4.13.2012

Get Kneading: Make Your Own Pasta

If you haven't seen my new baby yet, this is Little Red (Big Red being my Kitchen Aid Mixer), my early birthday present from D. It can make fettuccine, linguine and flat sheets for ravioli and other hand-cut pastas. 

I remember the first time I had freshly made pasta. My roommate in college didn't live far from campus and we had gone to her parent's house for dinner. We were in for a treat- this wasn't just a break from cafeteria fare, this was a from-scratch dinner prepared by a professionally trained cook- her mother. I was in awe as the missus pulled homemade baguettes from the oven. But what I remember most vividly is the taste of the freshly made pasta straight from the pot before a splash of sauce had touched it. It was unbelievably flavorful and had a pillowy, but firm, texture. How would I ever go back to the boxed dried stuff? Now years later, I don't have to!

I could hardly wait to put my new toy to work- luckily pasta dough contains the simplest ingredients so I didn't even need to go to the store. I decided to try Tyler Florence's pasta recipe because it only called for all-purpose flour in addition to eggs, salt and olive oil. Many other recipes use semolina or durum flours- I will have to compare them all in the future!

The easiest way to make pasta dough is with a stand mixer and your dough hook. If you don't have a mixer, you can always follow the directions in Tyler's recipe; your counter top will just be a little messier.
To start out, combine the flour and salt in the mixing bowl, start the mixer on low, and add the eggs one at a time, waiting until each one is incorporated to add the next. Once the flour began to be incorporated I turned the mixer up to medium speed- don't want a dust cloud! 

Continue mixing while you add in a tablespoon of oil until the dough forms a ball. In the middle of mixing, I turned off the mixer briefly to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything was combined. I also added just a smidge more oil because the dough seemed to lack moisture. 
Now it's time to put your muscles to work- get kneading! Lightly flour your surface and knead and fold the dough for about 10 minutes until it begins to feel elastic.
This is a good time to recruit some help in the kitchen- D showed the dough who was boss!
After the dough is worked, shape it into a ball, brush it with oil and wrap it in plastic wrap. It will need to sit for 30 minutes for the dough to relax.
Now the fun begins! After the dough is rested, cut the ball in half and shape it into a rectangle. Feed the rectangle through your pasta machine at the widest setting two to three times then decrease the roller width one notch and run the dough through another 2-3 times. Continue to reduce the width of the rollers- as the dough starts to thin out and lengthen, you might need to flour the dough to keep it from sticking to itself. 
When your pasta is as at the desired thickness, you can run it through one of the cutter attachments or cut it by hand to your liking. We decided on ravioli so we rolled the dough out until it was see-through- I was surprised how strong the pasta was even for being so thin! Here's a fantastic article on how to cut a ton of different pasta shapes- including those cute bow-ties. 

To cook your homemade pasta, it doesn't take long in a pot of boiling, salted water. Check out this chart for how long to cook each type- but remember taste will always tell you if it's done!

If you're not planning on cooking your pasta right away or you'd like to make a stock pile, let the pasta dry for an hour. Then, package it in freezer bags, label with the date, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also let it dry for 24 hours (if you can spare the counter space!) and then store it in the pantry.

I was expecting my first pasta making experience to not go so well but it was surprisingly easy! Nothing cracked or tore. It wasn't even that messy! I can't wait to try out different recipes and cuts. 

Here are some recipes I found for different kinds of pasta dough:


Pasta Dough- Tyler Florence
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  1. Combine the flour and salt in a mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add eggs, one at a time, after each is combined. Continue to mix and drizzle in 1 tbs oil, until it forms a ball.
  2. Flour the surface and knead and fold the dough for 10 minutes until it becomes elastic and smooth.
  3. Form the dough into a ball, brush with remaining oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Cut the dough in half, shape into a rectangle and feed through the pasta machine on the widest setting 2-3 times, dusting with flour as necessary. Decrease the roll width and run the dough through an additional 2-3 times. Continue to decrease roller size until desired thickness is obtained. Cut pasta as you would like.
Link Up
Creation Corner
Happy Go Lucky
The Not So Functional Housewife
Simple Living with Diane Balch- Foodie Friday
The Country Cook- Weekend Potluck
A Little Nosh- Tastetastic Thursday
Miz Helen's Country Cottage- Full Plate Thursday
The Shady Porch- Rock 'N Share
Centsational Girl- Favorite Kitchen Gadgets
All the Small Stuff- Tuesdays at the Table
Not Just a Housewife- Show Me What Ya Got
Cozy Home Scenes- Your Cozy Home Party
Addicted to Recipes

20 comments:

Julie Marling said...

I am a new follower from She Blog group! I love your recipes and love the pictures. Your blog is great! My blog is http://naptimeshopper.blogspot.com/

Our Pinteresting Family said...

What a fabulous tutorial! I'm your newest fan. Thanks so much for stopping by our blog the other day. I noticed you are from Frederick...we are from Westminster. :) Megan

Lauren said...

@Our Pinteresting FamilyThanks so much! So glad to have you as a new follower- hope you like what's to come :) We're practically neighbors!

kitty said...

I have a pasta machine and reading your post is making me want to get it out from the cabinet and make some pasta!! Woo hoo!!!

Shannon @ Cozy Home Scenes said...

Hi Lauren.....I love this post and I certainly need to come to your house. I've never had homemade pasta, nor have made it. One day I would like to, so thanks for showing how easy it is to make. Again, thanks for joining me at my party this week too.

Lauren said...

@Shannon @ Cozy Home Scenes I consider my little machine well worth the $70! You wont regret it if you try it out- not as messy or time consuming as I thought. And you'll impress your dinner guests! Thanks for you comment!

Lauren said...

@kitty Awesome! What kind do you have and what kind of pastas can it make? I'm dying to get the attachement for my mixer that can make all sorts of tube pasta. I would die if I could make my own rigatoni!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

That is so cool!! How neat to be able to make your own pasta. My girls would love that. :) Visiting from Centsational Girl's gadget party. Hope you'll stop by my blog too. :)

Michelle said...

Visiting from Tuesdays at the Table.
I've always wanted to make my own pasta. Nice post!

Laura @ cookiecrumbsandsawdust.blogspot said...

Jeaulous! My family would love that.

Visiting from Centsational Girl's gadget party. I hope you'll stop by my blog too. :)

Cole said...

Oh, that pasta machine is going on my wish list! I'm so impressed with your first time at making pasta! Thanks for sharing with Tuesdays at the Table. :-)

Lauren said...

@Cole Thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed it!

Addicted to Recipes said...

This is a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing at Scrumptious Sunday!

Lauren said...

@Addicted to Recipes Thank you for stopping by and glad you enjoyed it! Come back soon!

Mrs. Mordecai said...

I totally forgot I actually have a pasta machine. I really should get it back out one of these days. Thanks for the inspiration!

Lauren said...

@Mrs. Mordecai You're welcome! How easily our cabinets get cluttered with all sorts of gadgets, huh? If I can't see it, I don't know it's there!

Diane Balch said...

I have so many memories of making pasta with both of my grandmothers and it drying on beds and chandlers ... Thanks for sharing this on foodie friday, if you haven't already grab our button and come back next week.

Lauren said...

@Diane BalchWhat a neat tradition! Thanks so much for stopping by- see you next week!

Angela @ The Not So Functional Housewife said...

I would love to make my own pasta. I really need one of these machines, now! Thanks for sharing your tutorial!

Miz Helen said...

Lauren, this is a great tutorial on the pasta. Your "Big Red" is very nice! Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

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