Making Homemade Pasta from Scratch: A Cheat Sheet

Making Homemade Pasta from Scratch: A Cheat Sheet

Ah, home-made pasta from scratch. Have you ever been so delighted by restaurant-quality handmade pasta that you’ve spent a night tossing and turning in bed wondering if, somehow, someway, you could make some in the privacy and comfort of your own kitchen? Well, here’s some good news: you can!

Homemade pasta tastes so much better than its store-bought counterpart. What’s more, believe it or not, making homemade pasta from scratch is not actually that hard to do. Just follow the steps we’ve outlined below and you’ll have your family raving at your next family get-together.

You’ll need:

  • Two cups of flour
  • Half a teaspoon of salt
  • Three large eggs
  • A pasta machine

Take your flour and pour it onto your work-surface, forming a mound. Next, carve out a well with your fingers in the mound’s center. The well should be wide so that it accommodates the eggs you’re going to place in it. This should leave the flour looking like a lunar crater.

Next, put the eggs in the well. You can either crack the eggs into the well itself, or whisk them ahead of time. It’s completely up to you. Sprinkle the salt onto the eggs.

Now comes the fun part: mixing the dough. Either with your bare fingers or using a fork, begin breaking up the egg yolks and gently pushing the surrounding flour into the eggs. Keep adding more and more flour until the egg mixture starts to become a dough and the fork becomes useless. The dough should be wet and sticky. Fold more flour into the dough, continuously repositioning the dough so that the flour is equally mixed into the ball of dough.

When the dough starts to harden and dry, that means it’s time to knead.

The key to kneading is strength coupled with persistence. It take about ten to fifteen minutes and definitely burns a few calories. It’s very important that you knead. If you don’t, the pasta will not be springy, it also might contain bubbles and pieces of raw, unincorporated, flour. What’s more, over-kneading, is basically impossible.

This is kneading 101: press the heal of your palm into the ball as it rests on the working surface. You want to press forward and down. Then, rotate the ball 45 degrees, and do it again. After about ten minutes of this, the dough will become a smooth ball—this is when you want to stop.

Now it’s time to rest the dough. Tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and sit it on the counter. This allows the dough to hydrate and the gluten to kick-start into action. Let it rest for about an hour, and be sure to pat yourself on the back, we’re almost done.

Now, cut the dough into four pieces. Wrap three pieces back in plastic. Take the remaining piece and, using a rolling pin, roll it out until it’s about half an inch thick. Keep the size and shape even. Easy, right?

Now it’s time for the pasta machine. Use the flat roller and the machine’s lowest setting. Feed the pasta dough into the machine. Pass the dough through the first setting three times, until the dough doesn’t give resistance. Now turn the dial to the next, narrower setting, and repeat.

Once you’ve put the dough through the machine enough times to arrive at your desired thickness, adjust the setting to cut noodles. Pass the dough through again, and you’ll have raw spaghetti, linguine, or whatever you want.

Next, boil a pot of water and salt it. Throw the pasta in, give it a stir, and it’ll be ready in no time. The actual cooking time depends on the type of pasta you’re making, so it’s important to keep an eye on it and gauge its consistency. Taste is the true test, not time.

If you don’t have a pasta machine or don’t want to take the time to make pasta from scratch, head down to Italian Garden and get your pasta fix! Be sure to check our menu to see that variety of delicious pastas you’ll find.