Homemade Pasta

Making your own homemade pasta recipe is a great way to add a personal touch to your Italian dishes, and it’s so easy and fun to make! Today, we are making a traditional semolina or flour pasta that’s perfect for spaghetti, ravioli or fettuccine. 

You may recall that in a previous blog post and video, I prepared the famous Northern Italian buckwheat pasta, pizzocherri (pictured below).

Pizzoccheri Della Valtelli

Ingredients for making homemade pasta

If you are looking for a delicious and nutritious pasta, homemade pasta is the way to go. It is easy to make, and it tastes better than anything you can buy at the store! Not to mention, it only requires three ingredients!

  • Semolina or all-purpose flour
  • Eggs
  • Salt

How to Make Homemade Pasta

Here are some tips for making homemade pasta:

  • Use high-quality flour. The type of flour you use will affect the texture of your pasta. All-purpose flour is a good all-purpose choice, but if you want a more authentic Italian flavor, use semolina flour.
  • Don’t overwork the dough. Overworking the dough will make it tough.
  • Let the dough rest. Letting the dough rest allows the gluten to relax, which will make it easier to work with.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta. Overcooking the pasta will make it mushy.
  • Serve the pasta immediately. Pasta is best served immediately after cooking.

Homemade Pasta vs. Store Bought Pasta

There are several reasons why making homemade pasta is better than store bought:

  • Freshness: Homemade pasta is made with fresh ingredients, while store bought pasta is often made with dried ingredients. This means that homemade pasta has a fresher, more vibrant flavor.
  • Texture: Homemade pasta has a chewier, more al dente texture than store bought pasta. This is because homemade pasta is made with eggs, which gives it a higher protein content.
  • Taste: Homemade pasta has a richer, more complex flavor than store bought pasta. This is because homemade pasta is made with fresh ingredients, and the cooking process helps to develop the flavors of the pasta.
  • Creativity: With homemade pasta, you can be as creative as you want with the shapes and sizes. You can also experiment with different flavors of pasta, such as spinach pasta or tomato pasta.
Photo of homemade pasta rolled thin and cut into thick pieces

What is the best flour for homemade pasta?

Semolina flour is the best flour for making homemade pasta. It is made from durum wheat, which has a high protein content. This gives the pasta its characteristic chewy texture. Semolina flour is also high in gluten, which helps to give the pasta its structure.

All-purpose flour can also be used to make homemade pasta, but it will not have the same chewy texture as pasta made with semolina flour. All-purpose flour has a lower protein content, so the pasta will be softer and more delicate.

homemade pasta recipes can use either semolina or all purpose flour

What if my homemade pasta dough is too dry?

If your homemade pasta is too dry, there are a few things you can do to fix it:

  • Add a little water. Slowly add a tablespoon or two of water to the dough, mixing until it is moistened. Be careful not to add too much water, or the dough will become sticky.
  • Knead the dough. Knead the dough for a few minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. This will help to distribute the moisture evenly throughout the dough.
  • Let the dough rest. Let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes, covered with plastic wrap. This will allow the gluten to relax, making the dough easier to work with.
  • Once the dough is moistened and elastic, you can roll it out and cut it into your desired shapes. Be sure to cook the pasta immediately, or it will dry out.
boiling your homemade pasta in a pot of salted water

How do I make homemade pasta without a machine?

  1. Gather your ingredients. You will need all-purpose flour, eggs, and salt.
  2. Measure out your ingredients. For every 1 cup of all-purpose flour, use 3 large eggs. You can also add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, but this is optional.
  3. Make a well in the flour. Place the flour on a clean work surface and make a well in the center.
  4. Crack the eggs into the well. Add the eggs to the well and whisk them together until they are well combined.
  5. Gradually add the flour to the eggs. While whisking, slowly add the flour to the eggs, a little at a time, until a dough forms.
  6. Knead the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic.
  7. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  8. Roll out the dough. After the dough has rested, divide it into 4 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a thin sheet, about 1/8 inch thick.
  9. Cut the pasta into your desired shapes. Once the dough is rolled out, you can cut it into your desired shapes. You can use a pasta cutter, or you can simply use a knife to cut the dough into strips.
  10. Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until al dente.
  11. Drain the pasta. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it immediately and serve it with your favorite sauce.
draining your homemade pasta in a colander

