Homemade Pasta (With or Without A Pasta Maker)


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Make your own homemade pasta without a pasta maker! This homemade pasta recipe is simple to create by hand and requires only a few basic ingredients:) #homemadepasta #homemadepastarecipe #homemadenoodles #homemadeeggnoodlesDid you know it’s possible to make homemade pasta without a pasta maker? Because it is, and it’s actually a lot easier than you might think!

I’ve wanted to learn how to make homemade pasta from scratch for quite some time now. The thing is, when pasta’s as cheap and plentiful as it usually is at the grocery store, it’s hard to justify making it from scratch.

But now that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic and the pasta section of our local grocery store is pretty much completely bare, I figure that’s a clear enough sign that it’s time to start making my own fresh pasta at home.

Like most staple recipes that require some combination of eggs, flour and water, homemade pasta isn’t difficult to make by any stretch. In fact, as far as dough goes, it’s one of the easiest and most forgiving doughs I’ve worked with.

The problem is, I didn’t have a pasta maker for the longest time, so I put off even trying to make my own pasta at home for fear of it being too complicated without one.

When I finally tried my hand at homemade pasta, it wasn’t actually all that difficult to do it all by hand. Using a pasta maker just helps roll the dough out really thin and cuts it really straight and evenly.

Rolling and cutting pasta dough by hand was more time-consuming than difficult, and it’s hard to get the dough as thin as you could with a machine.

But if you’re searching for pasta right now and unable to find it, or if you just want to try making fresh pasta at home for any reason, this is a simple, foolproof recipe for anyone looking to channel their inner nonna!

 

*** Update ***

Since I wrote this post a year ago, we have since been gifted a pasta maker attachment for our KitchenAid stand mixer, and I have to admit, I MUCH prefer using the pasta maker to make my dough.

While rolling pasta dough out by hand is simple enough and works in a pinch (and let’s be honest, it just feels authentic when you’re rolling out the dough with a rolling pin like an Italian nonna;), it’s still WAY quicker and easier to use a pasta maker, and the pasta gets rolled and cut much thinner than if making it by hand, which I tend to prefer.

If you don’t have an expensive countertop stand mixer but you still want authentic handmade pasta at home without all the effort you can always use a countertop style pasta roller instead. There are many affordable options available on the market but in no way are they all the same. If you’re looking for a quality pasta roller (without breaking the bank), I would recommend this one.

While you CAN roll your dough out by hand, if you intend to make homemade pasta on any sort of regular basis, I highly recommend investing in a pasta maker. And trust me, when you start making your own pasta at home, you’ll definitely want to make it on a regular basis! Just like with anything else, be it homemade bread or homegrown tomatoes, it’s hard to go back to store-bought pasta after you’ve had the homemade version!

Either way, this recipe works whether you’re using a pasta maker or rolling the dough out by hand. If using a pasta maker, follow the same recipe and instructions below, but after rolling it out with a rolling pin, feed it through your pasta maker to get the dough thinner. Start with the roller on the thickest setting and then adjust the dial and feed your dough through again and again, each time on a thinner setting until the thickness of your pasta is to your liking.

 

How to make homemade pasta without a pasta maker

Obviously you have to start by making your pasta dough. Pasta noodles are egg noodles, so you’ll need 6 eggs, as well as 4 to 4½ cups of all-purpose flour. (Pasta is traditionally made with semolina flour, but when making your own, all-purpose is fine).

Either in a mixing bowl, on a large plate or directly on your countertop, take 4 cups of flour and make a well in the middle.

Eggs and flour | Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

Crack one or two of the eggs into the well and gently start scooping the flour into the middle, mixing it with the eggs, careful not to break the well if doing this directly on your counter.

* This is the old-school Italian grandma technique, but if you want to make sure to avoid an eggy, floury mess on your counter, just use a mixing bowl. You can also use a stand mixer. I’ve tried both and I find both methods work just as well, but the stand mixer does all the kneading for you. Then again, I feel like making pasta just wouldn’t be the same without kneading it like a nonna;)

Mixing eggs and flour | Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

Add the remaining eggs into the well one at a time, mixing with the flour until it starts to form a dough. Continue until all the eggs have been added and the mixture has formed a shaggy dough ball.

