I have been on a delectable journey of learning to cook from scratch. I just can’t believe how much better everything tastes. Homemade breads, perogies, jams, pickles, doughnuts and cheeses are full of flavors and texture. I wanted to try to make pasta from scratch, but I didn’t have a machine. Then, a couple of days ago, I was watching a reality TV show (yes, I watch the Housewives series on Bravo) and I saw them hand rolling pasta while on a trip to Italy. So, I thought I’d give it a try and I wasn’t disappointed. My Italian husband actually told me this was the BEST pasta he’d ever eaten.
It was a lot easier than I thought, but the rolling takes a little time so be patient. Think of it as “cooking with love”.
First go to the store and buy some semolina flour. You can use regular AP flour if you like, but traditionally pasta is made with semolina.
Mix two cups of semolina flour with a 1/4 tsp of salt. Adding the salt is optional. You can boil the pasta in salted water instead if you prefer (or do both!)
Dump the flour/salt mixture onto your counter in a mound. Create a well in the center.
Into the center put 3 eggs and 2 tbsp. of water.
Using a whisk, beat the eggs and water together and then slowly incorporate the flour from the edges of the well with each whisk. Continue until the dough becomes too thick for the whisk and then use your clean hands to finish mixing the dough together.
Now, eggs are all different sizes so you may need to add a little more flour or water as you start to knead. The dough should hold together, but not be sticky.
Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. It will be quite stiff to start and soften up as you knead. It should become smooth and shiny.
Once the dough is well kneaded, form it into a ball and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Wait 45 minutes to allow the dough to rest. DO NOT SKIP this step. The dough will be too difficult to roll out.
After 45 minutes the dough should be soft and appear more hydrated. Divide it into 4 sections. Wrap three sections back up in the plastic wrap until ready to roll.
Take the first dough section and flatten it into a disc on a heavily floured surface.
Roll the dough into a rectangle as thin as you can. This takes some time and a little bit of “elbow grease”.
Once done, dust the dough lightly with flour and roll from the top like a jelly roll.
Cut the ends off the roll and then slice into rounds to your desired noodle width (I cut them just under 1/4 inch).
Carefully unroll the rounds into a bowl and sprinkle with flour to prevent the noodles from sticking together.
Repeat with the remaining 3 sections.
Boil for 2-4 minutes in salted boiling water and serve with your favorite sauce.
The noodles will be so much more tender than store bought ones.
PS – I made a delicious sauce using a large jar of marinara sauce, 1 chopped onion, sliced black olives, sliced mushrooms, parmesan cheese and sausage meat. Fry the onion and then add the meat. Cook until meat browned all the way through. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Add the marinara sauce, olives and cheese and simmer until ready to serve (I also sometimes add 1/2 can of garbanzo beans).
- 2 cups semolina flour
- 1/4 tsp sea salt optional
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tbsp water
Mix together the flour and salt (salt is optional - traditionally the pasta is not salted and boiled only in salted water).
Pour flour salt mixture onto your counter in a mound
Create a well in the center
Put the eggs and water into the well
Using a whisk, beat the eggs and water together and then slowly incorporate the flour with each turn until the dough becomes too stiff. Then finish incorporating the flour into the dough with your clean hands
Knead for ten minutes. Add a little water or flour as necessary. The dough should hold together, but not be sticky. The dough will start out stiff and soften as you continue kneading. It will become smooth and shiny after 10 minutes of kneading.
Form the dough into a ball and tightly wrap in plastic wrap. Wait 45 minutes to allow the dough to rest and hydrate.
Divide the dough into four sections. Keep three sections in the plastic wrap until ready to use to prevent a crust from forming.
On a floured surface flatten the dough into a disc. Roll out as thin as you can into a rectangle. This takes a bit of time and elbow grease. Be patient.
Dust the dough with flour and roll from the top down like a jelly roll.
Cut the ends off the roll and discard. Slice into rounds to the desired width of your pasta.
Unroll the rounds into strips and dust with flour to prevent the noodles from sticking together.
Repeat with the remaining three sections.
Boil in salted water for 2-4 minutes. Enjoy!