Making homemade pasta is a wonderful and skillful way to turn your ordinary pasta dish into an extraordinary culinary delight. Although I admit this is not necessary in most cooking. To those who are trying to up their culinary game, this is a first and easy step to going from homecooked to aspiring chef. And even though to many this can seem difficult, having the right technique and tools can make this creative skill quick and easy to learn.
Firstly there will be some necessary tools and items you should get if you want you pasta to look as though its made in a world class Italian bistro. Below you will find a comprehensive list to the items you can use and a step by step guide on how to make and learn this craft. I will also add that learning from youtube videos can help easy your anxiety towards learning a craft like this and I have taken the liberty of linking a fantastic guide on how to make fresh pasta made by the youtube channel Binging With Babish. And I have also linked his website and individual page on making fresh pasta at home.
Binging With Babish Website: https://www.bingingwithbabish.com/
Binging with Babish Fresh Pasta Page: https://basicswithbabish.co/basicsepisodes/2017/10/23/sauces-9w5tm-2njph
List of Traditional Supplies:
- Rolling Pin
- Sharp Knife
- Plastic Wrap (or Cling Wrap)
List of Optional Supplies:
I only name this list the optional supplies because with the list above you can make fresh pasta however if you use this list you can have an easier time and get more uniform looking pasta. And also this list has more expensive items to purchase that are not necessary but help.
- Include everything from above list
- Pasta Machine
- Stand Mixer
The picture above is essentially a visual step by step aid to making your pasta. I will type up an instruction guide and this picture will help you to keep a visual aid in mind as we go through the steps.
Firstly you will need to get out your flour, any flour will do you do not need to buy anything fancy. Start by pouring out 2-3 handfuls of flour on your counter or work station. Then with your fingers make a well in the center of the pile of flour (look at the top left picture above). How much flour you use will only dictate how much pasta you make if you don’t add enough so be generous.
Next we will be cracking some eggs and pouring them into the well you made. Essentially your making a flour and egg volcano but nothing is hot and nothing will explode. The eggs are what dictate how much pasta you will make. There is no quantitative recipe for this, if you crack say 2-3 eggs and you need some more pasta by the end than just make some more, no biggie. If you crack to many eggs and have to much pasta that’s fine too then you have lunch for tomorrow.
Now grab your fork and start beating the eggs gently in the well of flour (second picture). You should notice that as you are whisking the eggs that the flour is combing in the eggs this is what you want. Do not just throw everything together willy nilly, this will either result in a too dry pasta dough and it wont form into the pasta shape. Or a too eggy mixture that wont stay cohesive and pliable it will just be goop.
As you incorporate more and more flour you will notice that your eggs mixture will get more thick (third picture). When the mixture in the well is too thick to continue whisking with a fork you may then get your hands dirty and start kneading the dough in the flour.
Your dough right now is going to look scraggly and not cohesive. This is because there is too much air in the dough and the gluten has not formed into stands. Don’t worry if you don’t know what I’m talking about this part is chemistry. What you need to do is start pushing and kneading the dough. I recommend looking at the video I linked above for this step so you know what I’m referring to.
Once your dough has the consistency of playdough, as a result of the 10ish minutes of kneading you’ve done. You may now wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and leave to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. This step is necessary for the gluten in the dough to relax and become uniform and have the texture of pasta. If you were to cook it now the pasta would be gooey and unappetizing.
After those 30 minutes have past take you pasta dough ball out of the plastic wrap and begin rolling it out with a rolling pin. You want it to be thin enough to cook without being raw, but also thick enough to not be translucent.
Now take your knife and cut the pasta into your desired shape. If you want spaghetti then cut it very thin and slightly roll the strands to create a thin spaghetti shape. If you want fettucini then roll the pasta into a tube and carefully cut it so not to pinch the pasta together (do a sawing mothing with the knife to avoid this). The shape you make of your pasta is entirely up to you.
After you have gotten your desired shape all that is left to do is once more flour each strand of pasta gingerly so that they do not stick together. Then cook your pasta in salted boiling water for roughly 90 seconds. Yes this is a very short amount of time for cooking pasta but fresh pasta is very quick to cook. Its not nearly as dry as store bought so you don’t have to spend a while cooking it.
Now your ready to cook your favorite pasta dishes with your homemade pasta. I can tell you for certain that you will be the envy of your family and friends for showing them the delicasy that is fresh homemade pasta. If you are wondering how to do this with the pasta machine or the stand mixer I will refer you to the video above. Binging with Babish has helped me in great ways to get excited and skilled in cooking and I refer you to his widow to help you with these steps. Also this is due to myself not owning a stand mixer and pasta machine and have no real world experience in making fresh pasta this way.