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HOW TO Make Perfect Homemade Pasta



The taste of freshly made pasta is significantly better than dried pasta. Fresh pasta is often locally-made and uses, well, fresh ingredients, while dried pasta is shipped over long distances and has been sitting on shelves for an unknown period of time. Fresh pasta is made from a simple dough of eggs and flour, usually all-purpose, cake, or semolina flour. The dough is kneaded like bread dough and then pressed through rollers until it's as thin as desired. Then it's cut into long noodles or formed and stuffed into tortellini and ravioli. This HOW TO will show you how to make the perfect pasta dough and then cutting/preparing it.



  • 2 TBSN water

  • 2 cups cake or semolina flour

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Medium mixing bowl, wooden spoon, measuring spoons, measuring cups, sharp carving knife, plastic wrap, large pot Prep: 90 minutes

Cook: 3 minutes Ready: 95 minutes


Before you handle any food, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean your kitchen work area and pull back your hair or wear a cap.

You want to avoid contaminating your meal with harmful bacteria that could cause food illness.


1. In a large bowl, combine cake flour, all-purpose flour and salt.

2. Make a well in the flour, add the egg yolks , and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. 3. Gradually add the oil then 1/3 to 1/2 cup water until the mixture forms a dough; the dough should stick together if pinched between your fingers. If necessary, add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time if the dough is too dry. 4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Gather the dough into a ball and knead until the dough is smooth, 5 to 8 minutes. TIP: When kneading it is important to put your body weight into it, get on top of the dough to really stretch it and not to tear the dough. Using the heels of your palms, roll the dough to create a very smooth and supple dough. Kneading will usually take from 8 to 10 minutes for an experienced kneader and 10 to 15 for a beginner. This is how the perfect, toothsome texture of your pasta is formed. 5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 60 minutes. 6. Cut the dough into quarters and press flat. 7. Using a pasta machine, or roll dough by hand, to desired thinness. 8. Use a pasta cutting machine, or by hand using a sharp knife, to cut into strips of desired width.

9. If drying the pasta, hang pasta noodles on a pasta hanging rack.

10. When ready to cook, add pasta noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water, then drain and cook in preferred pasta sauce.

TIP: Use about 6 quarts of water for 1 pound of pasta. Fresh pasta takes considerably less time to cook than dried, usually only 3 minutes.


Cutting and Shaping Fresh Pasta

Homemade pasta can be cut into many shapes and sizes but the options are limited in comparison to factory made dried pastas. Some shapes and sizes can be cut by hand but many must be formed by the use of a machine and special cutting rollers and dies. Some of the common shapes and sizes that can be created when making homemade pasta and instructions on how to cut them are shown below.


Fettuccine, Tagliatelle, Liguine, Tagliarini, and Papperdelle Noodles

  1. After the rolled out pasta sheet has dried for approximately 15 minutes, place it on a lightly floured work surface. Dust the sheet lightly with flour.

  2. Starting at the end closest to you, fold a 2 to 3 inch strip of pasta up away from you. Continue to fold the strip up away from you until the entire pasta sheet is folded into a flattened roll.

  3. With a sharp knife, cut across the flattened roll to form the width of the desired type of pasta noodle.

  • Cut tagliatelle at ¼ inch

  • Cut fettuccine at 1/6 to 1/5 inch (slightly less than tagliatelle)

  • Cut linguine at 1/8 inch; tagliolini at 1/8 inch or less

  • Cut tagliarini at 1/16 to less than 1/8 inch

  • Cut pappardelle at ¾ inch with a knife or a fluted pastry wheel. A ruler can be used to assist in keeping the strips straight and consistent in width

4. Unroll folded noodles and spread out on a lightly floured surface, a floured dish towel or hang over the back of a chair on a floured dish towel. Allow them to dry for at least 15 minutes before cooking. The drying period will allow the noodles to firm up slightly and help prevent them from sticking to each other.


Lasagne and Cannelloni Noodles

  1. After the rolled out pasta sheets have dried for approximately 15 minutes, place one on a lightly floured work surface.

  2. Using a knife or fluted pastry wheel, square off the edges so you have a sheet of pasta that is a suitable size for the size sheets you will be cutting.

  • Lasagne (strips):Lasagne can be cut several different ways. It can be cut into long strips or rectangle shapes. Strips are generally cut 3 to 3 ½ inches wide by 13 inches long. A fluted pastry wheel is used to create a wavy edge, but a knife can be used if a straight edge is desired.

  • Lasagne (rectangle sheets): The rectangle lasagne pieces are generally cut to approximately 3 ½ x 5 inches or 4 x 6 inches, using a knife to create a straight edge. When deciding on what size to use, consider the size of the baking dish that you will be using and use a size that will work best for the dish.

  • Cannelloni can be cut in the same manner as the rectangle shaped lasagne. Cut to a size best suited to your baking dish, generally cut to approximately 3 x 4 or 4 x 4 inches

  • Pappardelle can be cut as instructed "Noodles" or it can be cut in strips from the flat sheet of pasta. Pappardelle is cut into ¾ inch wide strips.