Making homemade pasta dough for ravioli:

If making homemade pasta dough for ravioli, here are a few tips:

  • When filling the ravioli, be sure to leave a 1/2-inch border around the edges so that the dough does not tear when you cut it.
  • When cutting the ravioli, use a sharp ravioli cutter to ensure that the ravioli are evenly sized.
  • If you don’t have a ravioli cutter, you can use a knife to cut the dough into squares or rectangles.
  • To prevent the ravioli from sticking together, you can lightly flour them before cooking.
  • Ravioli can be cooked in a variety of ways, including boiling, steaming, or pan-frying.
  • Boiling is the most common method for cooking ravioli. To boil ravioli, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the ravioli and serve immediately with your favorite sauce.
  • Steaming is a healthier method for cooking ravioli. To steam ravioli, bring a pot of water to a boil. Place a steamer basket in the pot and add the ravioli. Cover the pot and steam the ravioli for 2-3 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the ravioli and serve immediately with your favorite sauce.
  • Pan-frying is a quick and easy method for cooking ravioli. To pan-fry ravioli, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a little olive oil to the skillet. Add the ravioli to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and heated through. Serve immediately with your favorite sauce.

Tips for making homemade pasta:

Ideas:

  • To make a richer pasta, add 1 tablespoon of egg yolk to the dough.
  • To make a more flavorful pasta, add 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese to the dough.
  • To make a colorful pasta, add 1 tablespoon of food coloring to the dough.
  • To make a flavored pasta, add 1 tablespoon of herbs or spices to the dough.

Troubleshooting:

  • If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.
  • If the dough is too dry, add more water.
  • If the pasta is overcooked, it will be mushy.
  • If the pasta is undercooked, it will be tough.
homemade pasta with white sauce

Just Do It!

Homemade pasta is a delicious and easy way to add a special touch to your Italian meals. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time, you can make fresh pasta that is sure to impress your friends and family!

More Easy Pasta Recipes:

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homemade pasta recipe showing thicker style noodles

Homemade Pasta

Recipe by Jason Hill – CookingSessions.com
Making your own homemade pasta recipe is a great way to add a personal touch to your Italian dishes, and it’s so easy and fun to make! 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 55 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups semolina or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 eggs

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour.
  • Add the eggs and beginning mixing into the flour until a stiff dough forms, kneading about 10 minutes. You want the dough to be stiff, but a smooth texture. Knead until it becomes nice and pliable.
  • If the dough is too dry and won’t stick together, add a 1/2 teaspoon of water. If it is too sticky, sprinkle in a bit more flour.
  • Place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Rest for 45 minutes, which allows the gluten to relax, absorb the water, and enables the dough to be rolled as thin as possible.
  • Once the dough has rested, divide it into four pieces.
  • Dust your work surface with flour. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a flat circle. The thinner the better, since it will plump up during the boiling phase.
  • Cut the pasta into strips. Go thick for Pappardelle, a little thinner for fettuccine. You can also cut into squares for ravioli. (It's difficult to get anything thinner than fettuccine size without a pasta machine).
  • Boil water in a large pot with some salt. Add pasta, and cook about 4 minutes, or until al dente (slightly firm but cooked).
  • To save for later, air dry the pasta on a drying rack or baking sheet for a couple hours, or until dry enough to transfer without sticking to anything. Refrigerate the pasta for 3-5 days or freeze for up to a month.
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Keyword Italian food, Italian recipes, noodles, pasta
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AboutJason Hill

Hi, I’m Jason Hill, host of YouTube’s “Chef Tips” series. I graduated from culinary school in 1998, and gained my experience working the lines in Southern California. I launched my cooking videos in 2007. I love sharing quick and easy recipes that get people back in the kitchen.

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