Adventures in homemade pasta making

Homemade pasta A Signorina in Milan
The well

More than four years ago, I took a homemade pasta making class in Bologna with my friend Leeann during our two week Italy extravaganza (part of my 2012 four-week Italian extravaganza). It was awesome, but very arduous and we were in so much pain the next day as though we had been to the gym. The ginormous rolling pins worked muscles in our backs and arms that we didn’t even know we had. But it was rewarding.
So rewarding in fact that I had made myself a promise that I would take up fresh pasta making when I got home but then work and life and got in the way and that idea fell to the wayside.

When I moved to Italy, I again vowed to take on homemade pasta making as a regular pastime, but I had so much fresh pasta at my disposal both at the markets and at restaurants —and the memory of the day-after pasta class pain—I kept putting it off and putting it off until it all fell to the wayside, until this spring. My homemade pasta making machine had collected enough dust so I said it’s time. I was ready to bring on the pain.

However, I don’t know why the idea never occurred to me sooner, but there is no pain with a homemade pasta machine! I mean, I knew it would be easier than doing everything by hand, but I had had no idea how much easier. The most labor intensive part is the kneading which soon turns very rhythmic and calming.

Homemade pasta recipe
Fresh tagliatelle right out of the machine

To get started, I googled tons of recipes and decided on the following: two eggs, one egg yolk, one cup of type 00 flour (127 gr) and one cup of semolina flour (167 gr). I sifted the flour onto my pastry board and then made a well in it, placed the eggs inside and with a fork, start mixing it and incorporated it into the flour until it felt dough like, then it was on to the kneading and adding the loose flour. When it’s done, you just know. The dough is less sticky and it feels like, well, dough. It’s smooth and if you poke it, it springs back into place. For me it’s usually after about 10-15 minutes of kneading, though it’s easy to get carried away. I wrapped it a damp cloth and put it in the fridge for about an hour.

Homemade pasta recipe tagliatelle
Homemade tagliatelle

Now the pasta making machine is a delight.
It’s so calming to run it back and forth through the machine watching it grow thinner and longer before running it through the thing that slices it.

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