Sunday, May 1, 2011

Homemade Pasta Tutorial With Video

Making pasta at home is a lot of fun!  Check out my tutorial for Homemade Pasta Dough With Video.

This is the fun part!  Rolling out your playdough pasta!

First, the set up.  You will need an ironing board, a large plastic garbage bag (CLEAN!), a couple of kitchen towels, and a pasta maker.  The advantage of the ironing board is that a) you can get to the pasta maker from all side (this is especially useful if you're making pasta with a couple of friends), b) the height is adjustable for shorties like me (and tall folks!) and c) the clamp doesn't mar your countertop (this happened to my friend, Jim).  You can roll pasta out by hand and there are any number of sites that will show you how to do it.  My friend, Jim, lent me his pasta maker (and then I bought one for my stand mixer).

I also suggest that you lay a sheet on the floor.  Pasta making gets flour everywhere and the sheet would make cleanup faster and easier.

The ironing board isn't thick enough to completely close the clamp on the pasta maker.  So I used a couple of folded kitchen towels to fill-in the extra space.  The picture isn't the best but you'll understand what I'm talking about if you try it at home.

Pull out two balls of dough.  Keep one covered (a damp kitchen towel will work).  Raw pasta dough dries pretty quickly and it's pretty much ruined for pasta making.  Ask me how I know.  Let them come to room temperature.

Generously flour the top of the ironing board.  Then flatten the dough ball. 

Flour the dough ball.  And now you're read to play with the pasta maker!

There's a dial on the side of the pasta machine, this sets the thickness of the dough.  Set it to "1."  It's hard to see in the picture but you get the idea.

Crank the handle to feed the dough through the rollers.  The video wouldn't upload, so click here to watch it. (Sorry for the background noise....I had NPR on while I was making the pasta!)

A few notes about using the pasta roller.  The widest thickness is setting #1.  As the numbers go up, the dough is rolled thinner and thinner.  Setting #1 also acts to knead the dough a little further.  I run the dough through setting #1 three times; folding it in thirds each time.  Then I turn to setting #2; I like to run the dough through each setting twice.  The first run "thins" out the dough then the second run smooths it out further.  I stop at setting #4 for fettuccine. 

As the dough gets thinner, it also gets longer.  The length makes it a bit harder to manage but here's where the plastic garbage bag really helps out:

Here is the final length of that first dough ball.  It's well over a foot long!  Not bad for a golf-ball sized bit of dough!

The pasta dough is now ready to be cut.  The manual pasta machine excels at cutting fettucine.  Hook the fettucine cutter to the opposite side of the machine (you can make it out in the picture above).  Pull the hand crank out of the main body of the machine and insert it into the cutter attachment.  Generously flour the pasta dough.  (The resulting fettucine strands will stick together otherwise.) Using the metal feed plate to support the length of the dough, feed the dough into the cutter.

Finally, here's the fresh, homemade pasta!

Dust the pasta with a bit more flour and allow to dry slightly--about 30 minutes.

To cook the pasta, bring a pot of lightly salted water (I use 1 tsp for a pound of pasta) to a rolling boil.  Drop the pasta in.  Fresh pasta cooks quickly, in about 3-5 minutes.  It floats to the top of the water when it is done.  Toss with the sauce of your choice and enjoy!

You can also freeze fresh pasta; I prefer to freeze mine before it's cooked.  Again, allow the pasta to dry about 30 minutes, then place it into a resealable bag and put it into the freezer.  There is no need to thaw it prior to cooking, just follow the directions above.

Making homemade pasta is fun to do by yourself, with friends, and/or especially with kids!  Have a great time with it!

Recipe for Eggless Pasta (Click here for my tutorial, Homemade Pasta Dough With Video)
Adapted from
Makes ~1 lb of fresh pasta

1 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup ice cold water, plus additional water as needed


1. Place the first three ingredients into the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse to combine.

2. With the food processor running, pour in the 1/2 cup water.  The dough should form into a ball, if it doesn't add additional water by the tablespoon until it forms a ball.  If the dough is too wet, add additional all purpose flour.  The dough should feel a bit damp, at most. 

3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.

4. Divide the dough into golf-ball sized mini-balls.  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.  Allow to rest for 30 minutes.

5. Remove one-two of the pasta dough balls and allow them to come to room temperature.  Set up the pasta machine and roll out according to the directions above.  Cook or freeze the pasta according to the directions above.

1 comment:

  1. I bet it's awesome, but I think I'll leave this one to you. ;-) Great tutorial, though!