Farfalle Noodles

  1. After the rolled out pasta sheet has dried for approximately 15 minutes, place it on a lightly floured work surface.

  2. Farfalles are cut from pieces ranging from 1 ½ to 2 ½-inch squares. Using a ruler to assist in maintaining consist size pieces, cut the desired size squares from the sheet of pasta using a straight or fluted pastry wheel. If cutting 2 inch squares, first cut sheet into 2 inch strips.

  3. Cut across strips at 2 inch intervals to form 2 inch squares.

  4. Cut squares in half to form 1 x 2 inch rectangles.

  5. Pinch rectangles together in the middle of the long side using your thumb and forefinger to form butterfly or bow tie shapes. If shapes do not hold, moisten fingers and pinch again.

  6. Spread the pasta out on a lightly floured surface or a floured dish towel. Dust the pieces with flour and allow them to dry for at least 15 minutes before cooking. The drying period will allow the pasta to firm up slightly and help prevent them from sticking to each other.


Quadrucci Noodles

  1. After the rolled out pasta sheets have dried for approximately 15 minutes, place a sheet on a lightly floured work surface.

  2. Stack the remaining sheets on top. Lightly dust each layer with flour before placing the next layer on top. Then cut the stack of pasta sheets in 4 inch strips, cutting through all layers with a sharp knife.

  3. Cut across the 4 inch wide strips to create 4 inch strips that are the width of the size square you desire. The most common sizes used for quadrucci pasta are 3/8, ½, and ¾ inch squares. If you want ½ quadrucci, cut the strips ½ inch wide.

  4. Cut across the 4 x ½ inch strips at ½ inch intervals to produce ½ inch square pasta pieces.

  5. Separate the squares and spread out on a lightly floured surface or floured dish towel. Dust the squares lightly with flour and allow them to dry for at least 15 minutes before cooking. The drying period will allow the pasta to firm up slightly and help prevent them from sticking to each other.


Fusilli Noodles

  1. After the rolled out pasta sheets have dried for approximately 15 minutes, place a sheet on a lightly floured work surface.

  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the pasta sheet into 3 inch strips.

  3. Cut across 3 inch strips to produce approximately 1/16 x 3 inch strips.

  4. Carefully wrap the 1/16 x 3 inch strips around a floured wooden stick. Gently pull the strips off the stick and place on a floured surface. Shapes should look similar to a spring. Let pasta dry before cooking.


Garganelli Noodles

  1. After the rolled out pasta sheets have dried for approximately 15 minutes, place a sheet on a lightly floured work surface.

  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the sheet into 2 or 2 ½ inch wide strips. Cut across strips at 2 or 2 ½ inch intervals to form squares.

  3. Starting in one corner of the square, roll the pasta around a floured wooden stick that is ¼ inch or less in diameter. To give the pasta a grooved surface, place the pasta square on a grooved board and roll the square on the wooden stick while applying pressure to form grooves on the outer surface.

  4. Carefully slide the rolled pasta off the stick. To prevent the pasta from becoming flattened, do not squeeze it as it is pulled off the stick.

  5. Place the garganelli tubes on a lightly floured surface and allow pasta to dry for at least 15 minutes before cooking. The drying period will allow the pasta to firm up slightly and help prevent them from sticking to each other.


Maltagliati Noodles

  1. After the rolled out pasta sheets have dried for approximately 15 minutes, place a sheet on a lightly floured work surface.

  2. Lightly dust the pasta sheet and then starting at one end, fold over approximately a 2 inch strip. Continue to fold this end over until you end up with a flattened roll.

  3. Trim across one end of the strip to create a straight edge. Starting at the straightened edge, cut diagonally to cut off each corner, leaving a pointed end. Cut across the strip, cutting the point off and creating a straight edge again.

  4. Repeat cutting off the corners diagonally and then the pointed end until the entire strip has been cut up. Do not worry about cutting pieces exactly the same each time. Matagliati means "badly cut" so misshaped pieces are expected.

  5. After the pieces have been cut, separate the layers into single pieces and place on a lightly floured surface and allow pasta to dry for at least 15 minutes before cooking. The drying period will allow the pasta to firm up slightly and help prevent them from sticking to each other.


Orecchiette Noodles

  1. After the dough has been kneaded, pull a piece off and roll it in your hands. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface

  2. On the lightly floured surface, begin to roll the dough back and forth using the palm of your hands. Continue to roll until the pasta dough forms a tube approximately 3/8 inches wide. If the dough becomes sticky, lightly flour the work surface and your hands.

  3. Start at one end of the rolled pasta and with a sharp knife cut off pieces slightly less than 3/8 inch thick.

  4. Flour the palm of your hand and place one of the pieces in the center of your palm. Using your other hand, take your thumb and press in the center of the pieces to form a disk shaped pasta. If dough becomes sticky, dust your palm and thumb before using. The shape that is formed looks similar to an ear.

  5. As each piece is formed, place it on a lightly floured surface and allow the pasta to dry for at least 15 minutes before cooking. The drying period will allow the pasta to firm up slightly and help prevent them from sticking to each other.

