Preparing perfect pasta

pasta

Nothing says “comfort” to me like a big plate of pasta with butter, salt, pepper, and a bit of grated Parmesan cheese. Unless it’s pasta with alfredo sauce. Or fresh tomato sauce. Or maybe pasta with fresh spinach and tomatoes, with a few hunks of mozzarella cheese just barely melting on top.

OK, I confess all pasta is comfort food to me and my family. Like most folks, I used to use boxed pasta, and probably overcooked it 90% of the time; but it still tasted good to us.

Several years ago I purchased a pasta machine, and tried my hand at fresh pasta. This was long before I came to King Arthur and my cooking skills were, ummm, still “developing,” if you will. (Ask my husband about the infamous “fried stew beef with honey glaze” incident.)

While I’m sure the fresh pasta recipe wasn’t too complicated, it seemed to take an entire day to make, and I just couldn’t find a way to work it into my schedule. So the machine was banished to the basement as yard sale fodder. I eventually gave it to my daughter, Shannon, to use with polymer clay; and the machine now lives in my studio. For awhile it seemed to mock me each time I went near it, but I refused to listen. Pasta was just too hard to make by hand.

Fast forward to last summer, when I was lucky enough to assist at on of King Arthur’s baking classes on pasta-making. According to the schedule, we would be making pasta in two shapes, with two sauces, all in 4 hours. “At last!” I thought. “Someone is going to show me how to do this right.” So, thank you Rosemary, our wonderful pasta teacher,  for opening my eyes to the ease and joy of fresh pasta.

The recipe for Homemade Pasta with Sage Butter couldn’t be more basic: just flour and eggs. And while having a pasta machine makes the process easier, the whole process can be done by hand in under 2 hours, making this a perfect dish for a winter’s day. Shall we begin, gentle reader?

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I would have to say making pasta in a bowl is the neater way, but I rarely use a bowl. If you choose the bowl method, place the flour in the bowl, and make a “well” in the center.

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If you’re feeling brave, pile your flour on the counter and make a well in the center. Enlarge the well evenly all around. You need a wide enough hole to hold 4 eggs, and thick enough walls to hold it all in. Try to make the walls as even as possible. See where my left wall is too thick?

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Just in case, I like to keep 2 dough scrapers handy, to quickly stem any possible leaks.

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Much better. Even walls means less chance of a fatal breech.
Crack your eggs directly into the well. Scramble them a bit with your fingers or a fork.

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Using the fork or your fingers, begin to draw flour in from the sides of the well, mixing into the eggs. Again, be sure to draw the flour evenly from all sides to avoid wall collapse.

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Soon, your walls will be quite thin and your dough will be thickening in the well. Should the wall break now, just grab your scraper and mix the dough together with the rest of the flour.

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Working quickly, pull larger amounts of flour to the center until a loose, wet dough forms.

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Begin kneading the dough as you would bread dough. It’ll still be wet, but keep on kneading in the flour left on the counter.

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Soon your fingers will be covered with little bits of dough. DON’T wash this off. Pull it off and work it back into the main dough. There’s quite a bit of egg there that you don’t want to lose.

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Continue to fold and knead the dough. You may not use every bit of flour, or you may need a little additional flour. You’re shooting for a medium-firm dough, one that’s not dry or crusty to the touch.

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After about 8 to 10 minutes kneading, you’ll have a smooth, springy dough. It won’t be as supple and elastic as bread dough, but should feel slightly moist to the touch. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

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One VERY important caveat of serving fresh pasta is that it takes just 2 to 3 minutes to cook in boiling water, so your topping/sauce of choice must be ready to go when the pasta is done. Fresh pasta waits for no one! Place 1 stick of butter in a sauté pan, and place over low heat. For the brown butter sage sauce, you’re looking to slowly cook the milk solids in the butter until they turn a rich shade of brown, and develop a lovely, nutty flavor.

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Now, I know y’all are going to ask. But absolutely not, dried sage just won’t work for this recipe. Do go for the fresh sage, it’s worth the effort for the end result. You should be able to find fresh sage in your supermarket, in the produce section.

