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.
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. Check the instructions at the end of the post for freezing and cooking the fresh noodles.
Following is a step-by-step photo tutorial and recipe for making homemade pasta dough.
Homemade Pasta Dough
Prep time:45 minutes
Cook time:1 minute
Total time:1 hour
Makes 4 servings
- 255 grams (9 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for working with the dough
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or a generous glug)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or a 4-finger pinch)
Make the dough:
Get a digital kitchen scale. Yes, seriously, it’s time to start measuring your flour by weight. It makes a huge difference and all your baked goods will benefit from using a scale. 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!
So… place a large bowl on the scale, then measure the flour into it.
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. I’m sure you’ve seen both TV chefs and Italian grandmas do this on a big wooden cutting board, but trust me—it’s much easier to make the dough in a bowl. This way, there’s no fear of having the egg break through the flour “wall” and ooze all over the counter.
Once the dough forms a shaggy, raggedy ball, either place it in your stand mixer bowl and fit the mixer with the dough hook, or or onto a clean, lightly floured kneading surface like a RoulPat. I know this sounds odd given all the praise I’ve laid on my stand mixer, but I do enjoy the methodical process of hand-kneading my dough. It only takes five minutes and is quite soothing! If you’ve never kneaded by hand, just push out with the heel of your hand, fold over, and do it again.
Knead the dough in the mixer on low speed or by hand for about 3 minutes, until the dough is satiny smooth, elastic, and still slightly tacky.
Place the dough ball on the kneading surface if it’s not there already, and cover it with the stand mixer bowl or the large mixing bowl you used to stir the flour. Let the dough rest, covered, for 15-30 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 in the opposite direction.
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 3, 4, 5. etc. until the dough is translucently thin. 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.
How thin to go? Depends on how you like it. If the end goal is skinny pasta like spaghetti, I personally won’t take it past 4, but if I’m doing a thicker cut like pappardelle, I’ll take it to 5.
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 use the additional KitchenAid pasta attachments to slice spaghetti or fettuccine. Or you can hand-cut the sheets into wide pappardelle, tagliatelle, or any other variation.
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. (And then I say, go for it! You can use it for homemade Cheez-Its and other crackers, for lattice pie crusts, or even to cut your homemade pizza into weird shapes if you’re into that.)
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.
You don’t need to cook and serve your fresh pasta immediately.
To dry fresh 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 fresh 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.
To cook fresh pasta:
Whether taken fresh from the countertop, drying rack, or straight from the from the freezer, the pasta only takes a minute 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 1-2 minutes, then drain, reserving some of the pasta water for your sauce as desired.
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 (that’s the photo way back at the top of the post)
- 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!