How To Make Fresh Handmade Pasta
-Tips You Need To Know -
Fresh pasta is an amazing type of dining experience fit for Kings and Queens. The number of different kinds of pasta from around the world is actually unknown for certain. Most put the number around 350 types of pasta. Wow, that is a crazy huge number of types of pasta, the sky is the limit with possibilities. If you care to know more about the types of pasta around the world, I wrote an article outlining the most popular kinds of pasta around the world. ⬇️
45 Types Of Pasta Shapes | A-to-Z | Defined | Photos | Uses |
TIP TO "Reading" Recipe Cards
|Recipe Card Measurements |
First Tip #1
Most of the world uses the metric system when it comes to recipes and measurements. Listed ingredients you'll see 8oz (ounces) listed instead of 1 cup on a recipe card for instants.
Which actually equals the same measurement in theory when it comes to liquids. The point is that 8oz (ounces) will always be 1 cup measurement, but 1 cup measured will not always equal 8oz (ounce) weighed. Allow me to explain.
Notice it says 8 US Fluid Ounces above? ⬆️ Meaning liquid, which is NOT the same as measured using a 1 cup measuring cup.
Actually, the weight using a measuring cup will give a completely different weighed amount every single time. This is why pastry chefs always weigh ingredients to get a more consistent product.
⬅️ ON the left is weighed out 8oz (ounces) AND on the Right is 1 Cup of Flour ➡️
Do you notice the weighed 8oz of flour on the left ⬅️ looks like a lot more flour? Can you see where this could seriously mess up a recipe? Mixing and matching US measurements with Metric... This is just something to be aware of when reading recipe cards.
Today, I'll supply you will two recipes, one recipe for each preferred measurement. Metric or US. (Recipe @ bottom of post)
Making Fresh Pasta - IN the Food Processor
Begin by adding 2 cups of flour, plus 1 teaspoon of salt. Pulse the food processor a few times to combine the two flours. I used Whole Wheat Flour and All-Purpose Flour. The Whole Wheat Flour has a protein level of around 13-14% which the protein in flour actually turns into gluten. Pasta is built on gluten development. The best practice is to use a high gluten flour to create the textural chew within the pasta that we all have come to love. Not too tough/chewy, not too soft. If you want softer pasta, then do so by using the pasta machine and work your way down to setting #9 which is the thinnest. I'll show you how to do that in a moment.
Next, add in the eggs one at a time along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. The flour will turn into a dough ball very quickly. Allow the machine to run for about 10-15 seconds after coming together. Not any longer, or risk the food processor blade ripping the dough. Once the dough forms a large ball stop the food processor.
How To Make Fresh Handmade Pasta (Classic Italian)
Old World Style - The Well Method
Begin by creating a mound of flour on a counter or use a large bowl, choose one of the two pasta recipes listed at the end of this post. Using your fingers create a well in the middle. Next add in the salt, olive oil, and eggs into the middle of the well.
Look at the picture above. See the side of the bowl with the red arrows? You want to try to use as little of that pile of flour as possible. Our goal is to combine just enough flour to bring everything together. We want the pasta dough to be moist, but not wet. This is a balancing act that's easy. Just add enough flour so that your fingers aren't sticking to the dough and it comes together into one mass of dough.
Kneading the Pasta Dough Method - Developing Gluten
This is the part of making fresh pasta that gets messed up. I'll show you two ways to "work" the dough to the point of perfection.
Once you combine/mix the ingredients into "dough", then place the dough on a workbench, counter, or in a large bowl. Allow the pasta dough to rest/relax for 3 to 4 minutes before beginning the kneading, I suggest using that time to clean up a little.
Kneading the pasta dough: This is the part of the process you need to see with your own eyes. This short 1 minutes tutorial - Kneading the dough to develop gluten is a must-watch. ⬇️
How-To Use a Pasta Machine for Cutting Fettuccine & Linguine
A traditional pasta machine gets the job done nicely for cutting the two traditional cuts of pasta, fettuccine (the wide-cut pasta) & Linguine (closer to the size of spaghetti).
Optional #1 - Use a knife and make large ribbons called Tagliatelle
Fresh Pasta Sheet Before Being Cut Into Shape.