Pull off several fresh leaves, leaving the stems behind.

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Stacking the leaves as best you can, mince the sage to 1/4” or smaller pieces. Set aside.

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Time to set up the pasta machine. Most simple machines clamp to the countertop with a C-clamp style device.

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After its 30-minute rest, the dough will have hydrated and absorbed all the egg. It should feel smooth, soft, and pliable. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Cover up 3 of the pieces so they don’t dry out and develop a crust as you work with the first piece.

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Using fresh flour on your counter, lightly dip the dough piece, and work it into a rough rectangle. Set the pasta machine to its widest setting.

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The premise of the machine is to stretch and flatten the dough into thin sheets. To begin the process, you want to roll the dough through the widest setting 6 times, folding the piece over onto itself between each roll. (If you’re not using a machine, roll the dough with a rolling pin as you would pie dough. Stop every few minutes and let the gluten relax; the dough will roll into thin sheets more easily)

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See the difference? The pudgy piece of dough on the left is the “before,” the flat piece is after 6 roll/folds.

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Dial the machine to the next setting down. You’ll only roll through this and the successive settings once. Only the first, largest setting gets multiple passes. Continue to roll and dial until you’ve reached the next-to-last smallest setting. This is perfect for wide noodles. The thinnest setting is best for ravioli, etc., which is another blog post altogether.

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Wow! Check out how different the same dough looks now. Once you’ve rolled the pasta into sheets, let those sheets rest and firm up for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will help the pasta pass through the cutting blades evenly. Lightly flouring the sheets will help in the drying process, too.

*Now is a good time to set your pasta water on the stove and bring it to a rolling boil. Use a large stockpot with about 3-4 quarts of water. Remember, you need to check your butter on the stovetop too!

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For this dish, use the wider setting on your pasta machine cutting attachement, most like linguine-sized noodles. This size will hold the sauce and sage bits better than a smaller sized noodle.

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Gently feed the end of one pasta sheet into the blades.

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As you turn the handle, the blades will cut the large sheet into separate noodles. If the pasta is still a little moist, you may need to finish separating the individual noodles by hand, but this is very easy to do.

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TA-DA! A beautiful pile of fresh noodles! Loosely “nest” the bundle and leave it to dry as you cut the rest of the pasta sheets.

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By now, your pasta water should be nearing the boil. Remember, your pasta has no salt added to the dough so you will need to salt the pasta water fairly heavily to season the pasta. I use about 1/2 a palmful, or 1 1/2 tablespoons.  Add the pasta to the water and quickly put together the sauce.

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Your butter should now be a lovely brown color, with bits of solids in the bottom of the pan. Quickly add all of the sage. It will sizzle and pop a bit, but that is normal. Normally, this is when you would call the family to dinner, but the delicious scent of sage will draw them to the kitchen without a word from you!

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The pasta will cook very quickly, 2-3 minutes at most. Carefully test a piece for doneness. You are looking for tenderness, with just a slight bit of toothiness in the very center. This is the famous  al dente or “to the tooth” texture. Drain the pasta well, but do not rinse.

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Check out the close up of the sage butter. Lovely sizzled bits of sage, browned milk solids, and rich buttery flavor.

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To serve the pasta, make a small nest of the pasta and spoon the sage sauce over, being sure to get plenty of the sizzled bits. A side salad of mixed greens is a perfect side to this dish and of course fresh baked bread to mop up any leftover sauce. Buon appetito!

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. cindy leigh

    Nice post!
    I make pasta with my KitchenAid pasta roller/cutter attachments. My basic recipe is 7/8 cup egg whites, Tbsp of EVOO, pinch of salt, and 4 cups flour. I like a blend of KA white whole wheat and the mulitgrain flour. As with almost everything, I add high maize for fiber. From there I add differnt flavors with herbs and seasonings. I’ve had great success with ravioli, too. I never buy store bought pasta any more.
    When mixing the pasta dough in the KA, it tends to be drier than what you have pictured, but becomes very supple as it’s run thru the rollers.
    Fresh sage is great! I like to fry a few whole leaves as garnish.