  6. Orecchiette can be air dried and stored for several months at room temperature. It may take 24 or more hours to dry completely. Cut one open to check for dryness. If you cannot cut it with a knife it is dried sufficiently. If you cut it open and it is still damp in the middle, it requires more drying.


  • Calories: 176

  • Total Fat: 2.1g

  • Saturated Fat: 1.0g

  • Cholesterol: 62mg

  • Sodium: 412mg

  • Potassium: 67mg

  • Total Carbohydrates: 31.9g

  • Dietary Fiber: 1.1g

  • Protein: 6.4g

  • Sugars: 0g


Pasta provides beneficial carbohydrates. A cup of white spaghetti contains 43 grams of total carbohydrates, while an equivalent serving of whole-wheat spaghetti offers 37 grams of total carbs. Carbs serve as a primary source of fuel for your body. Whole-wheat pasta also provides a considerable amount of dietary fiber, a particularly beneficial type of carbohydrate. Fiber helps fight chronic diseases -- including obesity and type 2 diabetes -- and promotes digestive health. A 1-cup serving of whole-wheat pasta contains 6.3 grams of dietary fiber, providing 17 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 24 percent for women, set by the Institute of Medicine. White pasta is lower in fiber, at 2.5 grams per serving.

Both white and whole-wheat pastas serve as excellent sources of selenium, a mineral that activates antioxidant enzymes tasked with protecting your cells from molecular damage. A 1-cup serving of either type of pasta provides roughly two-thirds of your recommended daily intake, determined by the Institute of Medicine. Pasta also contains manganese, a mineral that helps you metabolize carbohydrates and regulate your blood sugar. A serving of whole-wheat pasta boasts 1.9 milligrams of manganese -- more than 100 percent of the daily intake for women and 83 percent for men -- while an equivalent serving of white pasta offers 0.5 milligram.

Eat white pasta as a source of folate -- or vitamin B-9 -- or opt for whole-wheat pasta as a source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Folate plays a role in red blood cell development and supports rapid cell growth, while lutein and zeaxanthin support healthy vision. A diet rich in carotenoids, including lutein and zeaxanthin, also reduces the risk of lung cancer, explains the Linus Pauling Institute. A serving of white pasta provides 167 micrograms of vitamin B-9, or 42 percent of the daily recommended folate intake established by the Institute of Medicine. A serving of whole-wheat pasta contains 113 micrograms of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Use pasta as a base for healthful dishes rich in veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats. Light coat whole-wheat spaghetti with olive oil, then mix in wilted greens and chopped hazelnuts for a decadent but healthful and easy-to-prepare meal. Top pasta with roasted veggies -- including fennel, red peppers, onions and garlic -- and then it with tomato sauce and basil. Alternatively, incorporate pasta into cold salads. Whole-wheat rotini pairs well with chopped kalamata olives, roasted red peppers and a lemon juice vinaigrette, while bowties, steamed shrimp, red bell pepper and red pepper flake-infused olive oil mix for a fiery salad option.


A wine that best complements the sauce, not the type of pasta.

Tomato-based sauces

Because of the acidity in tomatoes, a relatively tart red with middle-weight body is your best option. Here are a few examples:

Primitivo (aka Zinfandel), Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Sangiovese (Chianti, etc), Cannonau (Grenache), Negroamaro, Nero d’Avola, and Rhône Blends.

Cheese-based sauces

It’s hard to find a wine that won’t pair fairly well with cheese, so instead, think of this pasta style as an opportunity to try some of the more texture-based pairings. For example, a white wine with some creaminess to it, like an oak-aged Italian Trebbiano or Chardonnay, is going to create a congruent pairing and highlight the creaminess in the cheese. Also, lighter more floral red wines are another awesome pairing partner with tart, intense hard-cheese pasta, especially if there are mushrooms or vegetables involved in the sauce. Here are a few options:

White: Trebbiano di Lugana, Sicilian Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla,

Red: Langhe Nebbiolo, Nerello Mascalese, Pinot Noir (or Italian Pinot Nero from Oltrepo Pavese) and Sangiovese.

Seafood-based sauces

Lean to middle-weight white wines are the way to go for most seafood based pastas unless there is tomato as well, and then you’ll want to look into a rosato (Italian rosé). Here are a few:

Pinot Grigio, Verdicchio, Vernaccia, Picpoul de Pinet (from France), Grenache Blanc, and Muscadet.

Vegetable-based sauces

Spring onions, garlic ramps, artichoke and broccolini often create the backbone of a great primavera, although anything fresh and seasonal will do. The goal of this dish is to really highlight the springy freshness of all the veggies, which is why a light-bodied white wine with lemony and floral notes is a great choice. A well-prepared primavera and major vegetable intensity, so it will need an equally savory white wine. Here are a few examples:

Soave (aka Grecanico), Vermentino, Trebbiano di Lugana, Greco di Tufo, Sauvignon Blanc and Gros Manseng


More variations coming soon!











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