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How to Make Pasta Dough.

O.K. everyone on their feet.

I want you to reach your arms up as high as you can, straight up over your head. Stretch all the way up through your fingertips. Now widen your stance, put your hands on your hips and twist your body around. Feel your back stretch.

Good. You’re now ready for the monumental task of searching for that pasta maker you own but have never, ever used.

Don’t give up. You’ll find it. Try behind the bread maker.

Today we’re making pasta dough.

Firstly, pasta dough is very different from other doughs.  Pie dough for instance, likes to be cold and rolled out onto a cold surface like marble.  Pasta dough likes to be warm, and rolled out on a warm surface, like wood.  Bread dough is folded over itself when kneading.  Pasta dough is only stretched and bashed.

Don’t fret too much about it. It’s not hard and the measurements aren’t even really that important. Not like baking. All you need are eggs, flour and if you want, a drizzle of olive oil. It just adds a bit of flavour.

 

Dump your flour onto your work surface.  Wood is best.  Make a well in the centre.

Flour

 

Add your eggs to the well.

You can either add them whole or beat them before hand and add them.

Flour Eggs

 

Whisk eggs.

Beat Flour Eggs

 

Add a teaspoon or so of olive oil.

You can add this prior to whisking the eggs as well. Doesn’t matter.

Olive Oil In Pasta

 

With a fork, start incorporating the flour with the eggs.

Just grab a little bit from bottom or sides as you’re whisking.   Little by little pull in more flour.

Beat Eggs Oil

 

You can also just use your fingers.  Just swirl your fingers around the centre of the eggs and pull in the flour like you would with a fork.  It’s gucky.

Mix In Flour

 

You will have a shaggy mess by the time most of the flour is incorporated.

You have to use your judgement in terms of whether to use all the flour.

It’s a tough dough in general, not light and fluffy.

It needs to be sticky and not fall apart but not so sticky you can’t even knead it.

Shaggy Mess

 

Pat the dough together into a ball.

Pre Knead Pasta Dough

 

Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes.

Kneading pasta dough is different from kneading pie dough.

Do not fold the pasta dough on itself.  Just push the ball away from you with the palm of your hand, form it into a ball again, and push it away again.  It’s all about the stretching.

Kneading Pasta

 

You’re done kneading when your dough is soft, stretches easily and smooth.

When you poke your finger into it, it’ll bounce back.

Pasta Dough Done

 

Wrap the dough and let it rest in the fridge for 1/2 an hour.  Your dough is now ready to roll.

 

Still confused?  Watch the video!

 

 

And that’s all there is to it. It’s really not very hard and it doesn’t take much time.  

Tomorrow, I’ll have a video on how to roll the dough through that pasta maker you got 7 years ago. Go find it, and meet me back here tomorrow.


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46 Comments | Filed Under: DIY Home Decor & Design Videos, Kitchen | Tags:

46 Responses to How to Make Pasta Dough.

  1. Amie Mason says:

    You finally did it! I knew you couldn’t evade pasta making forever!

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Have you been waiting for a pasta making post? ~ karen!

      • Amie Mason says:

        Yes! When I commented on your ‘Freezing Greens for the Winter’ post – I told you to bust out that pasta machine. I won’t repeat your response, but I knew your DIY funny-bone couldn’t hold out for much longer! Pasta making is TAODS all over!
        Have you experimented with making tortellini yet? Or infusing herbs into the dough?

        • Karen says:

          You had me so curious I had to go back and look at what I said. I just said I love making pasta, LOL. I had no idea what kind of weird thing I may have said. And yes, I make tortellini. And I may or may not have a post on that very subject coming up soon. ;) ~ karen!

  2. Marti says:

    And it’s very pretty. Very pretty photographs in this post. I don’t even like eggs. Heaven knows I don’t love making pasta. (The hand crank on a full batch is almost a workout, don’t you agree?) But those pictures are such art.

    Except whose hand is that? Not yours. Otherwise, where’s the short, clipped nails and polish?

    • Karen says:

      Hah! You made me go back and look at my own pictures. Yup. Those are my stump hands. I’ve been off the polish. It’s back on now. ~ k!

  3. Bri says:

    This is the first pasta recipe I’ve seen in blog-land that matches what I learned in Italy, kudos to you! I’m so glad you show the well method, it’s so much more fun than using the food processor. Nice work Karen!

    P.S. A rough generalization on how much to make: 1 egg’s worth of pasta per person for a main course serving.

