When my husband and I went to Italy last Summer, one of the highlights of our honeymoon was going to an Italian cooking class to make homemade pasta. Since our trip, I’ve made homemade pasta countless times and it’s one of our favorite ways to have a date night at home – especially during quarantine! By no means are we chefs, but we did learn from a chef and I think we do a pretty great job for a couple of fresh pasta-lovers.
Our KitchenAid mixer has been a great tool for making pasta easily at home. Not only do we use it to mix the dough, but we use it to roll the sheets for our chitarra, pasta cutter, or ravioli stamp. Without the roller attachment, it would be super challenging to hand roll out the pasta. My favorite pasta making tools are attached below.
The pasta dough recipe is super easy; like so easy. I’ve never made pasta with anything other than 00′ flour and semolina to dust/ toss the pasta in. I order both of them on Amazon as they can be challenging to find.
RECIPE (Serves 4-6)
MAKING THE DOUGH:
- Start by measuring your flour with a food scale directly in your KitchenAid bowl.
- Add 3 whole eggs.
- Mix on low. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate the mixture. If it doesn’t seem like everything is coming together after a while, add an extra egg yolk. If you feel like the mixture is still too crumbly, try mixing with your hands.
- Once the dough is mixed well, it can be formed into a ball with your hands, and bounces back when you press a finger into it, wrap the ball in plastic wrap.
- Leave the dough to rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
ROLLING OUT YOUR PASTA:
Pull your dough out right before you’re ready to roll it into sheets. For this amount of dough, we typically divide ours into 4 sections. You need to know what type of noodle you are planning to cook before deciding how thin or thick to roll your pasta sheets. For a chitarra, we start with a level 1 thickness and work our way down to a level 3. I love a chitarra noodle for a hearty sauce because it’s such a hearty noodle. When I’m using my KitchenAid cutters or am making ravioli, I usually create a thinner sheet to work with.
- Start at a level 1 thickness. Roll the sheet through several times until it starts to look and feel smooth. Fold the sheet in half every few times. Bump the thickness down to a 2 and repeat, same with a level 3 thickness, etc.
- Once your sheet is at your desired thickness, dust it with semolina flour on each side, and cover it with plastic wrap. You can stack your sheets as long as you’ve dusted them in semolina and cover them in plastic wrap to ensure they do not stick.
- Before you cut your sheets into noodles, lightly dust off the excess semolina flour.
- Cut the pasta sheets using your method of choice (see below for my 3 favorites) and as soon as you’ve cut your noodles, dust or toss them in semolina flour. This will ensure they don’t stick to each other or become hard.
CHITARRA: The chitarra (it means guitar in Italian) is a wooden rectangle with strings that allows you to lay the pasta sheet over the strings and use a wooden rolling pin to cut the noodles over the strings.
KITCHENAID: If you use your KitchenAid cutter, line the pasta up as best you can to ensure you get the most noddles out of the cutter.
RAVIOLI: If you’re making ravioli, you’ll want to stamp shapes, place your filling in the pasta, and then use a small amount of water to help make the stamped pieces stick together by pressing it with your fingers or a fork.
COOKING THE PASTA:
Tip #1: Fresh pasta cooks WAY faster than boxed noddles. From my experience, some pastas need to spend as little as 90 seconds in boiling water. Something thicker like a chitarra noodle takes about 6 minutes, whereas angel hair noodles only about 2 minutes.
Tip #2: Heavily salt your water. The water should taste like sea water. This will flavor the pasta as it cooks.
Tip #3: Reserve some of the pasta water to mix in with your sauce. This will help your pasta stick to the sauce.
Tip #4: ALWAYS cook your pasta al dente (not all the way) and finish cooking it in the sauce. I like my pasta about 75% cooked when I use a spider strainer to immediately put my pasta into my sauce that’s simmering in another pan.
As far as sauce goes, do whatever you like! I have my shrimp scampi recipe on my IG highlights under “recipes”, but I love pesto and tomato based sauces, too. Last night we made a spicy red sauce with garlic, pork, and green peas – it was DELISH. I have a few favorite jarred sauces that I like to keep on hand for when I don’t want to make a sauce from scratch or want to use as a base for whatever else I’m making.
FAVORITES: Monjuni’s – sweet red sauce; Rao’s Homemade – vodka sauce or spicy arrabbiata; Buitoni – pesto. I always buy fresh ingredients to add if I use a jarred sauce (fresh tomatoes, herbs, pine nuts, parmesan, citrus, panko, etc.)
If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment below. Good luck with your pasta making and bon appétit!