How to use a Pasta Machine

Welcome back class.

Did you find your pasta maker?  Good.  This is how you use it.  (either a hand model or electric)

[print_this]How to use a Pasta Dough roller


1.  Pull off an egg sized piece of dough.  Rewrap the pasta dough so it doesn’t dry out.

2.  Flatten your piece of dough a little and feed it through the machine, set to #1.

3.  Fold the dough in half and feed it through the machine again, still on #1.

4.  Repeat this process around 10 times.

5. Change your setting to #2 and feed it through the machine once. No need to fold the dough in half anymore.

6.  Continue to make your way through all of the settings from #3-#7.  You may need to dust the dough with flour around setting #4 or #5 to prevent it from sticking. (I find the #7 setting is good for most pastas, but some require another roll through at #8, and others (like pappardelle) should be a little thicker and stopped at #6.)

7.  The dough is now completely rolled out.  Cut your dough into whatever shape you’re going for.[/print_this]

For your viewing pleasure, a short video to help you understand what I’m talking about.

How to use a pasta machine


How to use that pasta machine you got 7 years ago but have never tried.

See? Easy. Couldn’t have taken more than 5 minutes. And the best thing about a pasta rolling machine is you don’t have to wash it! You just use the little brush you probably got with the pasta maker and brush out any flour that may linger between the rolling bars and shove it back in the cupboard until the next time.

I firmly believe that once you see how easy it is and how good the pasta taste you’ll put your pasta roller in a place of honour in the kitchen. Somewhere it doesn’t take your tippy toes, some limbering stretches and a stool to get it out.

Now that you know how to make pasta and use a pasta machine  … you’re ready to graduate.  It’s time to make homemade tortellini with a classic Italian filling of ground pork, beef, turkey, mortadella, parmesan cheese and more.



  1. Jackie says:

    Hahaha. It was just so great. Concisely edited. Very informative. Very SILENT. Then, as the pace of the pasta-makin’ speeds up: cue the dramatic music. (I’m laughing again). I haven’t delved into iMovie yet; perhaps I will in the near future!

  2. Jackie says:

    Oh my gosh, I just did a search on this post to see if anyone had commented on the music choice for this video, and it looks like I’m not being repetitive here. The SONG that comes on midway through the video made me CRACK UP! So awesome! So dramatic! Love it. It actually made me laugh out loud. And then it made me want to buy the pasta-making attachments for my KitchenAid blender even more than I already want to buy them! Thanks for making and sharing this video, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      That was actually just some of the “free” license music that came with iMovie. I’ve made several videos in the past week so I had to go back and listen to it to see what it was. Ya made me curious, LOL. ~ karen!

  3. nancy says:

    Thank you so much! My boyfriend has a little Italian machine that was left in the house he bought. I get it out, look at it and put it back, kinda intimidating. I am going to get it out and make something!

  4. Michelle says:

    Thank you! I got a pasta machine a couple months ago after a trip to New York turned me onto homemade and I’ve been fearfully eyeing the thing ever since. It seems much less intimidating now.

  5. Natika33 says:

    I don’t have a pasta machine, so how should I go about doing this by hand? Should I roll the dough out flat, fold it over, do it again, then just keep rolling till it’s pretty thin?

  6. Kristin says:

    At the last restaurant I worked, I was responsible for the pastas. All we had there was a hand-crank, so I’d pop in my earbuds, queue up my Stuff You Should Know podcasts, and hunker down for at least an hour of ravioli making. I would roll out a strip of dough nearly four meters long (twice as long as my counter top), drape half of it over the back of a couple of chairs while I piped the filling on the half laid out on my countertop, then I’d brush egg white along the edges and between the filling mounds, and then drape the other half of the dough over the filling and press down to seal around the ravioli. Then I’d cut them apart with a fluted pastry wheel. I would make hundreds at a time.

    I know someone mentioned it above, but they differ in their numbering system, those machines. Mine goes to 7, but I’ve seen some that go to 9, but I don’t think their 9 is thinner than my 7. Just FYI.

  7. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Looks great Karen..I was just thinking how good it would be to make homemade spaghetti too..I think I will be checking the thrift stores for an electric pasta that makes all different shapes..My son is a big fan of tortellini so I look forward to your recipes!

  8. Nicola says:

    I’ve used my pasta machine but have never folded the dough over on itself. Thanks for the great videos! And I made A. English’s apple hand pies last night. Oh, my so yummy!

