How to Make Homemade Pasta Without a Machine

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Making homemade pasta should definitely be on your culinary bucket list (if it's not there already). Not because it's so difficult that it's something to aspire to, but because it's so satisfying you'll be glad you did it. Creating beautiful chewy noodles made from simple ingredients gives you a feeling of accomplishment that's hard to compete with. The fact that this simple technique hasn't changed much in hundreds of years gives you a feeling of connection with generations of cooks who went before you. It's also inspiring proof that some things are so great, they really don't need to be improved upon.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)
(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Things You'll Need

  • 2 cups flour (see tip below)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • Rolling pin
  • Dough scraper/chopper

Tip

  • You can use all-purpose flour, 00 flour, or 1 cup 00 flour and 1 cup Semolina flour. Play around with flour combos to see what you like best.

Step 1: Stir Together Salt and Flour

On a flat work surface, stir together the flour and salt in a mound.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 2: Make a Well

Make a deep well in the center of the mound, making sure the walls are fairly thick but the well is large enough to hold three eggs.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 3: Add the Eggs

One at a time, crack the eggs into the center of the well.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 4: Stir

Stir the eggs in the center, gradually adding the flour from the walls until all the flour has been moistened.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 5: Form Into a Ball

Pull together the flour and eggs, kneading it into a ball.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 6: Start Kneading

Knead the ball of dough firmly with both hands.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 7: Knead Some More

Continue kneading until the ball is smooth and elastic; this will take about 15 minutes. It's hard to over-knead dough by hand, if you think it needs to be kneaded more, it does. This process creates a nice, chewy pasta instead of what would taste like boiled pie crust.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 8: Form Into a Ball

Once the pasta dough is smooth and elastic, form into a ball

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 9: Rest

Cover the dough and allow it to rest for at least one hour.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 10: Divide

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Cover the pieces you aren't working with to prevent them from drying out.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 11: Roll

One at a time roll the dough pieces into very thin rectangles.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 12: Fold

Fold the dough into a flat roll about two inches wide.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 13: Cut

Cut the pasta into even ribbons, from 1/8-inch to 1/2-inch depending on preference. Stay consistent once you pick a size to insure that your pasta cooks evenly.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 14: Unfurl

Unfurl the pasta into long noodles.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 15: Cook Immediately or Dry

If you plan to cook immediately, move to step 16. If you want to dry for later use, either coil the pasta into loose nests and allow to dry, or hang the pasta over a drying rack, coat hanger, or other bar to dry until very brittle. Remember that no matter how you dry the pasta, this will be the shape it will need to stored in, very long pasta will need a very long storage container. You can place pasta nests into freezer bags and freeze for months.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 16: Cook It

Bring a pot of heavily salted water to boil (you want the water as salty as the sea). Add your fresh or dried pasta, boiling until al dente (this will take longer for dried pasta and only a few minutes for fresh).

(Image: Jackie Dodd)
(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Step 17: Serve

Serve immediately with desired sauce.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

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