    Hi Cindy Leigh,
    Wow, it sounds like you are a pasta queen. I am going to be experimenting with the Hi- Maize in the pasta soon so thanks for the heads up. I have the pasta extruder for my Kitchen Aid at home, but not much storage space so it resides in the pantry downstairs. I rarely remember it any more. Time for another yard sale! Thanks for sharing. ~ MaryJane

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  2. Barbara

    I use my bread machine to mix and knead the pasta dough – I’ve made both “regular” pasta with white flour and whole wheat pasta.

    We’re so glad you shared these tips….white flour and whole wheat as well as using the bread machine for processing the dough. This will inspire other pasta makers to expand their horizons! Irene at KAF

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  3. Erin

    Wow – I just made some homemade marinara sauce for dinner – this might be my afternoon project! What if you have no pasta machine or KA attachment? What shape would you recommend?
    Hi Erin,
    If you are rolling the pasta by hand, you can cut any shape you like. If you have a pizza wheel and a long ruler, you can cut 1/2″ wide strips, and make them as long or short as you like. I like 3″ wide or so for lasagna noodles, but you can play around as see what size(s) you like best. Enjoy! ~ MaryJane

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  4. chumpman

    i love homemade pastas! its so interesting to watch you made the fresh pasta. i got to show my girlfriend this! she would love trying this! and i get to eat it after LOL
    Just remember at my house the person who doesn’t cook has to do dishes! ~ MaryJane

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  5. Mdlrvrmuncher

    Cindy Leigh-Thanks for the info. I too use my Kitchen Aid attachment and it is a dream. I have begun to watch my cholesterol. You wrote 7/8 cup of egg whites. Any particular brand? Also I have taken pasta making classes and it seems my Cuisinart does just as well as by hand. Obviously, I knead the dough by hand.

    I make this sauce often and sage rocks!

    Thanks for the savory post.

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  6. Bridgett

    Thanks for a fab tutorial! I was recently at a street fair where a crew made chicken and noodle soup and made the noodles from scratch onsite (in December in Ohio!). Watching them make them on the street in their little booth told me that I have no reason not to try to make fresh pasta. Your sauce sounds divine as well – something great for Fridays during Lent!

    Hi Bridgett,
    That must have been a great experience seeing pasta made right before your eyes. I hadn’t thought about the dish as vegetarian, but it certainly could be. Hope you jump in with both feet and pasta the time away! ~ MaryJane

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  7. cindy leigh

    Muncher, I use just pain old egg whites. You could use Egg Beaters, I’m sure. Or the higher end eggs that proclaim to have more omega 3.
    Sometimes I add ground flax seed. It does not really alter the taste or texture.
    I follow the directions in the KA recipe book that came with the pasta roller set. It makes a very dry crumbly dough, but don’t worry, if it’s wetter, it shreds in the rollers. After machine mixing, let it sit, then knead by hand briefly, then let sit again a bit. I find that it takes only 2 minutes to cook once you drop it in the boiling water.
    I have the extruder too, but I like the rollers better.The Kitchen Aid web site has a “discussions” BB which has great advice.
    The two “anchors” of my “do everything from scratch” kitchen are both “KA”: King Arthur and KitchenAid. Love them both, and not surprisingly, both have the absolute best customer service and outreach.

    Thanks for the great follow up. (you’re makin’ us blush! ) MJR

    Reply
  8. Emilie

    I too took a pasta class (at a local store) a few years ago and it made a world of difference as far as my confidence and ease in making it. But I have to say—after trying the KA Pasta Blend about a year ago, I have no desire to ever go back to a typical recipe with AP flour, etc. I make it in my food processor and it is SO easy and SO good. In fact I just got 2 bags in an order this week — I make pasta often and make sure I never to run out!

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  9. Glenn

    Great post! I’ve made homemade pasta for years. One of the simplest — an most rewarding — things to do (aside from baking!).

