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  • Rock Rousseau

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.