KP 021| How to Make Fresh Pasta

In this video I will be demonstrating how to make fresh pasta from scratch. Once this technique is mastered, there is literally no end to the infinite variations you create upon this simple theme.

A Note On Flours Used For Fresh Pasta

In the above video recipe, I use 00 Pasta Flour, which is a finely ground "soft" style of wheat flour predominately used in Northern Italy when making fresh pasta. In Southern Italy, hard durum wheat is preferred, but other forms of flour are used in various regions or by creative chefs including rye, buckwheat, barley, rice, chestnut and chickpea. However, these less traditional flours are usually used in conjunction with durum, semolina (which is derived from durum) and 00 flour to enhance the fresh pasta's flavor and texture.

If you cannot find 00 pasta flour, a national brand of AP flour can be used, yielding decent results.

Ingredients Used For Fresh Pasta

  • 9 oz 00 Pasta Flour
  • 6 oz Whole Eggs (both measurements are by weight)

In this video, the flour and eggs are weighed out on a digital scale to give the "pasta newbie" an accurate starting point. However, once you get comfortable with making pasta, the ingredients can generally be "eye balled." A good pasta dough should be stiff yet workable enough to roll through a pasta machine. Also, depending on the type and style of pasta being made, some or all of the egg can be replaced with water, olive oil can be added for flavor and extensibility, and other flavoring agents like fresh herbs, spinach, vegetables juices and squid ink can be worked into the dough for unique, creative flavors.

How To Make Fresh Pasta

  1. Mound measured flour onto a clean work surface and form a well in the center of the flour so that it resembles something similar to a miniature volcano.
  2. Pour eggs into the center of your flour well, break yolks with the tines of a fork, and scramble eggs while slowly drawing in more flour from the surrounding mound.
  3. Use a bench scraper to form into a rough, shaggy dough, cutting the flour into the eggs.
  4. Mound dough together and knead for about 2 minutes until a stiff, cohesive pasta dough is formed. If the dough is sticky or tacky, dust hands and work surface with additional flour and continue to knead until a proper, stiff consistency is achieved.
  5. Wrap pasta dough in plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. This will allow for the flour to fully absorb the moisture of the eggs and the gluten strands to hydrate and relax, making the overall dough easier to work.
  6. After resting, unwrap pasta dough from plastic wrap and cut into halves or quarters, depending up how big you work surface is. Remember, a small piece of pasta dough can easily become a long, unmanageable sheet once rolled to its finished thickness.
  7. Dust a single piece of pasta dough on both sides with flour and pass through the rollers of a pasta machine set on it's widest setting, usually number one. Fold the pasta back on itself, and continue to roll through the widest setting, each time folding the dough in half, and continue for 12-14 passes or until the sheet of pasta dough becomes "spring and silky" (see video above for a better visualization).
  8. Continue to pass pasta dough through your rollers and after each pass, crank the dial on your pasta machine down by one click (thickness) and continue until the desired thickness of your pasta dough is reached. For more delicate pasta, roll dough as thin as possible. For pasta that needs to hold up during longer cooking, roll sheets a little thicker, and use a harder style of flour like durum.
  9. Cut pasta into sheets (the length of which you want your finished noodle to be), dust sheets generously with flour, stack, gently roll and cut noodles into desired thickness (please see video).
  10. Cook pasta immediately in boiling, salted water for about 1-2 minutes. Pasta water should almost taste as salty as the ocean.

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There are 23 Comments

skflyfish's picture

Nice video. 

I have never worked the dough as many times at setting 1 as you recommend and there are times when it is not as silky as I would like. Now I know why. ;-)

jacob burton's picture

Thanks SK, glad you liked the video. "Kneading" the pasta dough the widest roller setting will greatly improve the pasta's texture and is an important step that is often skipped. If you haven't been doing this in the past, then this will definitely take your fresh pasta to the next level.

donner2000's picture

Great information, Thanks Chef!

When I worked in a Pasta restaurant, many moons ago, we had a little Italian lady who made the most amazing pasta, daily. She used a combination of eggs, milk and water with semolina. I have yet to replicate that recipe.

jacob burton's picture

Old Italian ladies...they'll get ya every time. I'm convinced they have magic in their fingertips.

Nina's picture

I have never tried passing the pasta through #1 more than about 5 times.  I must try your method!  Do you roll the sheets out to a different thickness depending on the use?  In other words, is your stuffed pasta thicker/thinner than a noodle?

"People who love to eat are always the best people." -- Julia Child

jacob burton's picture

@ Nina,

In short, I will roll the pasta dough a little thicker if using for lasagna, raviolis or cannelloni. But in those instances too, I will actually have most of the moisture from my pasta dough come from water instead of eggs. Just like eggs will tenderize breads such as brioche, they do the same thing to pasta.

I'll also use durum wheat instead of 00 pasta flour and if I really need a sturdy noodle, I'll add a very small amount of baking soda to the pasta dough. The alkaline baking soda will strengthen gluten.

skflyfish's picture

Well I found another use for those quail eggs. Pasta!

I used durum flour (not semolina) and quail eggs, though in my half batch it took about 3.6 ounces of quail eggs. I think the harder wheat flour needed more liquid. 

What a nice pasta. I made 1/2 into pappardelle yesterday and the other 1/2 into fettucinne today. The additional day of rest made for an even more silky pasta.

I am a happy pasta eater. ;-)

Thx!

jacob burton's picture

Sounds great! And yes, a "harder" flour like durum will need more eggs/fat/liquid in general to hydrate to the same consistency of a softer flour like 00.

