My favorite 4-ingredient homemade pasta recipe — easy to make by hand, in a stand mixer, or in a food processor. Plus tips on how to roll out your pasta by hand or using a pasta maker.
I’ve been having a bit of a moment with homemade pasta lately.
And oh my gosh, you guys, I am loving it so much. ♡
The inspiration for it all began on our trip to the Amalfi Coast this spring, where Barclay and I became wholeheartedly convinced that we needed more 100%-from-scratch Italian food happening here at home in our little kitchen. Stat. So Barclay set his sights on perfecting homemade mozzarella this spring (more on that to come) and I came home ready to dive into the world of homemade pastas, gnocchis, and breads of all kinds. I even broke my minimalist no-new-kitchen-appliances-while-we’re-in-Europe rule and brought home an adorable little traditional pasta maker and wooden drying rack to make our pasta dreams come true.
Turns out, homemade pasta is even more delightful — and easy and delicious and fun — than I expected!
First off, the fresh pasta dough itself is a breeze to make. If you happen to own a food processor, the dough can be prepped in less than 5 minutes. (Or you can make it by hand or in a stand mixer in less than 15 minutes.) The process of rolling out the noodles is also easier than I expected, especially once I got the hang of using my little pasta maker. (I’ve included instructions below as well for how to roll out pasta using a stand mixer or a rolling pin by hand.) I’ve also enjoyed experimenting with the various different pasta flours and discovering which ones I like best for different occasions. (Short answer — I prefer “00” flour most of the time, but occasionally mix it with semolina for heartier shapes or sauces.) Mostly, though, we’ve just enjoyed eating fresh pasta. It has such a delicious, fresh, chewy, unmistakable bite to it. And it has instantly kicked some of our favorite pasta recipes up a mega notch. (Here’s lookin’ at you, cacio e pepe!)
Also fun? Inviting a group of girlfriends over on a Friday night to share a bottle of rosé as we roll out a batch of homemade pasta together. And having leftover linigune in the fridge to pull out for a quick dinner on a busy weeknight. And surprising friends and neighbors with a tupperware full of cute little fresh pasta nests as gifts. And being “that home” that now has fresh pappardelle casually draped and drying by our sunny living room window.
I’m loving it all. And if you also happen to be a fan of really good pasta, I have a feeling this might be your new favorite thing too.
So to continue with Italian Week here on the blog today, I am sharing everything I’ve learned so far about the art of making some seriously delicious homemade pasta. I’ve tried to include lots of different methods and options to work with whatever you have in your kitchen. So please poke around and find whatever method works best for you — and report back if you give homemade pasta a try! I would love to hear how it goes.
Alright, to make 1 pound of classic homemade egg pasta, you will need the following pasta ingredients (affiliate links included):
I’ve included instructions below for how to make homemade pasta completely by hand. Or if you happen to own a food processor (my favorite method) or a stand mixer, those can save you some extra work too.
When it comes to actually rolling out the pasta, you can do so by hand (with a rolling pin and a knife). Or you can additionally invest in a:
This is my preferred way to make homemade pasta because it’s the quickest and easiest! Simply add all four ingredients to the bowl of a food processor (fitted with the normal blade attachment). Pulse for about 10 seconds, or until the mixture reaches a crumbly texture (see above). Remove the dough and pat it into a ball with your hands and place it on a lightly-floured cutting board. Knead the dough for 1-2 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball with your hands, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Also a super-simple method (especially convenient if you are also going to be using a stand mixer roller attachment to roll out the pasta dough). Just combine all of your ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Then using the dough hook, mix and knead the dough for 8-10 minutes on low speed until it is smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball with your hands, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day.
If you don’t have a food processor or stand mixer, no prob! Place the flour in a mound on a large cutting board. Then use your fingers or a spoon to create a good-sized well in the middle of the flour mound (kind of like a volcano). Add the eggs in the center of the well. Sprinkle the salt and drizzle the olive oil on top of the eggs. Use a fork to begin whisking the eggs. Then once they are combined, begin gradually whisking some of the surrounding flour into the egg mixture, adding more and more until the egg mixture is nice and thick. (If some eggs accidentally spill out, no worries, just use your hands or a bench scraper to pull them back in.) Then use your hands to fold the rest of the dough all together until combined. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic, sprinkling some extra flour on the cutting board if needed to prevent sticking. Form the dough into a ball with your hands, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Once the dough has rested for 30 minutes and is ready to go, remove it from the plastic wrap and transfer it again to a cutting board. Use a knife to cut the dough into four equal wedges (like you’re slicing a pie), then set one wedge aside and immediately wrap the remaining three in the plastic wrap again to prevent them from drying out.
