For me, homemade pasta was a lot like homemade bread. Initially, I stayed away from it, too scared to attempt something that involved exact measuring, rising, and resting. Much like homemade bread, homemade pasta FAR surpasses the store-bought version. The taste, the texture, and surprising ease of the whole process is amazing. If you have kids or a roommate or partner who loves to cook, this is a great “group effort.”
Choosing Your Pasta Maker
I was lucky enough to get a pasta maker as a wedding gift. I ADORE it and love its simplicity.
This particular pasta maker is inexpensive when compared to others and gets the job done! There are multiple attachments for it–I’ve made spaghetti, fettuccine, and lasagna noodles with mine.
I was lucky enough to have a coworker notice my newfound obsession with homemade pasta and offer me her KitchenAid attachments to test. Y’all…I’m not gonna sugarcoat it. These suckers are anything but cheap. Honestly, if I hadn’t had a loaner, I probably would not buy them. The hand crank version works just as well, it just takes a wee bit longer.
So…pasta dough isn’t NEARLY as scary as bread dough. There’s no yeast and, while there’s rest time, there isn’t a rise time. I have only used the basic dough recipes from the manuals I get with the pasta makers. I branched out today and made a “light wheat” dough, so as not to shock my white flour loving family too much.
Basic egg pasta and light wheat pasta are what’s up! The simplest ingredients. For my hand crank maker, it’s seriously a cup of flour, a bit of salt, an egg, and some water. SO EASY!
One of the ways pasta dough is similar to bread dough is that it needs to rest 2-3 times. Once it’s made, I give it a half hour rest wrapped in plastic wrap.
It should be smooth, but not overly sticky. The half hour rest is the perfect time to get other stuff done. Today, I cut up root vegetables and got them in the oven to roast.
It’s Pasta Time!
With the KitchenAid, this all happened really fast! After the dough rests, you roll it out, gradually making it the desired thickness (or thinness?)
After it’s rolled out, the second rest comes to play. Some people have fancy shmancy pasta drying racks…I have my kitchen.
Cutting the Pasta
Again…super easy both with the hand crank and the KitchenAid attachment! Be sure to dust the noodles with a little flour as you go so they don’t stick. If you’ve rolled out super long sheets, just cut them to the length noodle you want.
I generally let my pasta dry out a bit before boiling. I always make more than we need so I can freeze some! One of the things I like best about making my own pasta is the same thing I like about making anything–I know EXACTLY what is going into it. Yes, you can buy pasta for $0.69 at the store and cook it. I guarantee it will not taste as good as homemade!
If you’re looking to impress with minimal effort, toss a homemade ragu in the crock pot to top it off. While I always like to wow people who come to my house for dinner, sometimes I’m too tired or frazzled to pull out all the stops. This is an easy way to impress–extra points if you can get your guest to help make pasta!