Last updated on May 8th, 2020
I have a few party tricks I like to pull out when hosting friends for dinner, and the one I rely on most heavily is to bust out a big bowl of fresh pasta made with homemade pasta dough.
(Raise your hand if you’ve been a stuffed-to-the-gills recipient of one of these dinners… oh man, I lost count of all of you.)
It’s a fantastic Friday night or weekend project, and once made and cut, the noodles can be frozen for future meals, which makes your dinner party prep that much less of a hassle.
Following is a step-by-step tutorial and recipe for making homemade pasta dough, cooking it, or freezing it for future meals.
Watch the video and read on to make your own batch!
Equipment Recommendations for Homemade Pasta
While you can certainly make fresh pasta noodles without a pasta maker, if you already own a KitchenAid stand mixer, you have a tool ready and waiting to do the work for you.
After all, you already invested in that powerful motor! Why not use it to its full potential?
Under oath, I am telling you that no one is paying me to tell you how much I love my KitchenAid pasta roller. This is not sponsored.
After 15 years of experimenting and testing homemade pasta, I find it to be the easiest and most reliable way to get fresh pasta in an hour, start to finish. That’s the simple truth.
I also rely on a digital kitchen scale for many things, none more than always having the right amount of flour in my recipes.
Yes, seriously, it’s time to start measuring your flour by weight. It makes a huge difference and all your baked goods will benefit.
Don’t believe me? I urge you to take a moment and read my explanation on why the kitchen scale is an essential tool, then come back to this recipe. I’ll wait!
Finally, I’m using the coolest tool in the photo to cut my pasta in the photo above—it’s an adjustable pastry cutter—but it’s not a necessary purchase unless you’re a hardcore baker.
What sauce to eat with your homemade pasta?
Oh, I’ve got a few ideas:
- bolognese sauce
- watercress (or classic basil) pesto
- classic red sauce
- charred corn and tomatoes for summer
- spicy raw tomato sauce with chiles
- hearty mushroom sauce
- or just with fresh butter, fresh herbs, and freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan
Twirl it up!
- 255 grams (9 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for working with the dough
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Make the dough:
- Measure the flour into a large bowl.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour, then add the eggs, olive oil, and salt.
- Using your hand as a paddle, stir the pool of eggs into the flour. Slowly but surely, the flour will start pulling away from the sides of the well and a shaggy dough will form.
- Turn the dough onto a clean, lightly floured kneading surface like a RoulPat.
- Knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth.
- Cover the dough with the bowl you just used and let it rest, covered, for 30 minutes.
Make the noodles:
- Now you're ready to use your amazing pasta rollers! Attach the flat roller to your mixer and make sure it's set to 1, the thickest setting.
- Place a few large cutting boards or flour sack towels across the countertop and lightly flour them. You'll be using these to rest the dough as you roll it out. Keep the bin of flour handy too.
- Cut the dough into 4 quarters with a bench scraper or dinner knife, then shape each piece into a rough rectangles.
- Turn the mixer on to "stir," the lowest speed, and start feeding each piece dough through the roller.
- After the first pass, take the stretched dough, fold it into thirds, and feed through again.
- Turn the roller knob to 2 and roll each piece of dough through, one at a time, to flatten it further.
- Repeat, turning the roller knob to subsequently thinner settings, until the dough is thin enough that you can see the shaded outline of your hand through it. I go to setting 5 on my pasta roller.
After rolling the dough through on setting 3, the dough sheets become a bit too long for me to handle comfortably, so feel free to do as I do and cut them in half to make 2 sheets of manageable length.
Cut the noodles:
Once the dough is as thin as you'd like, cut it to your desired width. You can leave it in wide sheets for homemade lasagna noodles or filled pasta like ravioli or agnolotti.
You can hand-cut the sheets into wide pappardelle, tagliatelle, or any other variation. Or you can use the additional KitchenAid pasta attachments to slice spaghetti or fettuccine.
- To cut pasta noodles by hand, make sure the dough is well-floured, then fold the long piece over on itself multiple times as if you were folding up a towel.
- Slice through the loosely folded sheet slice like a piece of bread into whatever width you desire.
- Unfold and separate each strand of the sliced sheet.
To cook fresh pasta:
Whether taken fresh from the countertop, drying rack, or straight from the from the freezer, the pasta only takes 5 minutes to cook.
- Bring a large pot of water—6 to 8 quarts—to boil, then add 2 tablespoons kosher salt.
- Add the pasta and stir gently with tongs. Cook for 5 minutes, then drain, reserving some of the pasta water for your sauce as desired.
See the notes section on drying and freezing homemade pasta.
To dry homemade pasta:
If you have a pasta drying rack (as of course I do), simply drape the noodles over the tines and allow to dry until you're ready. If you don't have a pasta drying rack, toss the fresh noodles with flour and form loose "nests" with the noodles on a cutting board.
To freeze homemade pasta:
Generously flour the freshly cut noodles, then dry in loose nests on a wax paper-lined baking sheet instead of on a cutting board. Once dry, transfer to the freezer until frozen solid, then into plastic bags. Frozen pasta will keep for up to 6 months.
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