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Long homemade fettuccini pasta noodles

Beginner’s Guide to Fresh Homemade Pasta Dough

  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Homemade Pasta
  • Method: Handcrafted
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

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.


Ingredients

*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)

Tips:

  • 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.

Instructions

Step #1: Make The Dough

The Traditional Way (by hand):

  1. Add the flour to a large bowl. Make a well in the center; add the eggs and yolk.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 

  1. 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). 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Keywords: homemade pasta dough, fresh pasta, fresh pasta recipe, pasta noodles, homemade pasta, Kitchen Aid stand mixer, food processor, semolina flour, Tipo 00 flour, all purpose flour, large eggs, semolina flour, Italian cuisine