Cooking and spending time in the kitchen can be so therapeutic, especially when the weather's raging outside — you just want a big, hearty bowl of something warm. Well good news is, if you have flour, eggs, and some cheese lying in your fridge or pantry, odds are you're all set to make your very own homemade pasta!
Many people shy away from making pasta at home because they don't have the right pasta makers, they don't know where to start, or it just seems like a long, tedious task. But with our tips and recipe below, we'll unpack how to make pasta at home the fun, easy way. Best of all, we can provide you with the right pasta making tools to do the job!
Best Ingredients for Pasta Dough
What is the best flour to use for pasta?
Many different pasta recipes you come across may ask for a variety of flour types: semoline, all-purpose, type "00", and more. Our verdict? All-purpose is a good enough flour to use for pasta! Especially if you're a beginner at making pasta, the all-purpose flour is a handy ingredient that can take you pretty far.
However, if you have a good knowledge of pasta dough making and are looking to level up your game, here are their differences: Semolina flour is excellent for hearty pasta dishes, thanks to their texture that sauces cling to better than other flour types. Type 00, the chef's pick, comes with a powdery texture and can produce silkier pasta noodles.
How do I make the perfect pasta dough?
Making sure your dough isn't too dry or too wet is one of the key challenges. According to Niki Achitoff-Gray from Serious Eats, the golden sweet spot contains: 1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks for every 140g of flour. For better results, form a well in your pile of flour and pouring those eggs into this well to mix using a fork or your fingertips.
How to Make Pasta at Home
Pasta Making Tips
1. Knead the dough by hand: When the eggs are in the well, remember to fold the flour into the egg gradually. To help you with this, it's good practice to knead your pasta dough by hand, as it helps you work the dough and have a feel of its moisture to know if the pasta dough ratio needs adjusting.
2. Salt your pasta water and pasta dough: Adding kosher salt to your pasta can really level up its flavour profile, before you pop it into your salted boiling water. We always recommend the finest salt, rather than coarse table salt, as that might compromise your smooth dough texture.
3. Don't skip resting:Resting allows the gluten to form and get along. The longer you rest your pasta dough, the better it will handle being rolled out through your pasta machine later on. For the smoothest, most durable pasta dough, we recommend somewhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours.
4. Roll with a pasta maker for best results: A rolling pin is great, but to save you so much more time and energy, investing in a pasta machine would be a game changer. Especially so you can make pasta multiple times!
5. Brush off excess flour: According to Salt & Wind, brushing off excess flour from your pasta dough before cooking will help prevent it becoming overly dry. This is crucial especially if you want to shape it into ravioli or other moulds, because excess flour will show between the pasta layers when you roll them!
6. Bring water to a rapid boil, add pasta, then stir: To cook your pasta perfectly while retaining its firmness, make sure your water is rapidly boiling as you add the pasta in. As soon as it's in, remember to stir the pasta to prevent it from sticking together or to the sides of your pot!
7. You only need 1-2 minutes: Unlike boxed pasta, fresh pasta doesn't need to be cooked for too long. So cook your homemade pasta briefly for about 1-2 minutes only! When in doubt, snip for a quick test — you just need to make sure it has lost its raw flour taste. And nope, you do not need to cook it to al dente.
8. Always keep your pasta water:Same with making any pasta dish, remember not to drain your fresh pasta! Fresh pasta has a higher risk of sticking together, so a colander is not a good fit. You'd want to pull it out with tongs and place them into your pasta sauce of choice in another pan.
Homemade Italian Egg Pasta Dough Recipe
Total time: 30 minutes
Makes: Approx. 450g pasta dough
- 2 cups (or 300g) flour*
- 3 large eggs, brought to room temperature
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
*You can use all-purpose, or a mixture of semolina and 00 flour.
- Combine flour and a pinch of kosher salt on a clean work surface, or in a large bowl. Mix to combine. In a separate bowl, crack open eggs and add 1 tbsp of olive oil (optional). Form a well in the centre of your flour, and pour the eggs in.
- Whisk the egg inside the flour using a fork. Gradually add flour into the egg mixture until most of the flour is mixed in. Mix in less flour at first.
- Using clean hands, begin to mix the rest of the flour until the dough reaches desired smoothness or consistency. Pasta dough should be moist, evenly hydrated, but not sticky. Knead and form the mixture into a ball. Add a splash of water if it's getting too dry.
- Once it's in ball form, knead again for 8 to 10 minutes until there are no cracks. Wrap in plastic wrap and set to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- After resting, use a pasta machine or rolling pin to roll the dough into your desired shape. If using a pasta machine, cut your dough using a dough chopper into about 6 pieces, press each piece into a rectangular, flattened shape, and insert them into the machine. Continually increase your pasta machine's settings to make your pasta sheet thinner and longer. Once you've reached your desired pasta thickness and shape, dust lightly with flour.
- Cut into noodles through your pasta machine or create other desired pasta shapesr by hand. Now it's ready to boil! You can also set your pasta dough aside by covering it with a towel to freeze for future use.
What is your favourite way of making pasta? Explore our vast range of pasta makers & gadgets online to help you with the task!
Keep on cooking!
The Matchbox Team