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Nests of fresh tagliatelle pasta on a floured surface

Homemade pasta

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook: -
    • plus resting
  • Easy
  • Serves 8

Go the extra mile for a classic Italian meal and make your own fresh pasta dough. Our simple recipe can be used to make any style or shape

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
Nutrition: per serving
NutrientUnit
kcal200
fat6g
saturates1g
carbs29g
sugars0.2g
fibre1g
protein7g
salt0.2g
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Ingredients

  • 300g ‘00’ pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 eggs and 4 yolks, lightly beaten
  • semolina flour, for dusting

Method

  • STEP 1

    Put the flour in a food processor with ¾ of your egg mixture and a pinch of salt. Blitz to large crumbs – they should come together to form a dough when squeezed (if it feels a little dry gradually add a bit more egg). Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead for 1 min or until nice and smooth – don’t worry if it’s quite firm as it will soften when it rests. Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 30 mins.

  • STEP 2

    Cut away ¼ of the dough (keep the rest covered with cling film) and feed it through the widest setting on your pasta machine. (If you don’t have a machine, use a heavy rolling pin to roll the dough as thinly as possible.) Then fold into three, give the dough a quarter turn and feed through the pasta machine again. Repeat this process once more then continue to pass the dough through the machine, progressively narrowing the rollers, one notch at a time, until you have a smooth sheet of pasta. On the narrowest setting, feed the sheet through twice.

  • STEP 3

    Cut as required to use for filled pastas like tortellini, or cut into lengths to make spaghetti, linguine, tagliatelle, or pappardelle. Then, dust in semolina flour and set aside, or hang until dry (an hour will be enough time.) Store in a sealed container in the fridge and use within a couple of days, or freeze for 1 month.

What flour do you use for pasta?

There are two types of fresh pasta:

  • Egg pasta which is used for lasagne, tagliatelle and filled pastas
  • Flour-water pasta that's made from semolina flour (also called durum wheat flour) and used for shapes like or orecchiette and cavatelli

Traditionally, ‘00’ flour is used for egg pasta as it’s high in gluten, which stops the pasta from snapping when rolling out or cutting into strands. This ’00’ flour is wheat flour that has been put through the mill twice, so it's very fine. It has a higher protein count than plain white flour, which is important for the structure of the dough. It can be found in most large supermarkets. You can also make pasta with plain or plain strong flour, but it will be harder to work with. Self-raising flour shouldn’t be used to make pasta as it puffs up when cooked.

See our guide for how to make pasta for more info on pasta shapes and ingredients.

What if my dough is too dry?

You may need to add a touch of water to the dough if it feels too dry. Make the dough with your hands so you can feel the texture. Add 1 tsp water at a time and work it into the dough before adding more.

What if my dough is too wet?

Add a sprinkling of flour under the ball of dough while you’re kneading it on the work surface, adding a little at a time until the dough stops sticking.

How long will fresh pasta last?

Fresh pasta that has been dried out properly will last a week in an airtight container in a cool place. Undried fresh pasta should either be used that day or frozen. Filled pasta should be frozen if not being used straightaway; freeze it on baking sheets and store in freezer bags once solid. Remember: the egg in the pasta is raw, so you need to store it properly.

Can you freeze pasta dough?

Freeze pasta that's been cut into strips in ‘nests’ or cut into lasagne sheets (keep these separated into sheets) and cook from frozen. Fresh, undried pasta is extremely quick cooking; dried and frozen pasta will need another couple of minutes.

How do you make pasta without a machine?

For an egg dough, it’s best to invest in a pasta machine. Of course, the original way to roll pasta is with a rolling pin, but without a lot of practice and a very long rolling pin, it's difficult to get it thin enough and to the right consistency. Flour and water pasta is not rolled into sheets and is easier to make.

For a visual demonstration, watch our video on how to make pasta with a machine.

How to cook fresh pasta

Once you have shaped your pasta, you can cook it straightaway, leave it out to cook later that day or freeze it flat or coiled into nests on flour-dusted trays (freezing pasta can retain the texture better). Pasta can be cooked straight from frozen – allow a few more minutes of cooking time and taste for doneness. How long your homemade fresh pasta will take will depend on the shape it is – start at 1 minute 30 seconds and cook for up to 4 minutes, testing every 30 seconds.

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A star rating of 4.2 out of 5.21 ratings
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