Homemade pasta is a quick and easy side dish to complement any protein, or as the base of your favorite Italian dishes. There’s no need to be intimidated by the idea. You definitely CAN create fresh, delicious pasta for your family and guests, anytime the urge overtakes you. Like most pastries and breads, the basic formula is a very simple ratio. Once you master the basic ratios, you can tweak and change the ingredients to create your own unique recipes. This basic pasta formula will make noodle dough that can be put through a pasta machine or can be cut by hand. Because I want you to see that you won’t need any special equipment, I cut this batch by hand, but if you have a pasta machine, you can most definitely use it to create uniform, professional-looking pasta.
If you’ve never seen it, you should really own a copy of (Amazon affiliate) Ratio, by Michael Ruhlman. All the basic ratios for the most common everyday cooking items are laid out in simple to understand terms. The ratios are ones that bakers and chefs for centuries have known and understood, but for some reason they just never made their way into home kitchens. Michael Ruhlman remedies that situation in this inexpensive paperback, and now, all of us can experience success using them. The recipe I’m sharing with you, today, is simply based on the ratios from his book.
The ratio for noodles is 3 parts flour to 2 parts egg. Generally, you will want to use 1 egg per serving of pasta to be made. Like any recipe you can use American standard measurements, i.e., 1 1/2 cups of flour to 1 cup of eggs, but for the most accurate and consistent results you should really get a reliable digital scale with a tare function and weight the ingredients for breads and pastries. Plus, how many people do you know who measure eggs by the cup? What if that last egg is going to put you over the 1 cup mark? Do you really want to go to the trouble and waste of trying to divide an egg? Cracking the number of eggs you need and weighing them, then multiplying the weight by 1.5, is a much easier way to calculate how much flour you’ll need. So, in this instance, my 4 eggs weighed 180 grams and that meant I needed to use 270 grams of flour.
Use the short video, after the recipe, for a visual tutorial of making your noodles. Now that you’re a rock star pasta maker, you’re going to “wow” your family and be able to create all sorts of delicious, homemade dishes! Enjoy!
- 4 eggs (180 grams)
- 280 grams (around 2 cups) unbleached, all-purpose flour
- Use your hands to mix the flour and eggs in a bowl until they are combining to form a dough. The dough may still be a little shaggy, but will be coming together as a mass. There may even still be some dry bits in the bowl.
- Once it has come together, into that shaggy mass, pour everything out onto a lightly floured work surface (I used a Silpat, but your countertop will work fine.)
- Knead the dough, pressing it with the heel of your hand, folding it over, kneading, fold until it is velvety smooth. This will take around 5-10 minutes.
- Form the dough into a flattened disk and cover it, lightly, with a towel or plastic wrap. Let it rest on the counter for 20 to 60 minutes. This lets the gluten strands that formed while you were kneading, relax a bit, and your dough will be easier to roll. (The dough can also be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Let it rest on the counter and come to room temperature, before trying to roll it.)
- If using a pasta machine to cut your noodles, cut the dough disk into 4 equal pieces, roll them into the desired thinness and cut as you wish.
- When I roll them by hand, I just roll one big sheet and then cut them with a pizza wheel or knife.
- Cut them to any shape or size you want, depending on the dish you're preparing.
- Once cut, cook your noodles in boiling salt water, just like you would dry noodles.
- Serve in your favorite dishes, with your homemade sauces or even just buttered with salt and fresh cracked pepper. They're SO amazing!
How to Make Homemade Pasta