Lightly flour your countertop and your hands, and transfer the dough ball to your countertop. Knead for a couple minutes, until the dough really starts to come together.

Form a little well with two fingers in the middle of the dough and add one tablespoon of water. Gently work the water into the dough by folding it in and continuing to knead.

Adding water to homemade pasta dough | Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

As you knead, add the remaining two tablespoons of water if you find you need them to get the dough to stick and start to smooth out. If the dough is sticking fine, it’s not actually necessary to add any water. But it helps to get a nice, smooth dough when you’re making it by hand.

Add more flour to your hands and to the countertop as needed to avoid the dough sticking. If the dough is really sticky, you can add up to another ½ cup of flour, but do so slowly, one tablespoon at a time. You really want to keep that egg to flour ratio up so don’t add too much flour if you don’t need to.

Making pasta dough | Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

This is definitely NOT smooth enough yet!

Continue kneading dough for another 10 minutes or so until dough is smooth and elastic but not sticking to your hands or the counter.

Wrap in plastic wrap or a plastic bag (which you can reuse) and set aside to rest for half an hour.

Pasta dough resting in a bowl | Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

That’s nice and smooth:)

 

Rolling & cutting your pasta dough by hand

Rolling out your dough is the hardest part when making fresh pasta by hand because it’s hard to get the pasta as thin with just a rolling pin. But you can still get it thin enough for a delicious bowl of homemade pasta, and if you don’t have a pasta maker, a rolling pin works in a pinch.

Lightly flour your surface again and cut your dough into four equal parts. Roll each part out one at a time. Roll into a long rectangle until you get it as thin as you can with your rolling pin. We’re going for like, as close to 1/8 of an inch thickness as possible.

Rolling pasta dough by hand | Rolling pasta dough with a rolling pin | Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

Once you’ve rolled out your dough, cut off the outer edges with a knife or a pizza cutter so you’ve got a perfect rectangle, or leave them on for a more rustic look. You can roll the cut edges into one of the other pieces of dough to reuse the extra.

Slice your dough into pasta noodles about the width of fettuccini or thinner. Use either a pizza cutter or a kitchen knife. Or there’s also this cool rolling pin pasta cutter that I haven’t personally tried but looks pretty rad 🙂

Cutting pasta dough with a knife | Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

Separate your pasta and hang to dry on a pasta dryer or you can make your own like we did!

Hanging pasta to dry | Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

My husband used an old curtain rod that he then hung from some hooks that were already in our kitchen ceiling. It worked great and looks cool too;)

Home-made pasta drying rack | Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

Here’s another look…
Mind the party decor. We had a family party at home the other night because you’ve gotta keep things interesting during a quarantine!

Alternatively, you can hang homemade pasta noodles on your oven handle, but you will need to let it dry in batches.

Hanging pasta on oven door | Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

Let pasta hang to dry for about 15 to 20 minutes before cooking or storing. It’s important to let fresh pasta dry for a little bit even before cooking to prevent noodles from sticking together.

Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

 

How to make homemade pasta WITH a pasta maker

If you’re using a pasta maker, simply follow the same steps above to make your dough, cut the dough ball into 4 quarters and roll each quarter out by hand, but instead of cutting your pasta by hand, run it through your pasta maker.

Before cutting it, we start by running the dough through our pasta maker a few more times to roll it out real thin. This is where a pasta maker comes in handy because you can roll your dough out much thinner with a pasta maker than you can by hand.

We run it through two or three times on level 1 and then two or three times on level 3, two or three times on level 5 and then two or three times on level 7. (On the KitchenAid, each level up squeezes the pasta a little bit thinner). You can play around with this until you reach your desired thickness.

Once the pasta dough is nice and thin, run it through your pasta maker again to cut it. On the KitchenAid attachment, we have the option to cut it into thin spaghetti noodles or thicker fettuccine noodles. (Or of course you could leave the pasta dough in large, wide strips for lasagna!) 

