Homemade Pasta Noodles

Nothing says Italy like good food, and nothing says Italian food like pasta. So after I made homemade sauce and meatballs, I knew I had to take the plunge and try my hand at pasta making. I was afraid to attempt it on my own, so I called Mrs. Walk and said, "Let's have a pasta party!" She and I made the pasta together while our husbands played pool and drank beer patiently waited for dinner.

I know many of you readers (at least those who haven't attempted this) won't believe me, but we were actually surprised at how easy it was! It is definitely time consuming, but the pasta maker does most of the work for you - you just need to get in a good rhythm. And honestly, no store-bought pasta can compare to the flavor and texture of homemade noodles. We ate them with my homemade sauce, but I ate leftovers with just olive oil and garlic, and they were still superb. Even if you don't have a pasta maker, you too can make noodles at home. Just have a good rolling pin handy. :-) We already have plans to have another pasta party, but we want to make a day of it so we can freeze some for later use. (You can refrigerate the noodles for up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.)

Homemade Pasta Noodles
serves 4
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
Olive oil
Fresh basil, chopped

Mound flour in center of a large work surface or large bowl. Make a well in the middle and crack eggs into the well. Using a fork, beat the eggs and slowly incorporate flour, beginning with inner rim of well. When flour is incorporated, gather dough together to form a rounded mass, adding flour as needed to handle.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, knead dough on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before using.

Divide dough into 4 pieces; keep 3 pieces covered with a slightly damp kitchen towel. Before handling the dough, dust your hands, the machine and any accessories with flour and lightly flour your work surface. Flatten dough to a shape somewhat narrower than pasta machine opening and feed through machine's widest setting (7 on my machine). As pasta emerges, gently support it with your palm and guide it onto the work surface. Fold dough in thirds, and roll out again, using flour as necessary. Repeat process until dough emerges in smooth and supple, about 8-10 times.

Now it's time to thin the dough. Dust pasta lightly with flour to prevent sticking, if necessary. Roll dough progressively through the thinner settings, without folding, 2 times per setting, until you have reached your desired thickness. (We did ours to 4.) If pasta sheet becomes too long to work with easily, cut it into 2 pieces. Allow pasta to rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly dust with flour. Feed the pasta sheets through the cutting attachment, and lay flat on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets. If not cooking immediately, tightly cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator.

Bring a pot of salted water to a roaring boil. Add the pasta, and cook for 2-5 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta and toss with olive oil and fresh basil. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Martha Stewart Living, April 2000


michelle said...

I love homemade pasta, this looks awesome!

Ellie said...

Looks great! I wish I had the patience to try this!

Mrs. Walk said...

We are so impressive for novices! We should note that it really does take two people to make this. Or one three-armed person.

Stephanie said...

Those are gorgeous and I bet they tasted amazing! Haven't tried this myself yet, but I really want to.

Kara said...

looks great! I love that they were hanging on a clothes drying rack :)

Anonymous said...

I love making homemade pasta, though I don't have as much time now that I have children. Although, they love making it, too. I used to have a fancy-dancy pasta drying rack (that was junk, actually), but your idea of a clothes hanger works beautifully!

Also, I have an Italian cookbook that spelled out to me that some sauces are for fresh pasta, and some sauces are for the dried, store-bought variety. So, they are simply two different animals, apparently, not better or worse than one another.

I found you on TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


dani said...

not only does your pasta look delicious, but i think you are a huge GENIUS for using your laundry rack to dry it. i don't know why that has never occurred to me...usually I make pasta and then it hangs EVERYWHERE around my apartment.

great blog!

Stacy said...

I just wanted to thank you for your post! My husband has wanted me to make homemade pasta and ravioli and quite frankly I have been terrified to even try!!! Thanks to your post I am ready to give it a whirl and we are going in just a bit to buy a pasta machine. Any recommendations on a brand or could you tell me which one you used in the picture? (It looks similar to what I was going to purchase at Bed, Bath and Beyond). Thanks again for the inspiration!

Mrs D said...

Stacy - I'm so glad you are going to give it a try! I've heard the Kitchen Aid mixer pasta attachment is fantastic (obviously if you have a KA mixer), but I used the Weston Brand Pasta Machine from BB&B and I really liked it. It was very easy to use and worked like a charm! I will just recomment that you have your husband or someone else stay close to give you a hand as you really need two people to feed the pasta through the machine. Happy pasta making, and come back and let me know how it turned out! :-)

Stacy said...

I just had to come and post back that I ended up getting the pasta machine and I LOVE it!!!! A couple of nights ago we made homemade ravioli (on my blog) and we are going to be making homemade spaghetti in the next day or two. Thanks so much for this post and for the answers to my questions. You were very helpful and you're right, it's not as difficult as one would think it would be, in fact my husband actually used the words "it's kind of fun!” Thanks again for sharing!