, you can follow these steps, using the same ingredients above:
- Pour your flour directly onto the kitchen countertop (after cleaning, of course).
- Push the flour into a large mound and use your fingers to hollow out a small well in the top.
- Crack your eggs directly into the well. Add salt and olive oil, then beat the mixture together with a fork or a whisk.
- Once you beat the eggs into the well, start mixing the flour by folding it into the well.
- Slowly combine all the ingredients with the flour until you have a thicker texture.
- Next, start folding the dough into a roughly shaped ball, then spend at least 10 minutes kneading the ball until you have a soft, springy texture.
- Add extra flour if it's too sticky, or an extra egg if it's much too dry.
- When you're happy, leave the ball wrapped up tight in plastic wrap for half an hour at room temperature.
- After half an hour, you can roll and cut your dough into fresh pasta!
How do I roll pasta without a pasta maker?
Just as a food processor makes the prep process a whole lot easier, so does a pasta maker. While we highly recommend using a pasta maker if you want thin, consistent pasta, you can also get away with rolling out and cutting the dough by hand.
After preparing your dough, you can use the following steps to prepare the fresh pasta by hand, rather than with a pasta maker:
- After your dough has sat for half an hour resting at room temperature, you can take it out of the plastic wrap and place it onto a floured countertop.
- Take a sharp knife and slice the ball into four evenly sized chunks.
- Using a rolling pin, flatten one piece of dough into a roughly circular disk-shape.
- Now, using the rolling pin, keep rolling out the disk until you have the desired thickness. Keep flouring the rolling pin and the surface to stop the dough from sticking.
- When you have a long dough sheet, cut it up into equal-sized portions, then roll each piece out again to get the dough even thinner.
- When you're happy with the dough's thickness, you can start to cut it into the desired pasta shape. If you want fettuccine, slice the dough into thin strips.
- Leave the sliced pasta on a piece of parchment paper or hang it on a drying rack while you repeat the process with the rest of your dough.
Can I store fresh pasta for later?
Fresh pasta tastes best when cooked right after you roll it, but you can also store the homemade pasta for later. If you're going to use the homemade pasta within 24 hours, then store it in a resealable container in the fridge. Any longer than 24 hours, and it will start to dry out and lose its freshness.
You can also prepare your pasta in advance and dry it out overnight. You can leave the pasta to dry out on a drying rack or place it into a box and leave it on the side. Keep the pasta stored away and then boil it for around 8-10 minutes when you're ready to eat later. You can safely store pasta for months if it's adequately dried out (just like store-bought pasta).
What's the best flour for pasta?
All-purpose flour is the most common type on the market, and you'll find it in stores and supermarkets everywhere. Odds are, you already have some in your pantry. All-purpose flour is easy to turn into a dough and is the classic ingredient for traditional pasta.a
However, all-purpose flour contains wheat, so it's not always suitable for some, especially if you have particular dietary requirements or restrictions.
Wholewheat flour is a less processed version of all-purpose flour, offering more nutrients and fiber in comparison. It does have a very different taste, however. If you're looking for a low carb or gluten-free alternative, you can use almond flour instead of all-purpose flour.
Can I make vegan pasta?
Our homemade pasta recipe requires eggs, so of course, it's not a vegan option. Many dried, store-bought pasta no longer use eggs in the recipe, and you can replicate this style of pasta at home for a vegan-friendly alternative.
Eggs work as a binding agent, so instead, you can use ingredients such as xanthan gum, which will hold your flour together and stop the dough from falling apart. You can also use the same recipe we've explained above and substitute the eggs with a few cups of water. Xanthan gum should hold the dough together, especially if you can blend the ingredients in a food processor.
How long will it take to cook fresh pasta?
If you're new to preparing a homemade pasta recipe, you need to be careful how long you cook fresh pasta. You might be used to cooking dried pasta from packets, which usually takes at least 10 minutes. On the other hand, fresh pasta needs just 2 minutes before it's soft and ready to eat.
Any longer, and you'll find that your fresh pasta starts to disintegrate and fall apart. Keep stirring and checking how soft it is in the saucepan to ensure you don't overcook it.
If you enjoy your pasta al dente, you can boil it in water for around 90 seconds. The precise time it takes to cook will depend on how thick you have rolled your pasta. The thicker the pasta, the longer it will need to cook through.
Remember to strain the pasta thoroughly before serving it!
How much pasta should I prepare per person?
Our homemade pasta recipe will give roughly 1 pound worth of fresh pasta once you roll everything out. One pound of fresh pasta will be more than enough pasta for 4 servings.
The average serving size for pasta is around 3-4 ounces per person, but of course, this varies depending on how hungry you might be. You can scale up the ingredients' quantity if you need to make more servings for more people.
Is homemade pasta healthier than store-bought pasta?
Preparing a homemade pasta recipe is perfect for anyone keen to control what goes into preparing their food. You can select the best flour, the best eggs, and the best oil. You can also control the quantity of each ingredient to have a better idea of what you're eating and how much you're eating.
Compared to dried, store-bought pasta, fresh homemade pasta can have many more nutrients. Store-bought pasta doesn't often use eggs in the production process, and these are a valuable source of nutrients and vitamins. Eggs can add more cholesterol and more fat the recipe, but generally speaking, fresh, homemade pasta will have far fewer carbohydrates than dried pasta.
If you're looking for a very healthy homemade pasta style, consider changing all-purpose flour to whole grain flour. If you would like to lose a little weight, you can try a keto-friendly, low carb pasta made from almond flour and bond with xanthan gum.
Homemade pasta isn't so difficult to make after all!
You can now make delicious, fresh, homemade pasta with just four basic ingredients! Once you've practiced all of the different steps, you'll be able to homemade pasta easily and quickly, especially with a food processor and pasta maker!
Grab your flour and eggs, prepare your tomato sauce, and start cooking up homemade pasta dough. Save our guide for the next time you're craving a super fresh pasta recipe.
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