Homemade Pasta

Homemade Pasta 2 (500x434) Making pasta from scratch has always seemed like such a grandiose accomplishment to me. In my opinion, if you’ve mastered that great art, you deserve to hang up a flag next to your front door proclaiming that you have successfully stepped over the line of home cook to “esteemed and awesome chef”.

On our recent trip to Italy, one of my goals was to indulge in some homemade pasta, made from scratch. Much to my dismay, that was not to be, even though we were there for a week. I was determined to teach myself how to make fresh pasta as soon as we came home.

The very next week, I got down to business. I imagined myself scooping out a mound of flour on my counter, adding in olive oil and eggs into the center and mixing up the dough while in the background classical instrumental music with a bit of mild opera would softly play, rays of sunshine would stream through the windows and a gentle breeze would tease my hair as I smiled gracefully.

Then, I came across this recipe on America’s Test Kitchen. Their recipe was very unconventional, but two things caught my attention.

#1. I trust their recipes. If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know that America’s Test Kitchen is my most trustworthy source for great recipes and cooking info.

#2.    They promised homemade pasta without a machine. If I can get away with not buying an extra gizmo for my kitchen, I certainly will.

The results just blew me away. It was SO much easier than I had imagined, even though my romanticized version of pasta making didn’t become a reality. It took me less than 5 minutes to make the pasta dough and about 20-30 minutes to roll it out and cut it. Wow! Lest you doubt the quality, let me assure you, the texture and taste was phenomenal.

Go ahead! Amaze your family. Bring this gorgeous bowl of pasta triumphantly to the table and announce for all to hear, “I made this from scratch”. 

Pasta:

2 cups flour

2 whole eggs

6 egg yolks

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 Tablespoons anchovy paste or minced anchovies

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

2-3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

Add the flour, whole eggs, egg yolks and olive oil to the bowl of a food processor. IMG_4858-2 (500x334) Pulse to combine until the dough comes together in a ball. It should be soft but shouldn’t stick to your fingers. IMG_4861 (500x334)

IMG_4863-2 (500x334) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or parchment paper, shaping it into a 6 inch log. IMG_4871 (500x328) Set is aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour or  up to 4 hours. America’s Test Kitchen recommends letting the dough rest for 4 hours, so that’s what I did.

Divide the dough into 6 parts. IMG_4919 (500x334) On a lightly floured surface, take one piece of dough (leaving the rest of the dough wrapped in the plastic wrap, so it doesn’t dry out) and with your fingers, pat the dough into about a 3 inch square.

Roll out the dough into a 6 inch wide and 20 inch long sheet of dough. IMG_4920-2 (500x334)

IMG_4922 (500x334) You should be able to see the outline of your hand when you hold it up.

Try to use as little flour as possible when rolling it out. The dough is very easy to work with and is soft and pliable, so you shouldn’t have any problems.

Place the rolled out pasta sheet onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment, or your table surface, etc. Repeat with the other 5 pieces of dough.

Place each rolled out sheets of dough in one layer to dry for about 15 minutes. Don’t put them on top of each other or they will stick together.

When the dough has dried for at least 15 minutes, roll in up starting with the short side, and use a sharp knife to cut across the rolled up pasta sheet, to get strands of pasta. IMG_4949-2 (500x334) For this recipe, I cut the pasta just slightly smaller than 1/4 of an inch. Pasta from scratch (500x334) You can also cut the pasta into thicker strands, or keep the pasta dough in sheets and use it for lasagna or make ravioli with it. Pasta from Scratch (2) (500x334) Lightly unfurl the pasta with your fingers.

You can freeze the pasta like this, by freezing it for about 20 minutes and then placing it into a ziptop bag or a sealed container.

To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

While you are waiting for the water to boil, make your sauce.

Homemade pasta cooks much quicker than the pasta from the box, so make sure your sauce is ready to add to the pasta before you start cooking it.

Add the olive oil, garlic and anchovy paste (or minced anchovies) to a skillet. IMG_4945-2 (500x334) If you’ve never cooked with anchovies, be brave and give it a try. It adds a really great flavor to the sauce, but doesn’t taste fishy at all. It’s like a secret ingredient that perks up the sauce, but nobody can figure out what it is. IMG_4946-2 (500x334) Cook the sauce on medium low heat until the garlic is lightly golden, whisking so that the anchovy paste is mixed into the oil. Off the heat, whisk in the lemon juice and the parsley. IMG_4957-2 (500x334) When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook on high heat for about 3 minutes.

