Ashley Adamant at Practical Self-Reliance has a good write up on How to Make Homemade Pasta from Scratch. The last grocery run I made to the smaller, local store before things locked down, they had stocked up with some large, bulk bags of pasta. If you didn’t stock up on pre-made pasta, but you did get a lot of flour, or if you prepared with bulk wheat berries to grind yourself, then you can use that flour to make pasta. I’ve made pasta from scratch many times, and while it is less convenient than pre-made it is always tasty and really pretty easy to make. The excerpt below omits a great deal of useful of information (like variations, the difference using various flour types makes, photos of the process, and more).
Homemade pasta is absolutely incredible and infinitely better than store bought dried pasta. Learn how to make pasta from scratch and craft exceptional homemade meals for your family.
I’d been staring at that antique pasta maker at the top of the pantry since I was 5 years old. At that point, it’d been up there collecting dust for some time already. My grandmother passed it on to my mother when she moved from a sprawling household into a small retirement community.
They say a passion for scratch cooking skips a generation, and that pasta maker sat at the top of my mother’s pantry for nearly two decades.
When my husband and I bought our first house, my mother asked me if I wanted anything for our kitchen, and I answered without hesitation.
“That old thing?” She said, “I don’t know if it even works, I’ve never opened it…”
She shipped it across the country later that week, and it arrived in that same dust-covered box I’d stared at since my youth. My mother’s name still scrawled across the top, as my grandmother had wanted her to have it.
Now I use it to make pasta with my own daughter, and she has a real passion for cooking. It may have skipped my mother’s generation, but I have faith that this pasta maker will see heavy use in my daughter’s kitchen once it’s left mine.
Only time will tell…
Homemade Pasta Recipes
I’ve been making homemade pasta on this antique pasta maker for the past decade, and I’ve learned that homemade pasta recipes are less about the ingredients and more about the process.
All in all, most recipes are quite simple, and most contain 3-4 simple ingredients. The proportions in different recipes vary slightly and many start with vague measurements like “put enough flour on the counter, then add eggs.”
The recipe included in my Atlas Pasta Machine from the 1960s is pretty simple, and only includes eggs and flour, plus a little optional olive oil:
“Here is the way to prepare a good homemade pasta: pour the necessary quantity of flour on a plane (we propose 400 grams for 4 people) and make a hole in the middle. Put an egg for every 100 grams of flour in the hole. Start kneading the flour with the eggs. To soften the dough, some olive oil can be added.
Go on kneading, until after about ten minutes, you get a homogenous paste. At that point, if you are not in a hurry, you should form a ball and wrap it in a napkin, and let it rest for a few minutes.
Divide the dough into fist-sized parts and put each portion between the kneading rolls of the machine in position ‘1’ (widest gap). Fold the pasta sheet and repeat several times, reducing the thickness by changing the gap position until it reaches the desired thickness.”
Regardless of the recipe, the process is the same. Knead the wet ingredients (eggs, water, oil, etc) into the flour and then begin stretching the dough. It’s easier if you use a pasta maker, but you can also just roll the pasta dough out on the counter, fold it over on itself and then repeat.
Eventually, the repeated rolling will yield a smooth pasta dough that can be left in sheets for lasagna or ravioli, or sliced into noodles…
- 2 1/4 cups flour (preferably “00”, but all-purpose works too)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp salt (see note)
- Semolina Flour for Rolling Out
- Mix the flour and salt on a clean counter (or in a large bowl), and make a well in the center.
- Add the eggs and oil into the well, and beat with a fork. Slowly incorporating the flour.
- As the dough becomes thicker, switch to kneading by hand.
- Knead the dough for 4-6 minutes, until all the flour is incorporated.
- Cover the pasta dough and allow it to rest for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Pasta Maker: Set the machine to the widest setting and pass the dough through the rollers. Fold it in half and repeat until the dough is smooth, around 4-6 passes. Then reduce the thickness and roll the dough to your desired thickness using the dial settings on the pasta maker.
- Rolling Pin Method: Without a pasta maker, roll the dough out on a clean counter. Fold it in half and roll it out repeatedly until the dough is smooth.
- Shape into the desired shape.
- For noodles, dust both sides of the dough with semolina flour (or a small amount of regular flour) and roll the dough up like a rug. Cut pinwheels with a sharp knife and then unroll.
- For Immediate Use: Prepare a pot of boiling water with a tablespoon of salt. Add fresh pasta to the water and cook 2-3 minutes, until the pasta floats. Drain and serve immediately.
- Drying: Hang the pasta to dry in an area with good airflow. It should take 12-24 hours, depending on temperature and humidity. Be sure the pasta is completely dry before storing it in an airtight container.