I see "roasted quail with home made quail egg pasta" in your future. Make sure you take pictures!

Nesty's picture

This was our lesson  last week.

Thank you for featuring this very helpful video tutorial. !

jacob burton's picture

Hi Nesty,

Glad you found this video helpful. Its hard to beat fresh pasta made from scratch. There is more then one way to make pasta however, and I plan on releasing a few more pasta making videos in the future.

uhu01's picture

Thank you for the great video. I had made pasta a few times before I saw this video, but because of some reason it was always very tedious and the results where not that great. After seeing the video I decided to try again, and it worked out like a charm.

 

I had for example always the problem that the finished pasta would start sticking together when it was drying (while "waiting" to be put into the water). It seems I just never used enough flour, also my dough was a little bit different. But...now it work pretty nicely, also with other dough recipes...maybe I just got the hang of it ;)

 

One question though: The "sticking" problem was always very bad when making some sort of filled pasta. The filling would invariably moisten the dough to a degree that it would stick to the surface the pasta was sitting on. To alleviate the problem I started to freeze the pasta "the moment" it was finished, which worked relatively well.

 

On the weekend I have some guests over and wanted to make some ravioli (filled with goats cheese, lemon zest, etc.). I want to prepare those on friday, but I don't want to freeze them to get them over just this small period of time. What would be a solution to the "sticking problem"? Is it again "more flour" or are there some other tricks to handle such pasta?

jacob burton's picture

Try laying the raviolis in a single layer on a small dusting of course, semolina flour. Also, make the dough as stiff as possible. Also, roll the dough a little thicker then you would for pasta.

 

A lot of times I prefer to use hard duram wheat, water and salt to make a dough that I will use for a ravioli filling. This results in a stiff dough that doesn't sog out quite as much.

 

 

uhu01's picture

Thanks for the tips.
Making filled pasta now works much better for me.
I thought I might share what I had to change:

.) To hold the pasta for a few days I always tried to dry it out. This resulted in the pasta sticking on the bottom side and pretty much drying out on the border/top side. For me it works much better if I cover the pasta and put it into the refrigerator (on some semolina)

.) After reading your tip I wanted to try semolina, which is not as easy to come by in Austria. In normal stores you only get a very coarse version of it. Before realizing that I got the wrong stuff I made pasta a few times (not that bad actually). Now I'm pretty sure that one can make pasta out of mostly anything ;-)... After finding the fine semolina it now works much better.

.) Using more yolks also helped.

.) practice and getting a feel for it

Thanks again for the tips/videos, I really appreciate it!

jacob burton's picture

Pasta is definitely one of those things that just takes some practice...and it sounds like you've been practicing! Thanks for the update.

AlexM's picture

How long can this dough be made in advance and how would I prepare it for future use?
Much appreciated.

jacob burton's picture

You can make this dough 2-3 days in advance, although it will eventually start to oxidize. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and then store in your refrigerator. When you're ready to make the pasta, pull the dough out of the fridge and allow to temper at room temp for about an hour since the chill from the fridge will make it too stiff to work.

Lluvia Moreno's picture

  I was trying to make gluten free pasta with potatoes and corn flour. I boiled the potatoes, let then cool and dry for about an hour. Then I finely smashed them, added the egg and with corn flour with a bit of xantam gum started to knead the dough. After a while and with the help of the xantam gum I got a firm and apparently cohesive pasta. Then I started the pasta machine process, but the dough keep breaking apart and never got firm enough. after a long time of trying to give it a pasta texture, I cut the pasta into fettuccini. then boiled it in salted water for 2 min. The final product was far from what I wanted to get. The texture was not firm enough and when I pulled the fettuccini from the water it broke. The texture was very soggy and not appetizing.
Please, I really want to figure out how to make good gluten free pasta for my children but I need help!

jacob burton's picture

It's really tough to make good gluten free pasta from scratch. I would try looking into using the French Laundry's C2C Gluten Free Flour. You can get it online or at William's Sonoma.

bucket_mouth's picture

I hand roll my pasta because I don't have a machine. I can get it thin enough to read the newspaper through it. A chef from England taught me how to fry ravioli about 25 years ago. I recall the great texture from the process and I want to duplicate it with noodles or home made tortelini. I can't remember if he blanched the pasta prior to the saute. Can you shed some light here?
Thank you

jacob burton's picture

When I've done fried raviolis in the past, I've always blanched them first. You can just straight fry, but it will be more like an empanada then a fried ravioli. Either way, they come out delicious.

Make sure if you're blanching the raviolis first, you dry off the surface as much as possible so they don't release excess water into your hot oil, which can cause it to boil over.

bucket_mouth's picture

My mistake, I meant saute, not deep fry. He called it fried ravioli, but it was saute.
I did blanch them and let them strain a bit. I saute'd them in clarified butter, smoked garlic, dry basil and finish the sauce with a little butter and Romano cheese. They were ridiculous.

Marco099's picture

Question on Using Durum Wheat from India - 

I've found that durum wheat is not easy to come by in the US unless you buy Bob's Red Mill brand or procure it directly from a farm. I know that durum wheat flour is widely available in most Indian grocery stores (aka, "atta" flour, and there are other variations), but I've also read that durum flour from India can differ greatly from N. American durum in terms of hardness and gluten content, but I've no idea how accurate that is.

Has anyone used Indian durum wheat flour for use in Italian pasta making? If so, was it comparable to N. American durum? 

Just asking because Indian durum is easy and cheap for me to get, while the N. American stuff is quite expensive and hard to come by. I'll probably buy some Indian durum and try it in the near future.