{Old Skool DIY} Creating Fresh Pasta By Hand

I realized recently that From Scratch Club had never had a post about making fresh pasta and wondered why.  I then realized that I had never made fresh pasta and wondered why.

While making fresh pasta this weekend for the first time there were moments when I thought it was kind of a hassle and figured that was why.  During those moments I was planning to write a post about how it’s better to just buy fresh pasta from the grocery store.  In the end the fresh pasta I made was so good, however, that I decided it was worth it. So, I still don’t know why I never made my own pasta before.

Of course there are a ton of resources out there with instructions on making your own pasta, but I chose Alana Chernila’s The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making to guide me.  Her instructions are simple and made it sound fun.  In addition, I also asked for suggestions and advice from friends on Facebook and was surprised by how many people had already made their own pasta.


If you are making fresh pasta for the first time I would encourage you to consider two factors before you start:

1) You can totally do it without a pasta roller, but make sure you have a large, clean counter surface and a nice, clean sponge handy to clean it again when you’re in the midst of dough rolling.

2) Consider where you will hang your pasta to dry.  We have a clothes drying rack that probably could have been used, but it’s kind of gross so I chose to hang a long piece of clean twine across my kitchen instead.

Other than that, it’s really not that tough to make pasta.  I became a little discouraged when my twine fell and about a third of the pasta I had just worked hard on fell to the floor (don’t tell my husband I followed the three second rule). Below is my interpretation of Chernila’s recipe.

Our homemade pasta w/ a little red sauce, some gorgonzola cheese and sauteed kale and chicken.

Alexis’ interpretation of Alana Chernila’s recipe in The Homemade Pantry

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs (room temperature)

Chernila says to make a volcano out of your 2 cups of flour and to crack the three eggs directly in to the emptied out middle.  I did this and then realized that the emptied out middle of the flour needs to be pretty big, more like a crater, to hold all three eggs.  Now I know for next time.

Despite the mess in the photo above, I got the eggs beaten, with a fork, and mixed in to the flour evenly.  I kneaded the dough until it was smooth and divided it in to six balls.  I then covered the balls with plastic wrap and left them for a half hour, like Chernila says to.

I do not have a pasta roller, so I used a rolling pin to roll out each ball to about one sixteenth of an inch thick.  I thought I’d be able to make perfectly even strips of fettuccini, but that did not happen.  They were good enough though.

I hung them on the twine, which I thought made my kitchen look like contemporary installation art.  Chernila suggests letting the pasta dry for anywhere between 5 minutes to 2 hours.  Mine hung for an hour and then I tossed it in boiling water, with some olive oil.  She said it would need to cook for only a couple minutes, but mine needed more like 8-10 minutes.  Maybe it was a little thicker than it was supposed to be, or maybe I didn’t have enough water.  Anyway, my family and I really enjoyed the fresh pasta.  We ate it with a little red sauce, some gorgonzola cheese and sauteed kale and chicken.

Editor’s Note:
We will be hosting a giveaway for one signed copy of Alana’s book next week- keep a look out for it!


17 Comments Add yours

  1. Love this! Just did a cooking class with my daughter and one lesson was handmade pasta. She will love this. You make it look great! – Renee

    1. Alexis says:

      Thanks Renee!

  2. Emily says:

    fresh pasta is the best.

  3. Sara says:

    I admit to making my dough in a stand mixer or food processor. I can’t manage to do the egg in a well without making a mess. I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered the other steps either–sometimes it’s perfect, other times a tangled mess. But I should try again, it’s worth it. Plus I have the pasta rolling machine so no excuse.

    1. Alexis says:

      Do it! Try again – even with tons of imperfections mine still tasted great.

  4. Nicolle says:

    That looks delicious!

    I have always wanted to try making my own my own pasta.
    I definitely want to try gnocchi and ravioli though.

  5. Alexis says:

    Oh, I’d love to try gnocchi. Ravioli is probably next on my list – I just need to remember to buy the ricotta ahead of time…

  6. Brenda says:

    My sister and I learned how to make pasta from our grandmother. This is the only way I have ever made it. Works wonderful for chicken and noodles. Also, a hand held pizza cutter works great to slice the dough.

    1. Alexis says:

      You know, I wondered if a pizza cutter would work – that’s good to know. I love that it’s a family tradition for a lot of people.

  7. Ona says:

    What a great post – thanks for bein honest about the process. Do you know how you can store the extra pasta? Fridge or dehydrator? I’ll have to look into it.

    1. Alexis says:

      Thanks Ona. I should have mentioned that you can store the pasta in the refrigerator, according to Chernila, for two days and in the freezer for up to three months. I don’t know about dehydrating, but let me know if you find out please.

  8. Barbara says:

    This is a performance piece ! And then you can eat it !

    1. Alexis says:

      Thanks Mom.

  9. Maureen says:

    I learnt from an Italian “Nona” recently to make the dough in a bread machine set to dough. This is brilliant – no mess.

  10. domain says:

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I think that
    you ought to write more on this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but generally folks don’t talk about such
    topics. To the next! Kind regards!!

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