I mentioned a while back that I finally treated myself to the KitchenAid Pasta Roller Attachment for my stand mixer. I have been having so much fun playing with it and I’ve learned a ton about how to make great homemade pasta. I’m not a pasta “expert” by any means but am offering up my experience as a beginner that might help shorten the learning curve for others.
I’ve played with a number of basic pasta recipes but have settled on the one below as my favourite. I like to add a bit of semolina, as I think it adds nice flavour to the pasta. The combination of all-purpose and cake flour is my attempt to duplicate 00 flour that is traditional in Italy. I’ve also detailed some tips and tricks that might be helpful for anyone new to making pasta at home.
Summary: Makes 2 large dinner-sized servings or 4 appetizer servings. Increase or double as required.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (I use Robin Hood unbleached all-purpose)
- 1 cup cake and pastry flour (I use Monarch Cake and Pastry flour)
- 1/4 cup semolina
- 3 large eggs
- Combine the flours and the semolina in a bowl thoroughly. Dump onto a work surface and make a well in the centre for the eggs. Break the 3 eggs into the well. With a fork, start swirling the eggs, beating them and gradually adding a bit of the flour from the side with every turn, a bit at a time. Keep doing this until it is too difficult to work with a fork any longer.
- Get your hands in there and start pressing flour into the dough until it no longer feels wet. Move any excess flour to the side, away from your dough. Start kneading your dough by pressing into it with both palms and pushing it away from you at the same time. Add more flour as necessary to make a smooth dough that is not crumbly or not sticky but do not feel the need to use all of the flour. There may be excess. Continue kneading, rotating dough 1/4 turn after each press. Knead for about 5 – 8 minutes or until dough feels smooth. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. If you’re making ahead, place in the refrigerator after 30 minutes and refrigerate for no longer than a couple of hours. (I find that dough that has been refrigerated for a period handles much better with less need for added flour when rolling).Remove from fridge 15 minutes before rolling (keep covered with plastic wrap).
- When ready to roll, cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Remove 1 piece and re-cover the others with the plastic wrap. Work through pasta roller as per the pasta roller instructions. I like to roll to setting 5 for fettuccine and setting 6 for linguine.
- Place rolled piece on a lightly floured surface and dust top side with a bit of flour as well. Repeat with remaining 3 pieces of dough.
- Starting with the rolled pasta that has been airing the longest, pass dough through pasta cutter and place pasta on a drying rack. (Pasta sheets should dry for about 15 minutes before cutting. If the last sheets rolled haven’t been sitting for 15 minutes, take a break from cutting for a few minutes to allow then to dry out a bit). Don’t allow cut pasta to dry/hang longer than about 15-20 minutes (unless you are drying completely for later use, in which case you should form into nests after 15-20 minutes to further dry). If you want to freeze the pasta, let it hang for 15 minutes and then form into nests on a lightly floured baking sheet and place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or until hardened. Remove nests from baking sheet and place in plastic freezer bags. Use within 30 days for best results.
- To cook fresh pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a full rolling boil. Generously salt water. Grab all your pasta at once and quickly throw all into the boiling water. Quickly cover with lid (so that it returns to the boil more quickly). Once water returns to the full boil (takes about a minute), cook for only about 45 seconds to 1 minute more. (Frozen pasta should not be thawed. Simply add frozen to boiling water and cook a bit longer). Watch carefully and taste test to check on done-ness. Do not over-boil. Drain pasta toss with sauce and enjoy!
homemade pasta tips and tricks
- • I don’t add salt to the pasta as I like to generously salt the cooking water and found the end result too salty if I salted both.
- • A light dusting of flour on pasta sheets before rolling and cutting helps keep it from sticking and keeps strands separated. Avoid clumps of flour though. I like to sprinkle flour over and then lightly brushing off with a pastry brush.
- • I over-cooked the first few batches of pasta I made. It takes a remarkably short time for homemade pasta to cook! Have your sauce ready to go before you add the homemade pasta to the water!
- • Homemade pasta seems to soak up a lot of the liquid from a pasta sauce, so make your sauces more on the watery side. I like to reserve an extra cup of the pasta cooking liquid before draining in case I need to add it to loosen up the sauce after tossing.
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 5 min | Total time: 50 min
Number of servings (yield): 2