Homemade pasta is made with just TWO ingredients and is a way better alternative to store-bought pasta. It’s easy to make too! We will teach you, step-by-step, how to make easy pasta noodles from scratch.
Homemade Fresh Pasta
Nothing beats fresh, homemade pasta noodles. It is perfectly slurp-able, especially when coated with your favorite pasta sauce. The smooth, chewy texture just can’t be duplicated by dried, store-bought pasta. If you have never made homemade pasta before, you are in for a treat!
Is Homemade Pasta Worth the Trouble?
What trouble? You will be surprised how easy it is to make homemade pasta, especially if you have a pasta machine/maker. If you are out of pasta in your pantry and need to get dinner on the table, it is probably faster to make it from scratch than to go to the store, buy pasta from a package, and come home and make it. And it will taste better too! It’s so easy, a six year old can do it.
If you want to make your pasta making experience easier, it is definitely worth it to get a pasta machine. It really doesn’t need to be anything fancy. The one we have is just a manual counter-top one that you crank by hand. You can spend more to get machines that are electric or get an attachment that can hook up to your KitchenAid but honestly, the cheap, manual ones are great. If you plan on making your pasta fresh ALL the time, it might be worth it to you to spend a little more for an automatic one.
Do I NEED A Pasta Machine or Roller to Make Fresh Pasta?
No, you can roll out pasta with a rolling pin and cut it with a knife. It is more labor intensive and your pasta might not come out perfectly even, but it can be done! For lasagna noodles, you can use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the flat sheets into rectangles.
The Best Flour to Make Pasta
To make pasta, you want to use Tipo “00” flour. This is the flour they use in Italy for pasta. It is a lower protein flour that gives your pasta that perfect texture and elasticity. It is becoming easier to find Tipo 00 flour in most grocery stores in the US but I find it cheapest to buy the Tipo 00 Chef’s Flour in bulk on Amazon. If you simply can’t use Tipo 00 flour, semolina flour is the next best thing, followed by all-purpose flour. The gluten and protein amounts vary in each of these flours so your pasta dough won’t come out exactly the same, but it will still be very good.
Ingredients for Making Homemade Pasta
To make authentic homemade pasta (specifically egg pasta) like they do in Italy, you only need 2 ingredients: flour and eggs. That’s it. A good rule of thumb is 1 egg for every 100g of flour (appx. ¾ cup of flour). This is when a kitchen scale can come in handy. You can get all fancy and add a little fine sea salt and/or a little olive oil to your dough while you are mixing it up, but it isn’t necessary. You will have plenty of salt in your pasta water and your pasta will absorb that salty flavor.
What are the Steps in Making Homemade Pasta?
- Combine eggs and flour on a clean surface
- Knead pasta dough with hands for 10 minutes
- Press the dough flat with hands and feed through a pasta maker, making the sheet of pasta thinner with each run through
- Feed the dough sheet through the pasta cutter or cut with a knife to make noodles
- Place pasta noodles in boiling water and boil for 1-3 minutes.
- Serve with your favorite pasta sauce
Dust with Flour Throughout the Process
Any time your pasta seems too sticky, dust it with flour. I find myself dusting my pasta with flour all throughout the process. Don’t overdo it though. Just do a light dusting to keep the dough from sticking together at any given time. Even once the noodles are cut, give them a little sprinkle of flour and toss so the noodles don’t stick when you drop them into the water or when you prepare them for storing for later use.
How Long To Cook Fresh Pasta
Fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried and packaged pasta. You only need to cook fresh pasta in boiling water (make sure it is a rolling boil) for 1-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of your pasta noodles. Watch it closely and remove once the pasta noodles are tender, but firm to the bite (al dente).
How to Store Fresh Pasta by Refrigerating or Freezing
After cutting your fresh noodles, gently dust the noodles with a little more flour and allow to dry out for about 8-10 minutes (no more or your pasta will break). Gently form noodles into nests. Gently lay the nests in an airtight container in a single layer and refrigerate up to 3-4 days. If I am making a big batch of pasta, my preferred method of storing fresh, homemade pasta is freezing. Place your noodle “nests” on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 6 hours. When nests are frozen through, gently place the nests in a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to 5 months. When cooking after freezing, put the nests directly into boiling water from frozen (do not thaw first) and boil until noodles are cooked through.
