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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Authentic Homemade Pasta (for rolling)

So delicious it doesn't need anything but a
pat of butter and light sprinkling of parm cheese!

If there was ever anything on the internet with tons of confusing information, it's homemade pasta.

What's the difference between pasta and macaroni and noodles? Oil or no oil? Egg or no egg? Why did my pasta taste like rubber bands? How do I keep it from sticking together? Why is this Kitchen Aid attachment such a life ruiner?!??

.... and more importantly, how do I make it taste like the authentic delicious pasta that I had in Italy?

For today's blog post, I made a video all about homemade pasta. It covers everything you need to know from making the dough to cooking and serving, including how to fix the issues you might have had with your pasta recipe.

Pasta is basically mixing flour and a liquid, cutting into shapes and boiling. There are two types of pasta dough - noodle and macaroni:

  • Noodle pasta contains eggs - The egg protein holds them together really well in soups and things like that. It may also have some water. The dough is very sticky so it's much more difficult to work with; however, the egg also holds it together so it requires a lot less kneading.

    They swell to 3 time their size when cooking so they must be rolled very thinly otherwise they are very dense and unpleasantly chewy (like rubber bands). For this reason, this type of dough is only used for long, skinny thin noodes or noodles that are made to go in soups and never for tube pastas (e.g. - penne or macaroni), though many American chefs don't know any better.

  • Macaroni pasta never contains eggs - The dough relies completely on gluten to hold its shape. It's far less sticky so it is very easy to work with; however, since it relies completely on gluten it must be kneaded thoroughly. (Technically, macaroni is the name of the dough not the pasta.)

    This pasta swells very little when cooking so it works really well for any shape, but this is the only dough that is used for tube pastas. "Macaroni" was the first pasta to become well known in the US via macaroni and cheese because the ingredients - pasta and hard cheese - were able to survive the long ship journey from Europe and the pasta could be boiled in sea water.
It's my first video so I apologize in advance for the quality. I promise the next one will be much better. I hope this video encourages you to try making homemade pasta. Please subscribe to the blog and leave any comments or questions below.

Thank you for reading! (:

Eggless Pasta (aka - Macaroni) for a roller

This video and recipe is designed for using a roller. While you can also use it in the Kitchen Aid Pasta Press, here's the recipe and instructions that work best for that: Authentic homemade pasta for the Kitchen Aid pasta press.

  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • 1 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour (the brand is important here)
  • 1 cup water (at room temperature)
  • no eggs
  • no salt! (salt will cause the dough to develop a grayish color if not used very soon)
  • (optional ingredients for coloring or flavoring pasta)
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until most of the water is absorbed.
  2. Dump onto counter and knead just until all flour is incorporated.
  3. Dust heavily with all-purpose flour, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
  4. Let rest for 20 minutes.
  5. Knead with dough hook in Kitchen Aid for about 8 minutes (or knead by hand for 10 to 15 minutes).
  6. Knead for a few minutes on the counter by hand.
  7. Dust heavily with all-purpose flour again, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
  8. Let rest for at least 20 minutes or up to two hours on the counter. (You can also refrigerate for a couple of days and use as needed, just let it come to room temperature for an hour before using.)
  9. Flatten and roll dough as directed. (See video for much more detailed information)
Optional coloring or flavoring:

Spinach Pasta Dough (green hue): Blanch 8 ounces (about 3 cups) spinach leaves. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. Replace the water with an equal amount of the spinach puree. If you need more liquid, add additional water.

Tomato Pasta Dough (orange hue): Add 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste to the water before incorporating into the flour.

Beet Pasta Dough (pinkish-red hue): Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roast 1 large beet in aluminum foil, about 45 minutes, or until tender. Peel the beet and puree in a food processor. Add the beet puree (about 4 tablespoons) to water before incorporating into the flour. (Honestly though, you can totally use canned beats for this. You won't notice a difference.)

Herb Pasta Dough (speckled): Add 1/4 cup fresh minced herbs (or 1/8 cup dried herbs) to the flour directly before incorporating the water. (If you add it to water first, it will tint the water and make the pasta greenish, but sort of an unnatural green that isn't appealing.)

Squid Ink Pasta Dough (black hue): Add 1 tablespoon squid ink to the water before incorporating into the flour.

Share your pasta experience in the comments section with everyone. :)


  1. This recipe worked great for me! The old recipe I had was sticking together really bad and I could never get it to roll out.

    Can you add herbs and things in it also?

    1. Definitely! I edited the post to include herbs and other options.

  2. What do you do if you don't have a Kitchen Aid or other large mixer appliance?

  3. Hi Laura! Great question.

    You can actually just use a rolling pin, but it'll take a bit of elbow grease. Since this pasta doesn't have eggs, it comes out cooked only slightly thicker than you roll it. Once you have it flat, you can dust it in flour, roll it up and cut with a knife. It's difficult to get the strips really narrow, but there are plenty of pastas that are wide (for example: tagliatelle is like a wide fettuccini that's used with authentic bolognese.)

    There are also inexpensive manual pasta rollers that attach to the edge of your kitchen counter like an old fashioned pencil sharpener. They usually cost around $40.

    One tip for buying the semolina flour: in the grocery store, it's like $8 for a 5 lb bag, but if you use your business to sign up for RestaurNt Depot for free it costs like $17 for a 25lb bag.