This basic pasta dough recipe will help you quickly and easily make homemade pasta at the last minute, almost as quickly as boiling store bought.
Making a basic pasta dough is one of those simple things that people seem to find intimidating for some reason.
I actually understand completely, though. I was one of them.
I owned my pasta machine, which I had bought on sale on a whim, a long time before actually trying to make it. I even almost saved it for crafting rather than for making pasta. Yes, really!
In actuality, not only is it easy, but it probably doesn’t take more time to make your own than it does to boil dried, store bought pasta.
How can that be true?
Dried pasta takes a lot longer to cook than fresh, homemade pasta which cooks almost instantly. Of course, if you make it yourself, you will have more clean up work, and during your preparation time you will have to work on making pasta rather than just watching the pasta boil, but the result is so much better; it’s definitely worth it.
If you don’t have a food processor or a pasta maker, I’m not going to lie; the process will take longer. If you do have access to both, though, you’ll eventually get so quick at making pasta, that it really only takes a few minutes.
Basic Pasta Dough Recipe
- Put all of your ingredients into your food processor.
- Process at a low to medium speed until it all starts to come together.
- You are looking for the consistency of large crumbs. If it all comes together into a sticky ball, you will need to add more flour. (To better understand what I mean, watch the video.)
- If it's not coming together at all, and you only have tiny crumbs that don't stick together, you will need to add some liquid. You can add a small amount of water, and try to mix it up some more.
- Once you have achieved the right consistency, use your hands to form it into a ball. Knead it for a minute or so, and divide it into smaller balls of dough.
- Beginning with one of the balls, flatten it out as best you can, and put it through the pasta machine at its widest setting. (On my machine, that is a 9.) I like to pull it through twice, for good measure. If it falls apart, fold the dough over on itself and put it through the machine a few more times. That will help the dough become more elastic.
- Narrow the rollers of the pasta machine by one setting, and pull it through. Narrow it again, and put it through once more. You will continue that process until you get the thickness you want.
- Set that dough aside to dry slightly while working on the rest of the dough.
- If you have an attachment, like one for making spaghetti and fettucini, you can very quickly and easily pull your dough through that, and you are finished! If not, you can use it as is, for making lasagna, fill it and cut it into ravioli, or even cut it by hand into fettucini; a pizza cutter works well for that.
You can either hang the pasta to dry for later use, or make it immediately like I always do.
If you use it immediately, it will only need to boil for a minute or two. It is really that quick! If you decide to dry it for later use, though, it will take a couple of minutes more, but it will still cook more quickly than store bought, dried pasta.
For those who prefer to see it in video…
Homemade pasta with homemade pesto sauce, made with fresh basil from my garden, is one of my son’s favorite foods. To make sure I always have pesto on hand, I make it in big batches in the summer, and freeze it in my favorite cube trays. It freezes really well.
This summer, I’ll have to show you how I make it.
Meanwhile, I shared this basic pasta dough recipe because I have another surprise for you for Valentine’s day….
I’ve been working on a dessert pasta, and it’s gonna be great, if I do say so myself. 🙂