REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Fresh Pasta

REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Fresh Pasta

This post is part of a series.  You can buy the Volume One of the e-book containing several REAL FOOD 101 tutorials here: To buy the REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared, click here.  Full color photos, step by step tutorials, and more.  Only $14.

Since I am about one quarter Italian, I tend to like the delicious foods of my ancestors.  I also enjoy any sunshine I please, since between my Italian skin and taking fermented cod liver oil, I never burn!  But today I am going to focus on one of the central foods of Italian cuisine: fresh pasta.

I love to see fresh pasta made in glossy magazines and gourmet food television programs.  But I always considered it out of my reach, or at least on par with something really difficult and time-consuming to make like croissants or something.  Oh how wrong I was, and happy to be!

In only a few minutes time, you can have fresh pasta ready to eat, and all without any special equipment.

https://web.archive.org/web/20170324124643im_/http:/www.ournourishingroots.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IMG_3957-1024x768.jpg For example, I still haven’t bought a pasta roller attachment for my mixer, though you certainly can.  In fact, I intend to get one soon.  However, you really only need two tools to make pasta: a rolling pin for flattening the dough and a pizza cutter for cutting into shapes.  This method is easy and approachable.

Now you can enjoy freshly made pasta, either made with eggs and eaten immediately or soaked overnight for maximum nutrition to boot!

Plus, the soaked pasta is very versatile: you can use it immediately after you roll it or dry it on racks on the counter for dried pasta that will keep for several weeks.  I like to throw fresh pasta into soups and stews as I make lunch or dinner, and I like to make enough pasta dough to also stock up on dried pasta for the pantry.

The other pasta recipe below includes egg, which I find makes a more tender pasta.  Since you don’t soak it overnight, I recommend at least using very freshly ground flour, if not sprouted flour to maximize digestibility.

Equipment Needed:

Pasta is very simple to make, and has been generally made with any flour and any liquid that was seasonally available.  Below I have shared my two favorite recipes, one soaked version made with water and vinegar and one made with freshly ground flour and several eggs.

I recommend using the soaked pasta recipe for basic shapes and drying in large batches so you have pasta on hand that isn’t store-bought.  As for the egg pasta, I recommend using that recipe for using immediately, or even adding finely chopped fresh herbs as they are in season.

Homemade Soaked Pasta Dough

3 1/2 cups freshly ground flour, preferably kamut (buy whole grains here)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or whey (buy apple cider vinegar herehow to make whey here)

  1. In a large bowl, pour in the flour and make a well in the center. https://web.archive.org/web/20170324124643im_/http:/www.ournourishingroots.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IMG_3980-1024x768.jpg
  2. Pour in the water and the apple cider vinegar and work into a dough with your hands or by stirring with a short wooden spoon (for better leverage).
  3. After the dough comes together, cover with a towel and a kitchen plate and let soak 12-24 hours. https://web.archive.org/web/20170324124643im_/http:/www.ournourishingroots.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IMG_3983-1024x768.jpg
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes or so until the surface of the dough becomes smooth.  Press with your hands to flatten as much as possible into a large rectangular shape.  Then roll out to 1/8-inch thick. https://web.archive.org/web/20170324124643im_/http:/www.ournourishingroots.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IMG_3988-1024x768.jpg
  5. Using a pizza roller, knife, or pastry scraper, cut the pasta into whatever shapes you like.  (I did half squares and half fettuccine.)
  6. Using a spatula you can transfer this pasta to cooling racks to help with the drying pasta.  Alternately, you can also leave them on the floured surface to dry that way (though it may take a little longer).  When dried, they may curl up a bit, but this is normal.  Store at room temperature in an airtight container. https://web.archive.org/web/20170324124643im_/http:/www.ournourishingroots.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IMG_3998-1024x768.jpg

Homemade Fresh Egg Pasta Dough

3 1/2 cups sprouted flour (buy sprouted flour herehow to make sprouted flour)
7 eggs

  1. In a large bowl, pour in the flour and make a well in the center. https://web.archive.org/web/20170324124643im_/http:/www.ournourishingroots.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IMG_3999-1024x768.jpg
  2. Crack the eggs and put them into the well in the flour.  Working from the center, stir gently to combine the flour into the dough gradually until it comes completely together. https://web.archive.org/web/20170324124643im_/http:/www.ournourishingroots.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IMG_4001-1024x768.jpg
  3. Next, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or so until the surface of the dough becomes smooth.  Press with your hands to flatten as much as possible into a large rectangular shape.  Then roll out to 1/8-inch thick. https://web.archive.org/web/20170324124643im_/http:/www.ournourishingroots.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IMG_4005-1024x768.jpg
  4. Using a pizza roller, knife, or pastry scraper, cut the pasta into whatever shapes you like.  Use immediately, by cooking in salted, boiling water for 3-5 minutes or until tender. https://web.archive.org/web/20170324124643im_/http:/www.ournourishingroots.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IMG_4009-1024x768.jpg

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