Drain the pasta, saving about 1/2 a cup of the starchy water to thin out your sauce if you need to loosen the pasta a bit later.

Add the sauce to the cooked pasta, gently tossing with tongs to evenly distribute the sauce. Add some of the reserved pasta water, to loosen the pasta a bit. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.

IMG_4959-2 (500x334) You can garnish the pasta with finely grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, but it’s so tasty with this light and aromatic sauce, it will be just as delicious with it or without it. Homemade Pasta 2 (500x434)

Homemade Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
Pasta:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
Sauce:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ Tablespoons anchovy paste or minced anchovies
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
Instructions
  1. Add the flour, whole eggs, egg yolks and olive oil to the bowl of a food processor. Mix to combine until the dough comes together in a ball. It should be soft but shouldn't stick to your fingers.
  2. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or parchment paper, shaping it into a 6 inch log. Set is aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. America's Test Kitchen recommends letting the dough rest for 4 hours, so that's what I did.
  3. Divide the dough into 6 parts.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, take one piece of dough (leaving the rest of the dough wrapped in the plastic wrap, so it doesn't dry out) and with your fingers, pat the dough into about a 3 inch square.
  5. Roll out the dough into a 6 inch wide and 20 inch long sheet of dough. You should be able to see the outline of your hand when you hold it up. Try to use as little flour as possible when rolling it out. The dough is very easy to work with and is soft and pliable, so you shouldn't have any problems.
  6. Place the rolled out pasta sheet onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment, or your table surface, etc.
  7. Repeat with the other 5 pieces of dough. Place each rolled out sheets of dough in one layer to dry for about 15 minutes. Don't put them on top of each other or they will stick together.
  8. When the dough has dried for at least 15 minutes, roll in up starting with the short side, and use a sharp knife to cut across the rolled up pasta sheet, to get strands of pasta.
  9. For this recipe, I cut the pasta just slightly smaller than ¼ of an inch. You can also cut the pasta into thicker strands, or keep the pasta dough in sheets and use it for lasagna or make ravioli with it.
  10. Lightly unfurl the pasta with your fingers.
  11. You can freeze the pasta like this, by freezing it for about 20 minutes and then placing it into a ziptop bag or a sealed container.
  12. To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  13. While you are waiting for the water to boil, make your sauce. Homemade pasta cooks much quicker than the pasta from the box, so make sure your sauce is ready to add to the pasta before you start cooking it.
  14. Add the olive oil, garlic and anchovy paste (or minced anchovies) to a skillet.
  15. Cook the sauce on medium low heat until the garlic is lightly golden, whisking so that the anchovy paste is mixed into the oil. Off the heat, whisk in the lemon juice and the parsley.
  16. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook on high heat for about 3 minutes.
  17. Drain the pasta, saving about ½ a cup of the starchy water to thin out your sauce if you need to loosen the pasta a bit later.
  18. Add the sauce to the cooked pasta, gently tossing with tongs to evenly distribute the sauce. Add some of the reserved pasta water, to loosen the pasta a bit. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
  19. You can garnish the pasta with finely grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, but it's so tasty with this light and aromatic sauce, it will be just as delicious with it or without it.

 
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Comments

    • says

      Nataliya,
      You just throw in the frozen pasta into the salted boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes, not too much longer than fresh pasta. It cooks SUPER FAST, so watch it carefully.

    • says

      Nadia,
      You can try mixing it by hand, although I can’t promise that it will turn out well, since I haven’t done it by hand myself. This dough is different than regular pasta dough, and I think that if you mix it by hand you may add too much flour to it, since it’s pretty sticky.

  1. Rojer says

    I was all set to try this for my wife on Valentines day but chickened out when I didn’t know which amounts of flour to trust; the 10 oz. from the Test Kitchen show or the 2 cups from your posting. When I went to their web site with the recipe they had already fuzzed it out unless you pay. I just might try both some day, thanks for wonderful site!

  2. ron flinders says

    I made the homemade pasta and was somewhat disappointed in the results. Instead of ending up with dough, it turned out to be a pea size mix. I corrected by adding a little additional egg white. I have corrected the recipe to read 6 eggs and 2 1/4 cups of flour.

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