Can Fresh Egg Pasta be Dried?
I have scoured through countless resources to find this answer and it really depends on who you ask. Some say that because there is egg in the pasta it can’t be safely on a pasta drying rack for more than 2 hours. Others say because the egg gets dried up so quickly, there is no moisture for bacteria to thrive on, making it is totally safe to dry for longer amounts of time so you can store in the pantry for long-term storage. These sources say you can leave your pasta out to dry for 24 hours. The best I can say here is, do what you think is best for you. If you are worried about it, opt for freezing or refrigerating your pasta instead.
Tips for Pasta Making:
- Bring your eggs to room temperature before making your pasta. They will incorporate into the dough better.
- Don’t use a stand mixer to mix the dough. It only takes 10 minutes to do it by hand and the results will be better.
- If your pasta dough gets too dry, put a little water on your hands and continue to knead. This will incorporate the water better than putting water directly on the dough.
- Put the cooked pasta directly into your sauce to get the best flavor. Toss it around to make sure every noodle soaks up the flavors of the sauce.
Homemade Pasta Sauces
Looking for some tasty sauces to coat your delicious fresh, homemade noodles? We highly recommend our authentic Pomodoro Sauce (Sugo di Pomodoro), the easy tomato pasta sauce we learned how to make in Naples, Italy! Or you can try any of our other favorite pasta sauces in the images below:
More Authentic Italian Dishes
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love Italian food. When in Italy, we learned so many great cooking techniques, skills, and recipes that we would love to share with you! Here are a few of our favorites:
How To Make Homemade Pasta
- pasta maker (optional)
- Kitchen Scale (optional)
- Rolling Pin
- On a clean surface, place flour in a mound and use hands to form a well in the middle. Crack eggs into a bowl and then pour the eggs into the middle of the well. Add a small drizzle of olive oil to the middle if desired.
- Beat the eggs with a fork while adding a little bit of the flour from the sides at a time until all the flour is incorporated into the egg and the mixture becomes somewhat dry and crumbly.
- Use hands to knead the dough for 10 minutes. If the dough it too dry, wet your hands with water and continue to knead. Don't add water directly to the dough because it won't incorporate as well. If the dough is too wet and sticky, add a sprinkle of flour. After kneading for 10 minutes, there should be no more visible flour on the dough and it should have a smooth, soft, yet dense texture. It won't be light and airy like a yeast dough. Place the dough in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 20-30 minutes. Use a bench scraper or knife to cut the dough into 3-4 equal pieces. Work with one piece at a time and place the pieces that aren't being used back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. This will keep the other pieces from drying out.
- Using your hands, flatten out one piece of dough into an oval shape. Using your pasta maker's widest setting (for my pasta roller, the widest setting is a "1", other rollers might have this flip-flopped with their widest setting as the highest number), feed the dough through 2-3 times.
- Repeat feeding the dough through, increasing the level each time. Level 2, 3, etc… until you feed it through at your pasta maker's narrowest level. If you find the pasta starts to stick, sprinkle some more flour over the pasta and/or onto the feeder of the pasta machine.
- Dust a clean surface with flour and lay your large, flat, rolled pasta over the top. Sprinkle a little more flour over the top and use your hands to dust the flour evenly over the flattened pasta sheet. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.
- If your pasta maker has a pasta cutter side (most do), run your pasta sheet through the cutter of your desired pasta size (if your sheets are super long, you can cut them in half or thirds before feeding them through). If you do not have a pasta cutter, gently fold the sheets over in half, repeating until you have a narrow stack, then use a sharp knife to slice into noodles.
Cooking the Noodles:
- To cook your fresh noodles, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. You can be generous with the salt in the water because there is no salt in the noodles. Boil for 1-3 minutes depending on the thickness of your pasta noodles. The best way to tell if they are done is to simply taste them.
- After cutting your fresh noodles, gently dust the noodles with a little more flour and allow to dry out for about 8-10 minutes (no more or your pasta will break). Gently form noodles into nests. Store your fresh noodles in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 5 months.