    I too used the clamp-on pasta machine until we moved to a place whose rounded counter-top edge wouldn’t accomodate it. Sold that hand-cranked machine and moved up to the KA roller — not extruder — attachment. What a breeze! It does not take up additional countertop space (which is a premium around here); the mixer does the work. That frees up both hands.

    Letting that dough rest to properly hydrate is crucial. My wife and daughter will hardly eat anything other than homemade pasta.

    In the middle of a busy baking season, I make it up ahead of time, let it dry and then store it. I still have homemade pasta that way, any time we want it.

    I agree with the previous post: you can’t beat the two KA’s: King Arthur Flour and a heavy-duty KitchenAid standing mixer.

    Thanks for sharing Glenn. Sounds like I may have to look into the KA roller attachment. Maybe after the new carpeting I need, and the garage, and the hot tub that are on my wish list too. :) ~ MaryJane

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  10. Rachel

    Just as a safety heads-up, a pasta machine that has been used for polymer clay should not be used for food.

    Thanks for the reminder Rachel. I should have stated that I purchased a new pasta machine for the kitchen. The old one stays in the studio. ~ MaryJane

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  11. Beth

    Oh my – I think I would get several marriage proposals (and I’m already married) if I learned to make pasta by hand. I’m kind of interested in knowing how to use the food processor to make pasta. Do you just keep “pulsing” the machine until the eggs and flour come together? It’s been a long time since I’ve tried making pasta by hand. Mary Jane, thank you for the great instructions and accompanying photos.

    Hi Beth,
    I wish I could give you first hand knowledge of making pasta dough in a food processor, but I don’t own one. I would think it would be quite similar to making bread dough in the processor. Can anyone offer help here? ~ MaryJane

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  12. Bob

    Wonderful post. I’ve never tried making pasta, but I’ve always been curious.

    I *do* wonder where you can get one of those curved plastic bowl scrapers, though. Been looking everywhere and no can find. I’ve been rubbing the inside of my bowls with dry flour to clean them after making bread, and a nice curved scraper would be such a handy thing!

    Hi Bob,
    The white scrapers have been for sale before in the past through the catalog, and are a popular customer request. I hope we will be carrying them again soon. If you take a class here in Vermont, you get a free scraper, so come on over! ~MaryJane

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  13. A J

    Oh, boy…does this bring back memories! Home made IS
    waaaay better! I’ve a question…is the pasta machine
    you used the same as what’s in your catalog?

    Yes, item 4299. Frank from KAF.

    Reply
  14. Trina

    I’ve made pasta on and off over the years but only recently attempted ravioli. My partner was very impressed with it the first night and was quite upset that I took the last of the leftovers the next day for lunch. I had made a wild mushroom cream sauce with spinach and ricotta cheese ravioli’s. YUMMMM. However, I do have a question about adding sundried tomatos or spinach to the pasta itself in order to make variations. How much, when to add, etc. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Our 200th Anniversary Cookbook has a recipe for Spinach Pasta where 2 rounded Tablespoons of cooked spinach (or frozen) can be added. It should be drained and minced. This for a recipe that has 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 egg. That cookbook also has a tomato variation. Add tomato paste to the pasta to get a tomato variation (2 rounded tablespoons per 1 1/2 Cup flour and 1 egg recipe). Irene at KAF

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  15. Emilie

    Beth, no doubt the KAF folks have the greatest expertise on all of this, but for what it’s worth, when I use the food processor, I just dump in the eggs and water together after measuring the Pasta Blend into the bowl. Then I process continuously until the dough forms into a ball and starts to bang against the side of the workbowl. Usually just takes a few seconds. If it doesn’t come together, I add a little more water. Then I take it out and wrap it in plastic for it to rest for 30 minutes.

    Thanks for helping out Emilie. This is one kitchen tool I just don’t own! ~MaryJane

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  16. Monique

    When you don’t have time to make your own pasta, try the brand in the clear bag with the oval label and black checkerboard tape at top. Al Dente Pasta cooks in just 3 minutes and tastes exactly like fresh, homemade. They roll it out rather than extrude it which gives the great texture. If not available in your local store, http://www.aldentepasta.com.

