Curious about homemade pasta? This step-by-step recipe guide and video will teach you how to make fresh homemade pasta dough with just two ingredients: flour and eggs. It’s an all purpose dough; use it to make fresh pappardelle pasta, tagliatelle and so much more! Best part? It costs under $3 to make!
Fresh homemade pasta: Too hard? Too time consuming? Most people would assume so, just like making sourdough bread. But if you love fresh pasta, and haven’t tried making it yourself, the art and craft will absolutely captivate you. This was my pandemic activity.
My beginner’s guide and video will outline the process step-by-step. You do not need any special skills to get started. With just two ingredients, you’ll learn how to make fresh homemade pasta dough in 15 minutes or less! Just think of the possibilities: pappardelle pasta with Ragù Bolognese; homemade ravioli with Sicilian-style tomato sauce; even springy fettuccini with golden butter and sage pasta sauce. Are you getting hungry yet?! Once you get the hang of it, it’s fun to explore different pasta dough variations too. I’ve just created the most mesmerizing fresh spinach pasta dough (just wait until you see the color!).
And here’s the best part: did you know homemade pasta is surprisingly inexpensive to make? Coming in at under $3 for the dough (which feeds 4 ppl, at least) it’s the ultimate simple luxury anyone can enjoy!
First, A Few Tips:
- Make space. You’ll need a long, clutter-free surface to roll the dough. The kitchen table is ideal.
- Weigh your ingredients (including the eggs). This will ensure the dough texture is correct. If your eggs are too small the dough will be dry and crumbly.
- Freeze it. Pasta noodles can be made ahead and frozen up to 1 month. No need to defrost before cooking.
You Will Need
- 300 g Tipo “00” Flour: this fine milled, soft wheat Italian flour creates light and tender pasta with just the right bite. Tipo 00 is the best flour for pasta making. Try Molino Grassi or Caputo. Substitute with King Arthur all purpose flour for similar results.
- 3 Eggs + 1 yolk: this combination adds moisture, color and flavor to the dough. Size matters. I use US large eggs about 55-58 g each.
Pasta Equipment (choose one)
- Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer (w/ pasta attachments): If you already have one, the stand mixer can be used from start to finish. Mix and knead the dough in the bowl; use the pasta roller & cutter set to make pasta. Very convenient.
- Pasta Machine: This product rolls and cuts the dough with great results. However, because it’s not electric you’ll have to crank out the dough yourself.
TIP: On a Budget? The Kitchen Aid pasta roller attachment can be purchased separately (without the pasta cutters) for only $60. Cut the pasta by hand.
Making Homemade Pasta: Recipe & Step-by-Step Instructions
It’s best to imagine the overall process broken down into 3 main steps:
But before you begin, and this is super important: clear away all junk, bills, cords to nowhere etc. You’ll need a long, clutter-free work surface to spread out (kitchen table or kitchen island). Once that’s sorted, you’re ready to make pasta- the right way.
How to Make Homemade Pasta Dough
- The traditional way, by hand: mound the flour onto a board (or bowl). Make a well in the center; crack in the eggs. With a fork, beat the eggs together and then gradually incorporate the flour. Finish by hand to form a rough dough. If bits of flour remain (be patient, it’s a dry dough), add a few drops of water or olive oil to moisten the texture.
- Cover the dough and rest for 10 minutes. This step is not mentioned in most pasta recipes but it’s key. The dough will be easier to knead by hand.
- Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes. Do this by pushing the dough forward with the heel of your hand (watch the video). The texture will be very stiff at first- it’s not bread dough! But rest assured, by the 2 minute mark it will start to soften. The goal is a soft, malleable dough with a talcum powder-like finish. When you poke it, the dough should bounce back.
- Shape the dough into a ball, wrap tightly, and rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
TIP: Need a Hand? Mixing and kneading can easily be done in a food processor (30-60 seconds) or stand mixer instead (8 minutes). Refer to the recipe at the end of this post for specific instructions.
Roll The Dough Into Sheets
- Set up your station. Dust your work surface, a sheet pan, and the pasta machine with semolina flour.
- Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces; flatten one into a thin 6-8-inch oval disc (re-wrap the remaining pieces so they don’t dry out).