Hang pasta to dry the same way you would if you made it by hand. Alternatively, toss the pasta noodles in a little bit of flour to prevent sticking. Since you can make the noodles a lot quicker with a pasta maker, I find tossing them in a little bit of flour is enough to prevent sticking if you plan on cooking them right away.

 

How to cook homemade pasta

To cook your homemade pasta, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add fresh pasta. Cook time will vary depending on how thick your noodles are. We’ve found it can take anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes depending on how thick and how dry your noodles are, and whether you prefer your pasta al dente or a little softer. Check one of the noodles for doneness before straining the water out.

After you strain the water out, drizzle just a little bit of olive oil over the hot noodles and toss to coat to prevent them from sticking. Top with your favourite sauce or with a little more olive oil and parmesan cheese, or however you prefer to eat your pasta!

Try it with a side of homemade bread slathered in homemade garlic herb butter. Drool.

Related: Homemade Tomato Sauce (Canning Recipe)

 

How to store homemade pasta

If you’d prefer to make your pasta ahead of time and store it for later, you can either keep pasta bent in half after hanging it to dry or bend pasta into little nests by gently twirling noodles around your fingers and place in a Ziplock bag in the fridge for later (homemade fresh pasta will store in the fridge for about 2 to 3 days). Or you can place them in the freezer and freeze for 2 to 3 months.

Alternatively, you can dehydrate pasta and store in your pantry just like dried store-bought pasta. To dehydrate you pasta, dry in a dehydrator at 135ºF for about 3 or 4 hours, until pasta is dry and brittle enough that it snaps in two easily.

You can also air dry homemade pasta, but you’ll need to dry it for longer. Make sure that your pasta noodles are completely dry and snap in half easily before storing them in a plastic bag or a container in your pantry.

CAUTION: Dried homemade pasta is shelf stable when completely dry, but any moisture leftover could cause harmful bacteria to form and make your pasta unsafe to eat. So make sure it’s really dry!

You can cook dried homemade pasta the same way as you cook dried store-bought pasta. Refrigerated pasta and frozen pasta should be cooked for roughly the same amount of time as fresh pasta, maybe 30 seconds to one minute longer. But again, always test one noodle to make sure you’re happy with the doneness before straining noodles, just in case you need to cook them for little bit longer.

And that’s all folks! Homemade pasta with or without a pasta maker. It’s that easy.

So the next time you go to buy pasta and find the grocery store shelves bare, or you have an excess of eggs that you need to use up, or you just want a fun and impressive but easy to execute new kitchen project, try your hand at this super simple homemade pasta recipe.

Buon appetito!

Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

Homemade Pasta Recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 to 4½ cups of flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. water (approx.)

Instructions

  1. Either in a mixing bowl, on a large plate or directly on your countertop, start with 4 cups of flour and make a well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the well one-by-one and gently start scooping the flour into the middle a little bit at a time, mixing it with the eggs. Continue until all the eggs have been added and the mixture has formed a shaggy dough ball.
  2. Lightly flour your countertop and transfer the dough ball to your countertop. Knead by hand for a couple minutes, until the dough really starts to come together.
  3. Form a little well with two fingers in the middle of the dough and add one tablespoon of water. Gently work the water into the dough by folding it in and continuing to knead.
  4. Add remaining two tablespoons of water the same way, one at a time if you find you need them to get the dough to stick and start to smooth out. If the dough is ticking fine, it’s not actually necessary to add any water. But it helps to get a nice, smooth dough when you’re making it by hand.
  5. If the dough is really sticky, you may need to add up to another ½ cup of flour, but do so slowly, one tablespoon at a time. You really want to keep that egg to flour ratio up so don’t add too much flour if you don’t need to.
  6. Continue kneading dough for another 10 minutes or so until dough is smooth and elastic but not sticking to your hands or the counter.
  7. Wrap in plastic wrap or a plastic bag (which you can reuse) and set aside to rest for half an hour.
  8. Lightly flour your surface again and cut your dough into four equal parts. Roll each part out one at a time. Roll into a long rectangle until you get it as thin as you can with your rolling pin.
  9. Once you’ve rolled out your dough, cut off the outer edges with a knife or a pizza cutter so you’ve got a perfect rectangle. Then slice your dough into pasta noodles about the width of fettuccini or thinner using either a pizza cutter or a kitchen knife.
  10. Separate your pasta and hang to dry on a pasta dryer or something similar (you can use your oven handle if you have nothing else to hang your pasta on).
  11. Let pasta hang to dry for about 15 to 20 minutes before cooking or storing. It’s important to let fresh pasta dry for a little bit even before cooking to prevent noodles from sticking together.
  12. To cook, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add fresh pasta. Cook until done (check one of the noodles to be sure you like how done it is before straining the water out).
  13. If you’d prefer to make your pasta ahead of time and store it for later, you can either bend pasta into little nests and place in the fridge for later (homemade fresh pasta will store in the fridge for about 2 to 3 days), or you can place them in the freezer and freeze for 2 to 3 months. Or you can dehydrate pasta and store in your pantry just like dried store-bought pasta. To dehydrate you pasta, either dry in a dehydrator at 135ºF for about 3 or 4 hours, until pasta is dry and brittle enough that it snaps in two easily, or air dry until noodles are completely dry and snap in half easily before storing them in a plastic bag or a container in your pantry.