    Thanks for this tip for those who seek the fresh pasta but are fresh out of time! Irene at KAF

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  17. Nancy

    The Williams- Sonoma website also has a great tutorial on making fresh pasta. It is linked to the pasta machine they sell. It is a video, and helped me a lot.
    Thanks for sharing Nancy, we hope to offer video on our site someday soon. Glad to hear W-S helped you out. ~ MaryJane

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  18. Mike_J

    I’ve been making a homemade pasta for a few months now, and I love it. For what it’s worth here are a couple tricks and techniques I’ve figured out.

    I typically use 50/50 blend of semolina and AP.

    If your pasta machine tends to slip and slide while using it, put a damp paper towel underneath, and it will stay rock steady.

    Semolina tends to make a really firm dough. My understanding is that Italian housewives making dough out of it used to use their feet to do the kneading. That’s why I don’t use anything more than a 50% blend. Even then I have managed, by passing the dough through my pasta machine too many times, to end up with a dough that was too stiff to crank through the machine. These days I only pass the dough through the widest setting 3-4 times. Each time I fold it in thirds, like a billfold, and rotate 90 degrees for the next pass. With a little practice you can feel when the dough is smooth and elastic enough.

    A good rule of thumb if you want to scale your pasta recipe up or down is to use 100 grams of flour per egg. A three egg recipe gives about 1lb of pasta when done.

    Mike, Thanks for the fountain of information. I don’t often have trouble with the slipping, but it is a great hint.
    I agree with you about the semolina/durum flour. Too much, and the dough is very tight. ~MaryJane

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  19. DG Allen

    Thanks for the post.

    I’m wondering what you think of using some water instead of so many eggs. I made pasta along with a B&B owner in Florence, Italy and when I told her I made pasta with only eggs, she looked at me like I had three heads. When I use only eggs, my dough tends to be so stiff I can barely knead it. What’s the conventional wisdom on water?

    Also, GET the KA roller attachement! It’s so much easier than the hand crank. You can feed the dough with one hand while catching it with the other. And, it’s about 3 times faster.

    Thanks to KAF!
    DG Allen

    Hi DG,
    I haven’t run across any pasta recipes using water instead of the eggs yet. I have seen egg replacers, like Egg Beaters in low-fat pasta recipes, but not just water. A quick search on the net did bring up vegan recipes using water and olive oil for the eggs, so that may be a place for you to start your research. ~ MaryJane

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  20. chris b

    I make mine in the KA mixer, the pasta dies for the grinder attachment fo the KA, or my automatic Lello pasta machine(makes 3# at a time and lets me freeze it) depending on which shape I want to make. If you are really serious about wanting it to be easier and faster get a motor for your handcrank. It makes it twice as fast and no more sore shoulders. I have the pasta roller attachement for the KA but think the machine works better. The rollers allow a much winder piece to be done at once and the motor is cheaper than the KA attachment. What can I say I’m a kitchen gadget addict? ;)

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  21. chris b

    Also I’ve been making pasta for over 20 years and make mine mostly from semolina. The only time I cu it is for the automatic Lello because it can’t handle the extra heavy dough. I also use a few tablespoons of Olive oil and water as well as the eggs and salt. A good book for pasta making is “The Pasta Machine Cookbook” by Donna Rathmell German.

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  22. maria

    This was the first time I’ve ever made fresh pasta. I figured, how could I go wrong with only four ingredients. It turned out beautifully and the sage butter is exquisite. The only recommendation I would make is to make sure you have a pasta roller. I don’t have one but was ambitious and hand rolled the dough. Thankfully the pasta turned out amazing….but never again will I attempt this without a pasta roller.

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  23. Robin

    I made pasta dough using the kithcen aid stand mixer and dough hook. The dough hook makes the well for you. Once the dough came together in a loose ball, I dumped it onto a floured board and kneaded it until it was smooth and satiny. I rolled it out by hand, finding that it is great exercise. I made ravioli using ravioli roller and pastry cutter. I used 1 1/2 cup all purpose KA and 1/2 cup semolina. I look forward to teaching this method to my 4-H group.