- Send the disc through the roller on the lowest/widest setting. This is “#1” on the Kitchen Aid attachment displayed above. Now, send it through again. Tip: if using a pasta machine, refer to their specific instructions for rolling the dough. The settings are different, but the rolling process is the same.
- Continue to roll the dough through settings #2-4 (2x on each setting) for fettuccini, pappardelle and tagliatelle. For ravioli, the dough needs to be thinner- go up to #5. The higher the number, the thinner the dough will become. That’s the goal. The pasta sheet is ready when it’s slightly translucent and you can see your hand underneath.
- When finished, fold the pasta sheet in half, place onto a tray and cover.
- Repeat the rolling process for the remaining 3 pieces of dough.
TIP: Why Semolina Flour? Although pasta dough is typically dry, at times it will feel tacky and sticky in some spots, especially if the weather is warm and humid. Dust your pasta sheet with semolina flour, as needed, in between roller settings. It absorbs less moisture than regular flour. Rice flour works too. My surface is always covered in a blanket of semolina to easily coat both sides of the sheets while I work.
Cut The Sheets Into Pasta
- Before cutting: I like to semi-dry the pasta sheets ever so slightly. This gives the cut pasta strands a more firm and “leathery” finish, rather than a soft and doughy feel (this helps to prevent the strands from sticking together later on).
- To semi-dry: Drape the pasta sheets over the back of a chair or on a rod for about 5-15 minutes. Keep your eye on the time; you don’t want the sheets to dry out completely. Touch them occasionally. You will feel the difference in texture as time goes by.
- To cut: Take a pasta sheet and cut in half. Send it through the cutter attachment. I used the fettuccini shape above.
- Dust the pasta noodles liberally with semolina flour to prevent sticking- don’t skimp here. Coil the pasta around your hand to create a nest or arrange the strands loosely on a tray.
- Repeat the cutting process for the remaining pasta sheets.
TIP: How to Cut Pasta By Hand. Take a pasta sheet, fold it in half, and then fold it over a few times, loosely. Cut across into ribbons of your desired width.
How to Store Fresh Pasta
Cover well floured pasta with plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature if cooking within 1-2 hours. Alternatively, refrigerate until ready to cook, up to 12 hrs. It’s best to cook homemade pasta on the same day it’s made, otherwise it might oxidize, discolor and stick together if chilled past 24 hrs.
How to Freeze Fresh Pasta
Allow the pasta to air-dry, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes before freezing. This helps to prevent sticking. Portion into ziptop bags and freeze, up to 1 month. Cook directly from frozen, no need to defrost first.
How to Cook Fresh Pasta
Add the pasta to a large pot of boiling water. Make sure to generously salt it first. I don’t give exact amounts for the salt- it all depends on the sauce you’re pairing the pasta with. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your pasta, anywhere from 2-7 minutes. Always taste it. The texture should be al dente (soft but with a bite). When finished, use tongs to transfer the pasta to its final destination: the sauce.
Best Sauce for Fresh Homemade Pasta
Homemade pasta is excellent served with my rich, Ragù Bolognese Sauce, Classic Italian Basil Pesto (Pesto alla Genovese) or this Quick Homemade Tomato Sauce (Sicilian-Style). I recommend having a stash of sauce in the freezer for a quick dinner when the mood strikes.
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With just 2 ingredients- flour and eggs- and 15 minutes initial hands on time, use fresh pasta dough to make fettuccini, pappardelle, ravioli and more.
For timing, the process is broken up into 3 parts: making the dough, rolling the dough into pasta sheets, and cutting the pasta into noodles. Tips shared below for using a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, food processor and doing it by hand.
- 300 g Tipo 00 Flour (I recommend Molino Grassi or Caputo)
- 3 large eggs (see note below)
- 1 large egg yolk
- Semolina flour, for dusting (rice flour can be used)
*Note: the total combined weight for the eggs & yolk (cracked) should be 185 g. Because eggs size will vary, make up the difference with water or olive oil if needed. You could also use an part of an egg yolk for color, which is my preference.
Pasta Equipment (choose one)
- Make space. You’ll need a long, clutter-free work surface to handle the dough. The kitchen table or kitchen island is perfect.
