Last modified on December 21st, 2017 at 6:25 PM

Homemade Pasta Dough

Making your own pasta dough is easier than you think! Get all the details and tips you’ll need to wow your family with fresh pasta for dinner tonight!

Making your own pasta dough is easier than you think! Get all the details and tips you'll need to wow your family with fresh pasta for dinner tonight!

The last recipe I’m sharing with you is homemade pasta dough. And I really mean homemade like pasta you make yourself. Before you skip this post because you think the recipe is going to be too hard or too complicated, hear me out! I have a KitchenAid attachment to help me make this, but you can totally do it by hand! And it is so easy you guys, for reals.

Not to mention easy, pasta made from homemade pasta dough is so good! Life changing, in fact. Did I mention life-changing food before this week? Not surprising, I just can’t change who I am. Good food is the best! But really, read the post and give homemade pasta a try. You’ll never look at a pasta dish the same way again.

Homemade pasta dough is often referred to as “fresh” pasta, meaning it hasn’t been dehydrated. I love making fresh pasta because, well, it’s basically all things heavenly, magical, and divine on a plate, and also because you can make fun variations with it. You can mix herbs into the dough, sun-dried tomato pieces, or you could even make it dessert pasta and do something crazy like cinnamon sugar or chocolate. The possibilities are endless!

The trick to fresh pasta is learning how to read the pasta dough. Actually, this is the trick with the dough you knead in general. We have talked about gluten before and it’s role in baked goods, and the same principles come in to play here. I’m going to give you a recipe, but developing specific ratios is going to take your time and practice. I had to make this a few times before I got the hang of what the dough felt like when it was ready.

Homemade Pasta

To recap our gluten discussion, gluten is simply a natural protein found in wheat. Its role in our baked goods is to provide structure. The more you knead a dough, the more the gluten is “developed.” This means your baked goods will have more structure – also something gluten naturally does when mixed or kneaded.

Developing this structure is why we knead bread for certain amounts of time. This is also why over-mixing cake batter makes a tough cake.

In fresh pasta, you also knead the pasta dough. You’ll knead the pasta dough until it is smooth and elastic. You will be able to feel the smoothness as you knead – that one is pretty obvious. You can test for elasticity by rolling the dough into a ball and pressing your finger in the middle if it bounces back, the dough is ready and elastic. Easy!

After the dough is kneaded and elastic, you have to allow for it to rest. Resting allows the gluten structure to relax a bit, important when rolling out this dough since we need it to be pretty thin. If you try to roll it out and it stretches right back, give it a few minutes to relax. Sometimes working with dough is a lot like working with puppies or excitable dogs. Lots of waiting for everyone to relax before moving forward!

Lastly, I use this KitchenAid attachment kit for making my fresh pasta. When I use it, I always start pressing the pasta dough into a sheet on level 1. I press it out and fold it over on itself a couple times to smooth everything out. Then move up to level 2, 3 and so on, this is a faster progression. I press it out really thin, about 4 or 5 if I’m making lasagna sheets, similar if I’m making fettuccini. If I’m making spaghetti, I find it cuts better when it’s on a 2 or 3.

This is something else that will take practice. Additionally, the sheets are easy to lay out, dust with flour, fold on themselves and pick back up again. Once the pasta is cut into shapes, I find it easiest to catch it along with my arm and take it straight to the pot of boiling water. Otherwise, I tend to get clumps. If you do get a clump, don’t cook it. Just ball it up, press it out and try again – no harm done! If you’re making a lot, just toss it in flour and it should be ok to sit and not clump.

Homemade Fresh Pasta

If you don’t have a pasta press, you can roll it out by hand and cut it by hand. Just be sure it is thinner than you think it needs to be, it will thicken slightly when it cooks.

Here are a couple resources with more photos and video for you to reference:

Finally, here is the recipe! I learned to make this from an Italian cookbook my brother brought home for me from Italy {he lived there for a couple years} and have altered the recipe slightly based on some other recipes and practice of my own.

Fresh pasta dough sheet next to cut spaghetti.
5 from 1 vote
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Homemade Pasta Dough

Making your own pasta dough is easier than you think! Get all the details and tips you'll need to wow your family with fresh pasta for dinner tonight!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 310 kcal
Author Longbourn Farm • Alli Kelley

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. On a large cutting board or counter, pile flour and then create a deep well in the center.
  2. Add eggs, salt, and olive oil into the well.
  3. Using a fork, gently beat the eggs, gradually pulling in flour as you do so.
  4. Slowly pull in the flour until a dough starts to form, then combine the rest by hand.
  5. If you are hesitant to try this on your counter or cutting board, you can use the same method in a large bowl to practice.
  6. Once the dough is formed, it should easily kneaded and not sticky.
  7. Knead for about 5 minutes by hand, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  8. Test elasticity by balling up the dough and pressing your finger in the middle. If the dough bounces back, it is ready.
  9. Rest the dough at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. You can make it up to a day in advance and store it in the fridge.

  10. Once the dough is rested, cut into 4 pieces.
  11. Using a pasta press or rolling pin, press pasta into a sheet of your desired thickness (see note).

  12. After pasta is pressed, cut into the desired shape using a press or by hand (see note).

  13. Once cut, place in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes, until cooked through and al dente. You'll want to check on it - the cooking time will vary between pasta shapes and thickness. Taste it to know when it's done.

Recipe Notes

I use a KitchenAid attachment kit for making my fresh pasta. When I use it, I always start pressing the pasta into a sheet on level 1. I press it out and fold it over on itself a couple times to smooth everything out. Then move up to level 2, 3 and so on, this is a faster progression. I press it out really thin, about 4 or 5 if I'm making lasagna sheets, similar if I'm making fettuccini. If I'm making spaghetti, I find it cuts better when it's on a 2 or 3. This is something else that will take practice.

If you don't have a pasta press, you can roll it out by hand and cut it by hand. Just be sure it is thinner than you think it needs to be, it will thicken slightly when it cooks.

Additionally, the sheets are easy to lay out, dust with flour, fold on themselves and pick back up again. Once the pasta is cut into shapes, I find it easiest to catch it along my arm and take it straight to the pot of boiling water. Otherwise I tend to get clumps. If you do get a clump, don't cook it. Just ball it up, press it out and try again - no harm done! If you're making a lot, just toss it in flour and it should be ok to sit and not clump.

Variations: You can mix herbs into the dough, sun-dried tomato pieces, or you could even make it dessert pasta and do something crazy like cinnamon sugar or chocolate.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Pasta Dough
Amount Per Serving
Calories 310 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 109mg 36%
Sodium 430mg 18%
Potassium 107mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 47g 16%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 10g 20%
Vitamin A 3.2%
Calcium 2.6%
Iron 19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
FTC Disclosure of Material Connection: The way I provide you with free content is through affiliate links and some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links, they will be marked in the post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to YOU. Read terms here.

Making your own pasta dough is easier than you think! Get all the details and tips you'll need to wow your family with fresh pasta for dinner tonight!

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Alli
    January 4, 2018 at 4:31 PM

    Fresh pasta is so incredible!

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