  9. Brittany says:

    Please do a post on drying out pasta and storing it!

  10. Barbie says:

    Love the electric part of it!! I have had the same machine for 35 yrs! Hand crank. I have a kitchen aid and really love that electric attachment ! I may have to get that!

    Well done!

  11. Tracie says:

    That’s awesome, I wish I had one of those! Maybe I’ll have to do some shopping. I used to make my own pasta many moons ago but didn’t use a pasta rolling machine, just rolled and cut myself. Still turned out awesome if not a bit thick, but I made them for my chicken stew so they were perfect. I used to make bread too, I wonder what happened to my domestic me, you’re forcing her out of retirement Karen!

    • Erin says:

      “my domestic me” – great name for a blog

    • kathryn says:

      Hi Tracie
      Karen’s so right about pasta makers – amongst other barely-used, (once-fashionable) “gadgets” – sitting in the back of all sorts of people’s cupboards. Why not post a “Want” on your local Freegle/Freecycle site? You never know your luck!
      With best wishes

      • Laura Bee says:

        I was just thinking I should so the same – O Freecycle, how I love thee.

      • Laura Bee says:

        *Do the same…sigh, fumble fingers. It’s hard to type with a cat on my lap who wants to snuggle.

      • Tracie says:

        Thanks Kathryn, I just might do that….do we get those sites in Surrey? I can try Craig’s list too. I knew this blog would get me inspired! Anyone have any good inspirational “get your butt off the chair and exercise” ideas??? :)

      • Karen says:

        I do! I do! Run. You don’t need equipment. It’s free. You can do it any time you want, no need to go to a scheduled class. AND you can just do it for half an hour. Put your shoes on, go out the door and you know in your head that you’ll be back on the couch in just a half an hour. Do intervals. Run for 5 minutes, walk for one minute. Run for 5 minutes, walk for one until your half an hour is up. In a half an hour you’ll have run close to 4 km and be back on the couch. There you go. Inspiration AND motivation. Go. ~ karen

      • Natika33 says:

        I agree with Karen. Running/jogging is the cheapest, easiest and fastest way to lose weight. Running for only 20-30 minutes burns about 300 calories give or take. Isn’t that awesome?

  12. Bonnie says:

    I really have enjoyed this, but it makes me want to dig out my all automatic pasta maker–mixes, kneads, and extrudes the dough. The pasta is delicious, and I am much more likely to make it since it is so much easier.

  13. Langela says:

    Karen, just a reminder that some machines may differ in their use of numbers. Mine go the other direction (1 being thinnest and 7 being thickest). Now I’m so confused. Do I do it from thinnest to thickest? What is the meaning of life? Has my child pooped this week? Last week? Oh dear! I’m a mess. :)

  14. JebberA says:

    Niiiiiiiiice! I didn’t know my kitchenaid could be prostheticalized to become a pasta maker.

    Carbs for the Fella. He’ll need them before ATB. (I’ll be running it too and hope to see him and say “hi”).

  15. Lisa says:

    The problem with a hand crank pasta maker is that it takes THREE hands! One to feed dough, one to catch the dough, and one to crank the machine.

    So I have to invite a friend over, and then we end up eating most of what we make. :-)

  16. Jody says:

    Well that looks easy-peasy. But here’s my question. I have the attachment for my Kitchenaid that I can feed dough through and it comes out different shapes, like rotini or fusilli. Do I just make the regular dough shown in yesterday’s blog and then feed it through? Can’t wait to make the dough and try it. Made your Mom’s meatballs a couple of weeks ago and they were soooo good.

  17. Feral Turtle says:

    Homemade pasta is the best!

  18. Beth says:

    BAM! POW!

    (That’s the inspiration that hit me from the video)

  19. Kate says:

    Amazingly I was ahead of your command to go and search out that pasta maker. I’d found it lurking deep in the dark cupboard the day before while looking for something else, and pulled it out onto the counter to look pretty with the vague idea of using it one day. And then your post which made me laugh a lot because we’re all so predictable here. But serendipitous or what? I’m taking it as a sign and going to make fresh pasta tonight for the first time since, well, I was given it 9 years ago. Thank you.

  20. Amie Mason says:

    And you can dry out homemade pasta too! It lasts about 3 months and is still light and terribly delicious! x

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