- Weigh your ingredients. This will ensure the correct texture of the dough. If your eggs are too small, the dough will be dry and crumbly.
- Wrap it up. Pasta dough can dry out quickly. Keep it covered with wrap or a kitchen towel.
Step #1: Make The Dough
The Traditional Way (by hand):
- Add the flour to a large bowl. Make a well in the center; add the eggs and yolk.
- Whisk together with a fork, and then combine with the flour. When the texture becomes stiff, finish by hand to form a rough dough. If dry bits of flour remain after a few minutes of mixing (be patient, it’s a dry dough) add a few drops of water or olive oil to bring the dough together.
- Form the dough into a ball, cover with an upturned bowl or with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes- it will be easier to knead.
- Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes. Do this by folding the dough over itself, pushing it forward with the heel of your hand, turning slightly as you go. I literally rock the dough back and forth (watch the video). The texture will be very stiff at first- it’s not bread dough. But rest assured, by the 2 minute mark it will start to soften. Keep kneading until the dough is soft, malleable and has a talcum-like finish. It should “bounce back” slowly when poked.
- Form the dough into a ball, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Stand Mixer Instructions:
Fit the machine with the dough hook. Add the flour and eggs to the bowl. Mix until combined. Knead on speed #1 or #2, about 4-5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Food Processor Instructions:
Add the flour and eggs to the bowl. Pulse several times until the dough comes together. Remove the dough to your work surface and let rest for 1 minute. If the dough is a bit sticky after resting, add a sprinkle of flour. Knead by hand for 1-2 minutes (the food processor does most of the kneading for you). Form the dough into a ball, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Step #2: Roll The Dough Into Pasta Sheets
Set up your station: Dust your work surface with semolina flour. Dust a sheet pan with semolina flour (your pasta sheets will land here). Fit the stand mixer with the roller attachment. Grab a kitchen towel. You’re ready to roll.
- On your work surface, cut the pasta dough into 4 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, flatten the dough into a 6-8inch oval patty. Keep the remaining doughs covered in wrap otherwise they will dry out.
- Set the pasta roller to #1 which is the lowest/widest setting on the Kitchen Aid. With the machine running, send the dough through the roller. Now, send it through again (so, 2x total). Note: if you are using a hand crank pasta machine, refer to the manufacture’s specific instructions for rolling the dough- the settings might differ but the process is the same.
- Continue to roll the dough through settings #2-4, (2x) on each setting. Do not pull on the sheet as it comes through the roller; just guide it along gently. If at any point the dough becomes sticky, dust with semolina flour. I keep my work surface dusted with semolina at all times. This way I can coat both sides of my pasta sheet easily and quickly while I work.
- Your pasta sheet is ready when it’s beautifully thin and somewhat translucent (you should be able to see your hand underneath). Don’t worry if the ends are not perfectly straight; you can always trim them with a knife.
- To finish, dust the pasta sheet generously with semolina, fold it in half, and place onto your floured sheet pan. Cover with a kitchen towel. Repeat the rolling process for the remaining 3 doughs.
Step #3: Cut The Pasta
- Before cutting, I like to dry my pasta sheets ever so slightly. This firms up the final texture giving the strands a more “leathery” finish, rather than a soft and doughy feel (this will prevent the pasta from sticking together later on).
- To Dry: drape the pasta sheets over the back of a chair for about 10-15 minutes or so. Keep your eye on the time; you don’t want the sheets to dry out completely. You will be able to feel the difference.
- To Cut: take a pasta sheet and cut it in half. Trim the ends, if you like. Run the sheet through your desired pasta cutter attachment to create strands. Alternatively, cut the dough by hand.
To Store: Heavily dust the pasta strands with flour. Coil around your hand or arrange loosely on a tray. Cover with plastic wrap and hold at room temperature if cooking within 1-2 hours. Alternatively, store in the fridge for up to 12 hrs. checking occasionally, to make sure the strands are not sticking. Note: Pasta left in the fridge past 24 hrs might oxidize, discolor and/or stick together.
To Freeze: Allow the pasta to air-dry, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes before freezing. The helps to prevent sticking. Portion into ziptop bags, remove the air, and freeze, up to 1 month. Cook directly from frozen, no need to defrost first.
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