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  24. Gert Martel

    I make my own pasta frequently and it takes so little time when you get use to it. I also have a KA pasta roller–it’s great. I did purchse the KA ravioli attachment but haven’t quite mastered it yet. I must bring it out and try it again. Has anyone used the ravioli maker and would have some hints. I enjoy the blog and look forward to new recipes and techniques. I’m going to email this one along to my son and daughter-in-law in Randolph, VT.

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  25. Brenda

    Great article. I’ve made pasta with my pasta machine before which has turned out pretty well to my surprise. It’s very easy. Is there a machine or hand device that makes macaroni noodles? I own a kitchen-aid machine – do they sell a macaroni attachment?
    Hi Brenda,
    Kitchen Aid does make an attachment with different dies for extruding different shapes. I’ll bet they have pictures and descriptions on their website. ~ MaryJane

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  26. Kathie

    For Trina, or anyone else who wants to add vegetables to pasta dough:

    I make 50/50 semolina/AP flour pasta, use 1 tbl olive oil and a little salt, two eggs, and two teaspoons water. To make vegetable pastas, I use 1/4 cup of pureed or finely chopped veggies and leave out the water. I’ve made it with roasted red peppers, spinach, butternut squash, olives, beets, etc. Makes pretty colour combinations, too!

    I’m also experimenting with a powder made from grape pomace – the leftovers when grapes are pressed for winemaking. It adds iron, fibre, and a load of healthful antioxidants, and the pasta is purple!
    Wow Kathie,
    Purple pasta pleases the palate, and pretty presentation is a plus! Thanks for sharing. ~ MaryJane

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  27. janetkc83

    I too had a hand crank pasta machine, used it once or twice and gave up. Too much work. My daughter now uses it for her clay projects. Last year a friend gave me the Kitchen Aid attachments. About 9 months later I made the recipe on the back of the KAF Pasta Flour bag and used the KA attachments and what a revelation. Wonderful pasta with a simple cream, butter, basil and parm. cheese sauce. We were in heaven. Now I make the homemade pasta every few weeks. I did have a “Lucy” moment. As I fed the pasta sheet through the automatic rollers, the attachment got loose and started to turn which in turn had the pasta sheet going around the outside of the attachment. I screamed and my husband came running. We had both had a good laugh.
    Oh, too funny! Like running the blender with the lid off. Thanks for posting! ~ MaryJane

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  28. Deb

    Beth,
    pasta in the food processor is real easy. Just pulse it until you form a ball. At that point it is likely to set you machine off kilter so finish kneading by hand, and be sure to let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before you roll it. I use a pasta machine to toll and cut, but I have my grandmothers 3 foot long rolling pin and have a “sound memory” of her rolling out big sheets of dough when I was little and it was my job to spread the past out on sheets to dry!! Oh how fast she could hand cut her dough!! Her dough was wonderfully dry and pliant and she would roll it up around the rolling pin then slide the pin out and slice whatever size she wanted for the next day or two.
    I too use KA whole wheat white as my base because I want more fiber.

    Thanks Deb for adding your knowledge, and your special pasta story. ~ MaryJane

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  29. patty

    I find it is easier to start mixing on a board with a fork while cupping your other hand to hold the flour walls in place as you start mixing the flour into the eggs. That way you can move your hand around the outside edge and redistribute the flour to help avoid a dam break as you mix.

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  30. esgabel

    Every year my husband and I have Ravioli Day–we make between 300 and 350 ravioli. My grandparents came from Tuscany/Umbria so the filling I use is ground beef, ground pork, chopped spinach, parmesan cheese a bit of garlic, salt an egg or two and plenty of nutmeg. After many years of doing the pasta by hand I make the pasta in my food processor–1/2 AP flour, 1/2 semolina, salt, oil eggs and water — which makes a sturdy dough that can be rolled thin enough to encase the filling without being thick and heavy. I also use the Kitchen Aid Mixer pasta roller attachment. We cut the long sheets into circles of pasta, fill them with a teaspoon of filling and close with water around the edges crimping the half moons with the tines of a fork. We let them dry on both sides for a few hours on tables with newspaper covered by cotten table cloths…then we layer the ravioli with waxed paper sheets in covered containers and freeze. And just take out a few at a time and put in bolling salted water to cook for approximately 10 minutes drain and cover with homemade Bolognese Sauce.