Notes

Directions for making homemade pasta WITH a pasta maker

1. If using a pasta maker, follow the same steps above to make your dough, cut the dough ball into 4 quarters and roll each quarter out by hand, but instead of cutting your pasta by hand, run it through your pasta maker.

2. Start by running the dough through your pasta maker a few more times to roll it out real thin. We run it through two or three times on level 1 and then two or three times on level 3, two or three times on level 5 and then two or three times on level 7.

3. Once the pasta dough is nice and thin, run it through your pasta maker again to cut it.

4. Hang pasta to dry the same way you would if you made it by hand or toss the pasta noodles in a little bit of flour to prevent sticking if cooking right away.

5. Cook or store pasta as directed above.

 

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

5 Comments

  1. Brianna

    Wow, a lot of trouble for a little pasta. Especially for something that costs $1/lb when on sale. That dry package makes about 2-3 lbs of cooked pasta for only a dollar. But I do love fresh pasta and noodles so…

    I bought a pasta maker. It’s a real maker unlike this pasta cutter attachment for the KitchenAid. You just put in the ingredients and press a button. It’ll then knead and extrude the pasta. And you get 8 dies, allowing for many more pasta types than just spaghetti and linguine. I can even make ziti.

    The amazing thing is that the machine is cheaper than overpriced KitchenAid attachments (I wrote the same thing about ice cream makers in another forum). My pasta machine was $39. For about $70, you can get models that’s also a masticating juicer. As for counter space, it’s the size of 2 toasters stacked.

    My point is this: if you really like fresh pasta, it’s more economical to use a real pasta maker than this KitchenAid attachment. You save time, energy and money. You not only save money on the device but also on ingredients. No wasted flour flying all around, and no wasted leftover AaAAApasta pieces that don’t fit in the cutter. Finally, less cleanup. Just the bin, paddle and die, all of which are dishwasher safe. This attachment looks much tougher to clean, with all of internal teeth. And let’s not forget the rolling pin, rolling surface, bowl,etc.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      The thing about this lifestyle, is it’s a lot more trouble in every way than just going to the store and buying what you need. Spending 6 months growing tomatoes and hours in the kitchen processing them into sauce when you could just buy a jar of tomato sauce for a couple bucks probably doesn’t seem worth it to most people. Spending money on chicken feed and having a flock of chickens that has absolutely destroyed our backyard when I could just go buy the eggs seems like an exercise in futility. And so on and so forth… But the process of creating something from nothing with your own hands (and the sense of pride that ensues) somehow makes it all worthwhile, at least for weirdos like me!

