How to Make Homemade Pasta
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The texture and flavor of fresh pasta stands head and shoulders above boxed pasta. Learning how to make homemade pasta requires just a rolling pin and a few ingredients.
When I think of fresh pasta, my mind jumps to the refrigerated section of specialty grocery stores—and of course, the cobblestone streets of Italy, where you can get it around every corner. Although you could hop on a plane or opt for a quick car ride to your nearest grocer, you can also make fresh homemade pasta from the comfort of your kitchen with a little extra time and knowledge.
Once you learn how to make homemade pasta, you’ll always be looking for more ways to work it into your dinner rotation. It’s quicker and easier than you think!
How to Make Homemade Pasta Dough
Our simple homemade pasta recipe makes dough that’s perfect for cutting into longer pasta shapes, like spaghetti, fettuccine and pappardelle. It yields about 6 servings.
Tools You’ll Need
- Pasta Roller & Cutter: If you’ve already got a stand mixer and you plan to make fresh pasta frequently, investing in a pasta roller and cutter set may be worth it. It’ll save you the effort of rolling out the dough by hand.
- Dough Scraper: This tool will help you corral any stray bits of flour on your counter as you assemble the pasta dough and will make cutting and dividing it into smaller portions a breeze later on.
- Rolling Pin: A French rolling pin gives you more control over the dough as you roll it out. Because it’s tapered on the ends, you won’t have to pick up and reposition the pin when you get too close to the edge.
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup semolina flour (Learn about the difference between all-purpose flour, semolina and other types of flour.)
Step 1: Combine the wet ingredients
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, additional egg yolk, water, olive oil and salt. Set aside.
Step 2: Make the flour mound
On a clean work surface, mix the all-purpose and semolina flours, forming a mound. Make a large well in the center.
Test Kitchen Tip: If you don’t have semolina flour, you can make this homemade pasta recipe with all-purpose flour only, but the dough may not stick together quite as well. So if you do skip the semolina, the dough is better suited for shorter cuts of pasta.
Step 3: Pour the egg mixture into the well
Before you pour, make sure the flour “walls” are high enough that the egg won’t spill out. (This is where a dough scraper may come in handy.) Then add the egg mixture into the well.
Step 4: Mix together
Now the fun part: Using a fork or your fingers, gradually mix the flour mixture into the egg mixture, forming a soft, slightly sticky dough.
Step 5: Knead the dough
Lightly dust your work surface with flour, then knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until smooth.
Step 6: Divide the dough and let it rest
Divide the dough into 6 portions and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
Test Kitchen Tip: It’s important to let the dough rest before you continue on with the recipe! The 30 minutes gives the flour time to hydrate, which helps the dough bind together. Plus, it gives the gluten some time to relax, which makes the pasta dough easier to roll out.
After the dough rests, you can roll out the dough and cut the noodles either by hand or with a pasta attachment on a KitchenAid mixer.
How to Make Noodles by Hand
Step 1: Roll out the dough
Roll each ball into a 10×8-inch rectangle with a rolling pin. The thinner, the better!
Step 2: Roll up the dough
Dust the surface lightly with flour, then roll up the dough jelly roll-style.
Step 3: Cut the roll into individual noodles
Cut the roll into 1/4-inch-wide strips for fettuccine. Make broader strips if you want pappardelle, or thinner for spaghetti noodles. Cook the pasta or store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a day. (Unlike dry pasta, fresh pasta has a short shelf life—here’s more on the difference between fresh pasta vs. dry pasta.)
How to Make Noodles with a Stand Mixer and Attachments
Step 1: Set up your stand mixer with the pasta roller attachment
Clamp your stand mixer to a table or counter. Turn the dial on the attachment to the widest setting.
Step 2: Feed the dough through the machine
Cut each dough ball into smaller pieces. Flatten each piece into a small rectangle. Then, feed the dough, short side first, into the roller.
Step 3: Fold the dough and feed it through again
Fold the dough into thirds to form a rectangle. Feed the dough through the roller a second time, then repeat another 3-4 times until smooth.
Step 4: Turn the dial and feed the dough again
Turn the dial to reduce the opening on the attachment again and feed the dough through. Reducing the opening allows you to get a thinner pasta dough.
Repeat this until your desired thickness is achieved. The dough will get thinner each time you reduce the opening and feed it through.
Step 5: Attach the noodle cutter
Replace the pasta roller with the noodle-cutting attachment on your stand mixer. Feed the dough through to cut it into individual noodles.
Once it’s cut, toss it with flour so the noodles don’t stick together.
How to Cook Fresh Pasta
Cook your fresh pasta noodles in salted boiling water for 1-3 minutes. Yes, just a few minutes! Fresh pasta doesn’t take nearly as much time to cook as dried pasta.
Fresh pasta won’t ever reach al dente, so instead, check your noodles for doneness every 20 to 30 seconds by taking a bite and looking for a tiny white dot in the center of the noodle. When the dot is gone, they’re done.
Don’t forget to reserve a little pasta water when you strain the noodles.
Tips for Making Homemade Pasta
Can you make homemade pasta without eggs?
Eggs give homemade pasta an undeniable richness and silky mouthfeel that you don’t taste as much in pasta from a box. If you choose to skip the eggs in your batch, you can make homemade pasta dough with just flour and water—but know you’re giving up some of that flavor.
What sauces go well with homemade pasta?
Let the flavor of your homemade pasta do the heavy lifting and go with a lighter sauce that lets it shine through. A little butter or olive oil with some cracked pepper and Parmesan would do the trick, although more flavorful choices like marinara would be just fine too. Another reason to go light? Your homemade noodles won’t be quite as sturdy as dried pasta. Get some inspiration from our list of the different types of pasta sauce or our healthy pasta sauce recipes.
How do you store homemade pasta?
Although dried pasta can last indefinitely in your pantry, uncooked fresh pasta will only last for about a day, and needs to be refrigerated. It’s best to make your pasta dough and cook it right away.
If you need to, you can make the pasta dough 1 day ahead of time. If the dough is too sticky when you take it out, dust it with a little more flour.
Once your homemade fresh pasta is cooked, store it like you would other pasta recipes—in an airtight container in the fridge.