Homemade Pasta

Posted: February 11, 2011 in Technique
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Homemade pasta is not nearly as hard as it seems. Essentially, it’s two ingredients: Flour and Eggs. That’s it. But, before you decide if making homemade pasta is right for you, there are three things to consider:

1) Do I have time?

Making pasta at home will not take eons of time. Making the dough will take roughly 20 minutes, but filling ravioli, tortellini, or pressing and drying other kinds of pasta does require a time committment. On a good note, if you are a parent, this is a fantastic project to do with children as it requires no knives, dangerous machinery, or the stove.

2) What kind of pasta should I make?

There are many accessories that will help you make perfectly uniform cuts. If you don’t want to make a big investment in these, I would stick with ravioli or tortelinni. Strand shaped pasta like spaghetti, linguine, and fettuccine requires uniform sized noodles so they all cook at the same speed. Otherwise, some will be al dente and the rest will be mush.

3) How much should I make?

While you are putting in the effort, make lots. Filled pastas will freeze and strand pasta will dry the same way you buy it in your grocery store.. This requires some additional time and steps, but this is a much healthier alternative to ingesting the sodium riddled frozen pasta we have all come to love.

Once you try homemade pasta, it will be difficult for you to go back to the boxed stuff.

Making Pasta

Ingredients

  • Flour
  • Eggs

Before I start, I want to note that I am using the ratio method of cooking here. Pasta dough uses a 3:2 flour to egg ratio. The reason for this is because each egg weighs something different. To simply say, use 1 egg, would be inaccurate. However, if you don’t have a kitchen scale (and if you are going to cook alot, I would recommend getting one), I have included approximations as well.

1) Measure out eggs first. You will need one egg for each serving. I am making 6 servings, so six eggs are cracked and weighed. This amounts to 324g.

2) Measure out the flour. Remember, we need a 3:2 ratio. I’ve shown the math below. You can use this method to figure out how much flour you need by solving for X. This also proves that your math teacher was right and this stuff can be used in real life. (3 1/4 cups of flour — ish)

3) Now make a well in the flour. You’ve probably seen on the Food Network that they tend to dump the flour on the counter. This is a terrible idea. You are going to pour the eggs into the well. If your walls break, you are going to have egg everywhere. This will make you sad. My method is to keep the flour is a large mixing bowl and use a glass to make a well. Then pour the eggs into the middle. You can see from the picture below that if you do it right, the eggs will smile at you.

4) Now the fun part! Take a fork and begin to scramble the eggs. As you move around, flour with become incorporated into the egg mixture. Make your circles bigger until you get a solid mixture. I’ve taken the liberty to attach my YouTube video demonstration below.

I removed the soundtrack from the video due in part to the noxious egg mixing sound. I replaced it with “Help, I’m Alive” by Metric. And yes, I realize I”m a dork.

5) When you get the pasta to look like the video, stop there and use your hands to finish the task. Keep kneading the dough until the flour has incorporated itself into the mixture and the dough is smooth and elastic. This can take anywhere from 5 to 8 minutes. This also counts as your strength training work out for the day. The dough will still be slightly sticky. DO NOT ADD EXTRA FLOUR. You will want to. Hold in the impulses.

6) Lay out some saran wrap on your counter and spray it with cooking spray. Then put the disc of dough in the middle, wrap it, and chill it in your refrigerator for at least 4 hours. You can make this up to 24 hours ahead of time, but I don’t recommend leaving it too long. Dough will absorb all the odors in your fridge and you may not want your ravioli to taste like last weeks leftovers. 
That’s it folks. You’ve made pasta dough. From here, you can roll it out, put it through a pasta press, use a pasta machine, whatever you want. Need some inspiration? Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the recipe for my Mushroom Ravioli.
Advertisements
Comments
  1. Love homemade pasta! Great post and smart tip to recommend doing it with kids.

  2. briarrose says:

    Pasta is one of the few things I haven’t tackled yet in the kitchen…..and I’m a pasta hound too. 😉

  3. thank you for the add lovely post
    Looking forward to see the ravioli

  4. Kankana says:

    Pasta is my absolutely fav 🙂 Check this post in my blog : http://www.kankanasaxena.net/2011/02/07/shrimp-stuffed-ravioli-with-pesto-sauce/
    (not marketing, but since you mentioned home made pasta , I thought you might like it 🙂 )

  5. jennynoowyn says:

    what a great informative post! I was watching a chef make tortellini on tv the other day… and just read your post…i think something out there is telling me to make my own pasta 🙂

  6. […] Adventures in Food Experiencing food one plate at a time Skip to content HomeContact Me ← Homemade Pasta […]

  7. Do you know if it’s the same ratio with wholemeal flour? I always have a nightmare with it. Sticking together or falling apart its a disaster!

    • Keith Hebert says:

      No, unfortunately it’s not the same magic ratio. From what I’ve read, it’s best to use a blend of flours (1/2 all purpose, 1/2 wholemeal), but the recipes are all over the place in amounts of egg and oil. Best luck to you and thanks for stopping by

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s