The Pasta Machine: Start off on setting #1, using the dial on the side of the pasta machine, pull the knob outward to move the setting/numbers. The pasta machine moves from #1 "width" all the way to #9 width, which represents the thickness with numbers, with #1 being the thickest setting.
Here is another one of the key TIPS to success with fresh pasta - Which is the way you use the numbers on the pasta machine dial. Most would think that you would start on number one and then move on to the next number. Which is not the correct technique.
The key is to begin on number 1, making sure that you lightly flour the pasta before rolling it through which helps to make sure the pasta does not stick to the pasta machine. Then you will want to fold the pasta back over on top of itself, just like closing a book. Then run it again through the pasta machine. What we are doing on setting number 1 is shaping the pasta, training the pasta to fit the machine, this process will help get the pasta into the full length of the pasta roller, then ultimately finishing on width number 7. Repeat this process 3 to 4 times on number setting #1. Remember each time the pasta is rolled through the machine we are developing additional gluten. Once you're done with number 1 go in any order you like. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 or 1,3,5,7. The machine will go to 9, but that setting is almost unusable due to being so thin and hard to handle.
Cutting the Pasta for Fettuccine & Linguine
Begin by holding the pasta sheet directly over the pasta machine and feed the pasta into the opening of the cutter. Once you begin cutting the pasta, start by turning the crank handle, do not stop if possible, work at a nice pace trying to not cut too slowly. Be sure to flour the pasta before running the dough through the pasta machine. This will help avoid sticking.
Once through the pasta machine, place the pasta on a cookie sheet pre-dusted with flour, add the flour directly to the freshly cut pasta. When you cook the pasta the extra flour will come off in the cooking water.
How-To - Cooking Fresh Pasta
Cooking fresh pasta is not like cooking normal dry pasta. Nowhere even close. A few things need to be understood. First, the pasta cooks quickly.
How quick? Between 45 seconds and 2 minutes. For the Linguine, around 70-90 seconds is my suggestion. And for Fettuccine(thicker pasta cut) around 2 minutes.
To cook the pasta make sure the water is boiling from the moment you add the pasta. Be sure to salt the cooking water to the level just like the sea. Around 6% salinity. This helps flavor the pasta, please do not skip this step.
If you are not sure if the pasta is cooked through, test a piece by cooking it then cutting it in half and looking down the middle. Do you see any raw flour? When the pasta is cooked you will see only one solid shade of one color.
Lastly, this pasta TIP is HUGE, so HUGE...When you remove the pasta from the cooking water always be sure to 'Marry" the pasta with the sauce. An Italian grandmother will roll over in their grave every time someone skips this step. The freshly cooked pasta wants to drink up that beautiful sauce once out of the cooking water, not in a few minutes...
- 8 oz Whole Wheat Flour
- 8 oz All-Purpose Flour
- 5 whole Extra Large Eggs
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 4 whole Extra Large Eggs
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
Making Fresh Pasta in Food Processor
- Begin by adding 2 cups of flour, plus 1 teaspoon of salt. Pulse the food processor a few times to combine the two flours. I used Whole Wheat Flour and All-Purpose Flour.
- The Whole Wheat Flour has a protein level around 13-14% which the protein in flour actually turns into gluten. Pasta is built on gluten development. The best practice is to use a high gluten flour to create the textural chew within the pasta that we all have come to love. Not too tough/chewy, not too soft.
- If you want a softer pasta, then do so by using the pasta machine and work your way down to setting #9 which is the thinnest.
- Next, add in the eggs one at a time along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. The flour will turn into a dough ball very quickly. Allow the machine to run for about 10-15 seconds after coming together. Not any longer, or risk the food processor blade ripping the dough. Once the dough forms a large ball stop the food processor.
- Knead the pasta dough on average 8 to 15 minutes. Your technique/skill will determine the about of time it takes. If more flour is needed due to too much moisture from the eggs, add under a ½ cup when adding more.
Window Panel Test - Gluten Test
- This test will tell if you've worked / kneaded the dough enough.Take a piece of dough and flatten it out. Then begin to pull the edges little by little working your way around the flatten piece of pasta. Think of it as a car steering wheel and you keep on turning pulling out a little bit of the pasta into a window shape. The pasta will rip at some point. The idea is for it to not rip too soon. The larger the "Window" you create the stronger your pasta dough is and this is the measurement of how much gluten you've developed.