Sprinkle the cutting board (or a large baking sheet) generously with flour, and set aside.
Using your hands, shape the dough wedge into a oval-shaped flat disc. Feed the dough through the pasta maker on the widest setting. (On my pasta maker, this is setting number 1.) Once the sheet comes out, fold it into thirds, similar to how you would fold a piece of paper to fit in an envelope. Feed it through the rollers 2 or 3 more times, still on the widest setting. Then continue to feed the dough through the rollers as you gradually reduce the settings, one pass at a time, until the pasta reaches your desired thickness. (I like setting 6 on my pasta maker.) Whenever the dough starts to get a bit sticky as you pass it through the rollers, just pause and drape the dough onto the floured cutting board to re-flour, being sure to coat both sides of the dough. Also, if your dough sheet starts to get too long to handle, just cut it in half with a knife.
Once your dough sheet is ready to go, connect the cutter attachment to your pasta maker (and transfer the handle to the cutter attachment, if need be). Feed the sheet through the attachment to create your desired shape of pasta. Then transfer the cut pasta to a drying rack, or swirl it into little pasta “nests” and lay them on a floured surface to dry for 30 minutes. Repeat with the remaining pasta dough.
The process for the stand mixer is basically the same as using a traditional pasta maker. (It’s just easier because you don’t have to use one hand to crank the machine!) Simply connect the pasta roller attachment to your stand mixer. Set the adjustment knob to the widest setting. Then shape and feed the pasta dough into the roller as directed above until it reaches your desired thinness, lightly flouring the pasta as you go to prevent sticking.
Once your sheet of pasta is ready to go, remove the roller attachment and connect the cutter attachment of your choice. Feed the dough through the cutter. Then transfer the cut pasta to a drying rack, or swirl it into little pasta “nests” and lay them on a floured surface to dry for 30 minutes. Repeat with the remaining pasta dough.
To roll out your pasta by hand, shape one wedge into a oval-shaped flat disc, as directed above. Transfer the disc to a cutting board, and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it reaches your desired level of thickness (generally between 1-2 mm thick), adding extra flour to the cutting board as needed to prevent sticking. In general, a good test for thickness is that you should be able to see your hand through the dough if you carefully lift it up.
Using a pizza cutter or a knife, slice the dough into 5-inch sections. Then, starting on the short side of the sections, roll them up into very loose, flat cylinders (see above). Cut the cylinders cross-wise to create your desired width of noodles. Then transfer the cut pasta to a drying rack, or swirl it into little pasta “nests” and lay them on a floured surface to dry for 30 minutes. Repeat with the remaining pasta dough.
To cook fresh pasta, bring a large stockpot of generously-salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add in the fresh pasta, and then immediately begin to stir it gently so that the noodles do not stick together. Continue to cook until the pasta is al dente. (Keep a close eye on it — fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta!) Then strain the fresh pasta and use immediately.
The cooking time for fresh pasta will depend entirely upon the thickness of the pasta, so be sure to check it regularly to see when it reaches the perfect al dente texture. When I roll pasta to setting 6 on my pasta maker, it generally takes about 90 seconds to cook.
Be sure to let the pasta air out on a drying rack or on a baking sheet for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 hours). Transfer to an airtight container and either refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks. To use frozen fresh pasta, transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw for at least 4-6 hours, then cook as usual.
Now for the best part — what to make with your gorgeous batch of fresh pasta! Feel free to browse our full pasta archives here on the blog, but below are a few of my personal faves.
My favorite 4-ingredient homemade pasta recipe — easy to make by hand, in a mixer, or in a food processor. See tips above for how to roll the pasta out either by hand, with a pasta maker, or with a stand mixer.
Dough Consistency: If the dough seems a bit too dry and crumbly, just add in a teaspoon of water at a time until it feels more moist. If it feels too sticky, sprinkle in a bit of extra flour.
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!
This post contains affiliate links.