How To: Make Homemade Pasta

I’ve mentioned before that growing up, Sunday afternoons always meant spaghetti at Grandma and Grandpa’s with my Grandma’s famous sauce. Now, if you’re going to spend all day simmering spaghetti sauce, there is no way you go just throw it on top of 99 cent ziti from the grocery store. If you’re going through the effort to make homemade sauce – you need homemade pasta to go along with it!

My grandfather was always in charge of making the homemade pasta, while my grandma worked on the sauce. He used an old-fashioned hand crank machine to craft the noodles, and mixed all of his ingredients directly on his coveted “bread board”. As my grandpa was getting older, I knew time was running out to learn the secrets of his homemade noodles and homemade bread recipes. Therefore, during a fall break during college, I spent an entire afternoon with him, kneading bread dough, mixing pasta dough, and cranking it through the machine. I took meticulous notes, and tried to decipher what his measurements were, since he never measured anything.

Grandpa and I – Christmas 1987

My grandpa died about six months later, and I will be forever grateful for the afternoon I spent with him that day, as well as his famous recipes that were able to saved and cherished for generations to come. I have now inherited the duty of making the homemade noodles for Sunday sauce, and while it’s a ton of work, it is totally worth it.

Homemade Pasta
Yields: About 4 servings

4 large eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil

Begin by gently stirring together the salt and flour. Create a well in the center, then crack your eggs into the well. You can do this directly on your countertop, but I prefer to use a large mixing bowl so it’s a little less messy.

Use your hands to incorporate the eggs into the flour. The mixture will be dry and crumbly at first.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, and knead in the olive oil. If you’re dough is too dry, add a teaspoon or two of water. Too wet? Add a little more flour. Continue to knead the dough until the mixture becomes more springy and cohesive. It should be nice and smooth with no lumps.

Take a section of dough, and flatten it out in your hand. With you pasta roller set at the widest setting, run the pasta through the machine. Fold in half, and then in fourths, and run through again. At first the pasta will roll out pretty ugly, but continue to run it through the pasta machine until it is smooth in consistency. You can continue to adjust the width so it rolls it out thinner each time.

When you are satisfied with the thickness of your dough, run it through the pasta maker again to cut the noodles. Dust the pasta generously with flour, then set aside until you’re ready to cook them.

To cook, bring a pot of water to a boil, then cook the pasta for 2-3 minutes. Serve with your favorite sauce.

Don’t have a pasta maker? Simply roll out the pasta using a rolling pin, then use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the pasta into thin strips.

To freeze the pasta: Allow the pasta to partially air dry, separate the pasta into individual portions, and then curl into a small nest. Place the pasta bundles onto a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper, and flash for a few hours until they are hardened. Place the frozen pasta bundles  into a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 6 months.

To cook, drop the frozen pasta bundles directly into the boiling water, and gently encourage the bundle to unravel. Boil for 4-5 minutes then serve as desired.

Source: Stick a Fork In It original recipe.

This entry was posted in How To, Italian, Pantry Staples, Pasta. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How To: Make Homemade Pasta

  1. Sue says:

    Such a sweet story!

  2. Pam Molnar says:

    We made homemade raviolis with my grandmother every fall so we could have them on Thanksgiving and Christmas. She was very strict about forking the ends so the cheese would not fall out! We didn’t use a pasta machine. We rolled the dough with a roling pin. Her dough recipe is very similar to yours. Nothing fancy – just good!

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