      However I don’t doubt you’re right about using a “real” pasta maker. I’m sure it’s as satisfying (if not more so) than using the Kitchenaid attachment, and probably cheaper too. We got out attachment as a gift, and considering we already had the Kitchenaid, it made sense for us. Luckily it’s actually not too difficult to clean. But I would love a hand-crank pasta maker someday, so I don’t have to rely on the electricity, and because I clearly like to do things the hard way;)

      Reply
  2. Conni

    Thank you for such a thorough recipe and directions. I have both a pasta
    maker (like the one featured) AND the Kitchen Aid attachment but, like much of my DIY equipment that I bought years ago (1980’s??), they were stored ‘for such a time as this’! It is NOW time to up my game and familiarize myself with these skills! Thanks for the impetus.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Absolutely! For such a time as this:) This is the time to sharpen and increase our repertoire of skills. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

      Reply
  3. Hema

    Thanks For Sharing this Amazing Recipe. My Family Loved It. I will be sharing this Recipe with my Friends. Hope They will like it.

    Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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When I graduated from university with a degree in journalism many years ago, I remember thinking that while I knew how to write, edit, interview, shoot, and handle just about every part of creating a publication from the editorial standpoint, I really had no clue how to actually get published, let alone how the printing process works.

Over the years I’ve followed my passion for writing, editing and creating content, figuring much of it out on my own. From creating my blog to “self-publishing” my own digital/print magazine for the last 4 years, I’ve taught myself most of the practical skills necessary for turning an idea into a publication and getting said publication in the hands and in front of the eyes of many hundreds of readers.

But now that I’ve joined forces with the team at @homesteadlivingmagazine and @freeportpress, we’re all able to level up and reach many THOUSANDS of print and digital readers together.

People are HUNGRY for tried and tested advice on homesteading and self-reliant living. There’s a huge movement happening right now as more people wake up to all of the corruption in the world and realize that many of the systems we have come to depend on are fragile and on the brink of collapse. People are ready to take matters into their own hands by growing their own food, preparing their own meals, becoming producers instead of merely consumers and taking control of their health, freedom, security and lives.

I’m so proud to not only be a part of this movement, but to be at the forefront of it with some of the most passionate, talented and driven individuals I could ask to work with.

Getting to meet and brainstorm with some of the team in person and tour the printing facilities over the last few days has opened up a whole new world of possibilities, not just for me, but for everyone who considers themselves part of the modern homesteading movement. We are growing faster than I could have ever imagined. We’re creating a system outside of the system! We’re charging full steam ahead and we invite you to climb aboard and join us for the ride:)

#homesteading #modernhomesteading #homesteadliving #selfsufficiency #selfreliance
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It’s been a minute since I popped into IG to say hi. (Hi! 👋) But before I share what’s been going on behind the scenes, I thought it would be a good time to (re)introduce myself, because I’ve never actually done that before!

My name’s Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader living in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. I live with my family (human, furry and feathered) on 1/4 acre property where we grow and preserve hundreds of pounds of our own food every year, and strive to live a more self-reliant lifestyle in all that we do.

I grew up in Vancouver and had pretty much zero experience homesteading before my husband, Ryan and I decided we wanted to escape the rat race, become less dependent on the modern industrial food system (and all modern industrialized systems), and dove head first into this lifestyle around a decade ago.

We packed up and moved to Vancouver Island where we live now, started our first garden, and the rest is pretty much history.

(Well, actually that’s not true… There have been A LOT of ups and downs, successes and failures, wins and losses, struggles, challenges and pivotal moments along the way, but those are stories for another day).

Over the past few years, our decision to follow a less conventional path that aims to break free (at least in some part) from “the system” has been affirmed over and over again. We all know for a fact now that our food system, healthcare system, financial system, transportation system and so much more are all really just a house of cards built on shaky ground. We’ve been lucky so far, but sooner or later it’s all liable to collapse.

But preparedness and security isn’t the only thing that drives us… The peace of mind I get knowing that everything we grow is 100% organic, and that the ingredients in our food, medicine, personal and household products are safe and natural is worth more than anything I could buy at the grocery store.

(I’m not perfect though. Not by a long shot. I still rely on the grocery store, on modern medicine, and on many modern conveniences to get by, but I balance it as much as I can:)

(Continued in comments…)
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