    I feel like I am so lucky to have so many baking friends sharing their stories and recipes. We are so lucky to have you all! ~ MaryJane

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  31. Great-grandma B

    I have used the pasta machine (Atlas with an added motor) for making Polish Angel Wings (Chrusciki, sorry about the missing diacritical on the “s”). I cut the long ribbon (#5 setting) of dough about 2 inches wide and at about a 45 degree angle to the long side. Cutting at an angle gives the pastry nice pointed ends as opposed to blunt, square ends. Sure beats hand rolling the dough and having a variety of thicknesses. The Mexican salpopitas (Sp?) are similar but of a different shape.

    Great-grandma B

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  32. Sharon

    We’ve been gradually starting to make things from scratch; we’re now doing bread and tortillas. Pasta was the next thing I wanted to try, so I’m planning on buying the KA pasta machine. I have a Bosch mixer and will try to make a larger batch so I can freeze some. Several people mentioned they freeze their pasta. Do you cook it first and then freeze or before/after it rests? Thanks.
    Hi Sharon,
    I don’t freeze my pasta, personally, but you would want to freeze it prior to cooking. When you do go to cook it, there is no need to thaw it, just put it into the boiling water as is and cook for a slightly longer time. Anyone else have hints or tips??
    ~ MaryJane

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  33. Lee

    For those wanting to use a whole grain flour for pasta I have discovered that Kamut makes the best tasting pasta of all, even better than whole durum wheat. I use a grain mill to mill the Kamut berries to get it fresh.

    Also want to say that sage butter recipe works great on spaetzle (is that how you spell it?) which is even easier to make than rolled pasta.

    When I freeze pasta I let it dry slightly and then just weigh it out into enough for our family of four and put it into heavy duty freezer bags. When you are ready to use it you don’t have to thaw it, just dump it into the boiling salted water as is like MaryJane said.

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  34. zorra

    @Sharon
    You can freeze your pasta without any problem before cooking. If you want to freeze Tagliatelle make nests and put on flat pan that will fit in your freezer. There should be just one layer so they can quickly flash freeze. Place the pasta on the pan in the freezer overnight. They will freeze individually and will not stick together when you place them in a bag for storage.

    Regarding cooking time it’s like MaryJane said – it’s just slightly longer.

    Reply
  35. Sue

    I figured when I bought my Imperia hand-cranked pasta roller 20 years ago that I’d either make pasta frequently or the machine would migrate to the back of the cupboard within three months, never to be seen again. I’m pleased to report that I’m still making pasta, with the same Imperia roller. BUT–I’ve always made and kneaded the dough in my KitchenAid mixer, and I’ve always used 100% semolina flour. I use the paddle attachment for the mixer to combine the flour/eggs/salt, then switch to the dough hook. THe pasta dough forms a ball that gets chased around the bowl like a tennis ball by the hook, occasionally getting caught and pressed against the side of the bowl. In 5-7 minutes, it’s kneaded and ready to rest. The final kneading is done by passing the dough through the rollers at widest setting several times.

    Reply
  36. Jim

    I’ve also tried adding a bit of cake flour, I dont know if that was mentioned above. I always add a bit of olive oil as well. When cooking large amounts of pasta (for 5 or more) I try to cut up my batches so I can get the right proportion of flour to egg. The only way I found to be 100% accurate is to weigh the flour but not every one has kitchen scales. More so I usually go a bit on the underside of flour and then add more as I work the dough.

    Thanks for mentioning letting the dough rest! So many recipes do not call for this very important step.

    I would also suggest investing in a proper pasta hanger / dryer if you make pasta a lot. Order online as most cooking stores dont have them.