    • Karen says:

      Shoot, you’re right. I guess I should have mentioned that, LOL. And I must say I’m impressed with myself for having an Italian method without ever going to Italy. (I do try to make things as authentic and as close to the true recipe as possible) Wait’ll you see the tortellini recipe coming up next week! ~ karen!

  4. Claire says:

    Would this work with buckwheat flour, do you think, or does the lack of gluten cause insurmountable problems? I’d like to do an all-buckwheat noodle for a gluten-intolerant friend.

  5. Kim Merry says:

    I was distracted during the video by the music… I kept waiting for Elvis to start singing!
    Now I will have to go to youtube and listen to him!
    p.s. Enjoyed the video!
    Kim

  6. Susan says:

    I hope you don’t knead your pie dough. But I hope you knead your bread dough. The best pie dough is the one hardly worked. The best bread is the one you work hard on! I don’t have a pasta maker. Can you do this without one? And I hope you didn’t lose your nail while making this dough.:-)

    • kate-v says:

      no., you don’t need a pasta maker. my Norwegian mother-in law used to make noodles (a long time ago we didn’t call pasta “pasta” – we called it “noodles”) and she rolled her noodle dough out fairly and evenly thin and then just sliced it into strips – about a half inch wide as I recall. Then she let it kinda’ dry out under a cloth towel until she cooked it for supper. Certainly one of the very best noodle side dishes I’ve ever eaten.

      • Emily says:

        Well, I read/watched this post a day late…not my norm. This is how my Czech Grandma taught me to make pasta. She would make her own noodles for Chicken Noodle soup. She would roll them out really thin and cut in strips to dry just like Kate-v said her Norwegian mother-in law would do (above post). Grandma would sometimes cut the oven on low for a bit, cut it off, open the door a crack and hang the pasta over the door if it wasn’t drying like it should. I haven’t made my own noodles in forever, makes me want to this weekend!

  7. Jamieson says:

    I am a-so excited for this!

  8. Sweet! done it before, but high time I did it again. Course, I don’t have a pastmaker so will have to roll and cut my own by hand.

  9. Candice says:

    Oh no you didn’t!!! If my husband sees this I’ll have no more excuses! I’ve been fending off his suggestion to try this for years…sigh. Crap, guess I’ll be shopping for a pasta machine this weekend.

  10. Langela says:

    The only difference in my original recipe is a pinch of salt. I have been known to add lemon pepper or garlic to the recipe to add a flavor to the noodles. I have never kneaded my pasta dough. I just send it through the pasta maker 6-8 times per thickness level. I suppose that kneads it, though.

  11. Cindy Marlow says:

    I, too, have a question about the flour. Is it important what kind one uses? This is a fabulous post and the video rocks! For my own edification, what does TAODS mean? (comment by Amie Mason)?

    • Karen says:

      Cindy – Thansk! TAODS .. The Art of Doing Stuff. :) Just use regular flour. There are other recipes that call for semolina flour which is MUCH more expensive than regular flour. It’s much finer and creates a more delicate pasta, but you don’t need to use is. Just use all purpose flour. ~ karen

  12. Susan says:

    It’s a tradition in my husband’s family to have home made noodles and chicken broth soup on their mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. Heaven only knows where the custom came from, perhaps German ancestors. It sounds dreadful until you try it. Yummmmmmm. So at least yearly pasta making happens around here, WITH the pasta maker, which is one of 2 bought at garage sales for $3 each, one used for crafts, both of which I know where they are. Yay me!

    • Karen says:

      So yes … I really need to know how you use a pasta machine for crafts. ~ karen!

      • Susan says:

        It’s used to make craft polymer clay, like Sculpey, maleable, as well as to blend colors together or make strips of it of various thicknesses to use to make things like ornaments, jewelry, clay beads, clay buttons, furniture knobs and such. You can roll out the clay, as well as cut it, with a pasta machine.

  13. Barbie says:

    Good JORB! My Grandma D’orazio could not have done it better! I will be looking forward to your video tomorrow! I have been making pasta for 33yrs. Admittedly don’t do it much anymore.

  14. Marie says:

    This is why I love your recipes: “Pie dough for instance, likes to be cold and rolled out onto a cold surface like marble. Pasta dough likes to be warm, and rolled out on a warm surface, like wood.” I never have luck with any kind of dough and I bet it has something to do with that bit of info that other recipes fail to mention. Thank you for your thorough and entertaining posts.

