Instant Expert: How To Make Fresh Pasta

Making fresh pasta may seem hard, but once you see how easy it is to make silky, soft, homemade pasta you won't go back to the box. Using the fresh egg pasta dough, we'll show you how you can flavor, roll, shape and cut your own pasta. You'll be an instant expert!
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Making fresh pasta may seem hard, but once you see how easy it is to make silky, soft, homemade pasta you won't go back to the box. Using the fresh egg pasta dough, we'll show you how you can flavor, roll, shape and cut your own pasta. You'll be an instant expert!

Fresh Egg Pasta Dough

Just two ingredients -- flour and eggs --- and you're on your way. Once you're hooked (and you will be!), get creative and try different pasta flavors.

What you'll need:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Pasta Machine

How To Make Fresh Pasta

Step 1

Mound the flour on a work surface; make a well in the center.

Step 1: Mound the Flour

Step 2

Crack the eggs into the well.

Step 2: Crack the eggs

Step 3

Beat with a fork and gradually mix the eggs into the flour.

Step 3: Beat with a fork

Step 4

Using a bench scraper, mix in the last of the flour until the dough comes together.

Step 4: Using a bench scraper

Step 5

Scrape the surface clean and dust with flour. Knead the dough, dusting with flour, until firm and smooth, about 8 minutes. Shape into a ball.

Step 5: Scrape the surface

Step 6

Quarter the dough and shape into 4 disks. Place the disks on the lightly floured board; cover with a kitchen towel.

Step 6: Quarter the Dough

Step 7

Flatten 1 dough piece and lightly dust with flour, brushing off excess.

Step 6: Flatten 1 dough piece

Step 8

Set a pasta machine to the widest setting; run the dough through.

Step 8: Set a pasta machine

Step 9

Fold the dough into thirds like a letter.

Step 9: Fold the dough

Step 10

Then run it through again, short end first. Run it through 2 more times, dusting with flour if it seems sticky. Return the dough sheet to the board, cover with a towel and repeat with the remaining 3 dough disks. (Keep any dough you're not working with covered with a towel.)

Step 10: Run it through again

Step 11

Roll all the dough sheets through the machine again 5 or 6 more times (machines vary), adjusting the machine to the next setting each time.

Step 11: Run all the dough sheets

Step 12

If the sheets become too long to handle, halve crosswise and proceed. When you see your hand through the pasta sheet, it's thin enough to cut.) Cut the dough sheets into your desired shapes.

Up Next: Get creative with 4 ideas for flavoring your pasta!

Step 13: Halve crosswise

Get Creative and Flavor It

Now that you know the basic fresh egg pasta dough, get creative and give your pasta a whole new personality with these easy mix-ins.

Flavor It

Whole Wheat Pasta

Replace 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour and make the dough as directed.

Whole Wheat

Beet Pasta

Rub 1 small (5-ounce) beet with EVOO, wrap in foil and roast in a 425 degree oven until tender, about 1 hour; peel. Finely chop the beet in a food processor.

Mix in 2 whole eggs and 1 egg white. Make the dough using the beet-egg mixture in place of the whole eggs.

Beet Pasta

Spinach Pasta

In a large pot with 2 inches of water, with 4 oz. stemmed baby spinach. Drain, rinse with cold water, then squeeze out any liquid. Transfer the spinach to a kitchen towel and twist to wring out the remaining moisture. Chop the spinach.

In a food processor, mix the spinach and 3 eggs. In Step 1, mound 2 cups flour; add the spinach mixture to the well. Make the dough as directed.

Spinach Pasta

Tomato Pasta

In Step 1, mound 2 cups flour; add 2 tbsp. tomato paste and 3 eggs to the well. Continue making the dough as directed.

Up Next: Shape it! 5 different ways to shape your pasta from skinny to wide.

Tomato Pasta

Get Creative and Shape It

From skinny strips to stuffed pasta pockets, we've got just five shapes for you!

Shape It


How To Make Tortelloni:
Using a 3 1/2-inch round cutter, cut rounds out of the dough sheets. Spoon about 1/2 tbsp. filling of your choice into the center of each round. Moisten edges with water. Gently fold in half, pinching with your fingers to seal. Dab a bit of water on 1 point, then overlap the 2 points, pinching to seal.

Fun Fact: Tortelloni is Tortellini's big brother!



How To Make Wide Noodles:
Hold 1 pasta sheet perpendicular to the cutting board. Gently drape about 4 inches of the sheet flat on the board, then drape the sheet back and forth onto itself in a zigzag pattern. Using a knife, square off the edges, then cut the pasta crosswise into 1-inch-wide slices.



How To Make Thin Strands:
Replace the pasta- roller attachment with the pasta-cutting attachment on your pasta machine. Slowly feed the pasta sheet through to make strips about 3/8-inch wide.



How To Make Stuffed Squares:
Spoon 4 to 5 tbsp.-size mounds of filling down 1 pasta sheet, leaving 1 inch between each mound. Moisten the pasta between the mounds and along the dough edges with water.

Top with another pasta sheet. Gently press between the mounds, working outward from the center, and press the edges to seal. (Press close to the mounds to avoid air bubbles.) Using a pastry cutter or knife, square off the edges of each rectangle, then cut crosswise.



How To Make Free-Form Cuts:
Using a pastry cutter or knife, square off the edges of each pasta sheet, then halve it lengthwise. Cut the pasta crosswise to form irregular rectangles.

Up next: 5 Fabulous Fresh Pasta Recipes to make at home!


Beet Tagliatelle with Walnuts

Serve tagliatelle with creamy, cheesy or buttery sauces. Thick, chunky toppers can overwhelm the slim, tender noodles.

Beet Tagliatelle with Walnuts

Get the recipe >>

Spinach Tortelloni with Cream

The tortelloni in this Three-Cheese Spinach Tortelloni With Tomato-Garlic Cream is about twice the size of tortellini, making it easier to fill and shape.

Three-Cheese Spinach Tortelloni with Tomato-Garlic Cream

Get the recipe >>

Tomato Pappardelle

For a heartier dish, mix in some browned Italian sausage into this Tomato Pappardelle with Pesto & Parm recipe.

Tomato Pappardelle with Pesto & Parm

Get the recipe >>

Whole Wheat Maltagliati

This pasta got its name ("badly cut" in Italian) because it's made from dough scraps. For even cooking, we sliced the pasta in this Whole Wheat Maltagliati with Mushrooms & Chives dish a little more precisely.

Whole Wheat Maltagliati with Mushrooms & Chives

Get the recipe >>

Butternut Squash Ravioli

To deepen the flavor of the sauce, we browned the butter before stirring in the herbs in this Butternut Squash Ravioli with Rosemary-Sage Butter.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Rosemary-Sage Butter

Get the recipe >>

Get Cooking!

EveryDay with Rachael Ray September 2012

Find more recipes from our Italian issue here!