    Also, make sure the water is super boiling… and use a lot of water as well. In my opinion there is never too much water when cooking pasta. I heard once that when the water starts to boil again thats a good begginers guideline for the pasta being done.

    My funniest pasta making story was when making homemade pasta for 50 people. I was running the kitchenaid so fast that I started feeding the pasta into the machine before the end had gone through the rollers. So essentially I made a circular endless loop of dough.

    Most important, practice, practice, practice. When you get really good you can whiz out pasta in no time.
    Thanks for all the hints Jim. It always help to hear from someone who has been there! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  37. pastamaniac

    What an excellent tutorial. Great pics, too, btw. We make pasta in bulk and dry it to preserve it for later. Frozen is good, and fresh is better. But with drying you can preserve for longer for less!

    I salute PJ for the wonderful photography as well as MJ for answering my questions about blogging. What a nurturing and supportive work place! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  38. jannylou50

    I want to make my pasta one day and cook it the next. You don’t mention drying it. Is it recommended or should I just keep it refrigerated?
    You can use either method. It will cook faster if it is refrigerated as opposed to dried. ~Amy

    Reply
  39. madeline

    If I make ravioli the night before and refrigerate for a party the next day will the filling be warm if it goes straight from the refrigerator to boiling water?

    Reply
  40. Tom

    Would there be any issues with allowing the dough to rest for longer than 30 mins.? I would like to put the dough together in the morning but not roll or cut until a few hour later. Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      That would be perfectly fine. You can put the dough in the fridge, but bring it to room temperature before rolling and cutting. ~ MJ

  41. Eileen Hagen

    We have a dinner party every mid-January, sit down, for about 20 people. We start off with lasagne. This year, I’d like to make my own lasagne noodles. Would this recipe work? I have the pasta machine. At what point do I stop passing the pasta through the machine and then can I freeze the noodles? With all I have to do, I want to make them ahead of time. I’m thinking I wouldn’t have to pre-cook the noodles, just defrost them. Any helpful hints gratefully accepted!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You should be able to freeze your noodles by lightly flouring them and and laying them out in the freezer on sheet pans. Once they have frozen, you could pack them in plastic without fear of them sticking to one another. ~Jaydl@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You certainly may use some semolina in place of the AP flour. I would not substitute more than half of the AP with semolina. You may want to add an egg or some olive oil for the right consistency. Elisabeth@KAF

  42. Susanne

    Hi! I’m a wanna-be newbie and have read your posts with great interest. What a wealth of expetiese and knowledge you all have!

    I have a few questions…
    1. I have some physical challenges that are getting more challenging… as a result I need to avoid repetitive hand/arm movements (like chopping, slicing, stirring, kneading…. you get the gist?!).. can I realistically make fresh pasta using either KA extruder or roller/cutter without wiping out my arms? Can I knead it entirely either in the KA or in my foodprocesser?

    2. I want to be able to make high protein/lower glycemic index pasta for my daughter who has very high triglycerides and doesn’t like most “traditional” protein sources. Also has autism and some of associate “gut” issues. I have read in some posts that you have to have the pasta very dry/stiff for extruder, follow recipe closely, use only specific flours, etc. Has anyone had any experience or any thoughts about using the KA extruder with these alternative types of dough?

    I appreciate your input!!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      HI Susanne,
      You can absolutely make pasta dough from scratch in the Kitchen Aid, or in a food processor. Most processor manuals will have recommendations for which blades to use and how long to process. I typically use my plastic blade and pulse until I have a firm but moist dough.
      You definitely do need the dough to be firm to use any extruder or rolling attachment. It takes a bit of experimenting to get just the right consistency but I think it could still be within range for you.
      Hope this helps!
      ~ MJ

  43. Kevin

    I plan to use this recipe for ravioli. Can I make it the day before and freeze it uncooked overnight? Lots of people coming over and making as much as I need after work is not going to be possible.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Absolutely, Kevin. I don’t even think you need to freeze it; it should be fine overnight in the fridge, well wrapped. Enjoy! PJH

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