    • Karen says:

      Marie – Thanks! The less you touch and fiddle with pie dough the better. Everything for pie dough needs to be COLD. ~ karen!

  15. Bonnie says:

    OK, after reading this post, a segment has just come on the tv about pasta. So, the world is giving me a message–go out to eat at an Italian restaurant tonight! No, I will make some today. I have been very frustrated at work, and I think some kneading my help with that, too.

  16. Alex says:

    My mom has made me this for years. Well I’m a grown woman now (so they tell me) and she used it in a recipe called Lane Kluski (Polish background and this means Poured Noodles) which is basically homemade noodles/dough like this and heated them up in hot milk to make milk soup. Which sounds so weird but it’s such comfort food. This brings back good memories.

  17. The photos are beautiful and helpful! You can sprinkle your work surface with corn meal while kneading to add a little umph! to the pasta. Yummy!

  18. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Here in Pennsylvania Dutch Country..I make square noodles for Pot Pie and long noodles for other dishes..I think I have said before our Pot Pie..is totally different than the little round frozen meat pies at the store..I use flour and eggs..I don’t have to measure I have been doing it so long..My Mother also taught me a little trick to add more flavor..Add a little broth from whatever meat you are cooking..She only ever made noodles while the meat was cooking..never dried and saved them..they were cooked the day they were made..You just take a handful of the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin on a floured surface..I never kneaded the dough and only ever cut them by hand so I will be watching tomorrow to see how great yours turn out..if they look good I will give kneading a try..Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks!! LOL

  19. Anemone says:

    You are very fancy. You and your suspended camera tricks again. Cool! Great video. You handle the dough like a pro.

  20. Laura Bee says:

    My chef hubby decided the paste maker was crap & gave it to my sister. He now rolls & cuts by hand. But this is the method he uses too. I admire your skills & his & will let the two of you make pasta – I’ll stick to pie, cookie & bread dough!

  21. Shauna says:

    Perfect tutorial Karen. We learned how to do this at a cooking school in Italy for our honeymoon and it’s so fun to have people over to make pizza. We tell everyone to bring their favorite toppings. Some pizza we bake in our pizza oven and some we fry. If you haven’t tried it fried, you MUST. Healthy? No. Delicious? Yes! Easy? you bet. Fry it up in a pan so it gets all bubbly, then put your toppings on it, then put it in your oven like you normally would, but for less time – you know, until things get melty and yummy looking. All done, sooooo good!

  22. Esther says:

    I got a pasta maker in January and was hoping you would do a post on fresh pasta….. Hopefully a good ravioli filling recipe to follow as well?

  23. Anita says:

    I watched this video with my 5 year old son. His comment: “Wow! She’s a good cooker.” We can’t wait for tomorrow’s post!

  24. Nikki Kelly says:

    Ok, I’ll give it another shot. My bf and I tried to make pasta a few years ago (right after we bought our pasta press) and it did not go well. It was a crumbly mess. I think my bf was not as attentive with his mixing as he should have been because, well, he took out the flour wall and floury eggs ran everywhere. Question, can this be done in a bowl to avoid this? I’m nervous.

  25. Jasmine says:

    Well this is very nice, beautiful pics and everything..makes me want to break out in “That’s Amore”. Which brings me to my question-how about an easy, fast pizza dough recipe? Does such a thing exist?

  26. theresa says:

    oh you’ve got me inspired! have the old pasta roller out- used to make fresh noodle to go with my greek beef stew and those I hand rolled and cut in long strips- be forever glad I caughtthe post

  27. Pati Gulat says:

    I make my own pasta as well. I have one of those hand crank pasta machines that you can clamp to a table & I LOVE it !!!! Contrary to what some think,it really isn’t hard to do and it tastes SO MUCH BETTER than store-bought ! Kudos on the tute, Karen…ya dun good…ya dun REAL good ! ;o)

  28. Pam'a says:

    It’s also a good idea to figure out (*before* your hands are caked with floury goo) a good place to let the pasta dry if you’re not using it right away…

  29. Candice says:

    I had to share this with you since I had commented Tues March 5th that I’d have to go buy a past machine this weekend. Well I scored a nearly new Marcato, made in Italy pasta machine at a yard sale this morning for $4.00!!! woohooo!

    • Karen says:

      LOL! Good job. I *love* garage sales. I used to go to them every weekend. Clean it up and start making pasta this weekend. :) ~ karen!

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