I love cooking Italian food and trying new recipes, so I wanted to try making homemade pasta. However, unlike Lydia Bastianich from Lydia’s Italy, my previous attempts at pasta making did not turn out as planned. I always had a hard time getting the dough thin enough or cutting the pasta into even thicknesses. However, my husband recently bought me a pasta maker from Amazon that gets the dough to the right thickness plus gives the option of flat noodles for raviolis and lasagna, or makes Fettuccine or angel hair.
Homemade Pasta Recipes: Basic Dough
After trial and error, I came up with this amount of flour and eggs for the perfect pasta dough. The recipe that came with my pasta maker was a bit too dry, but the one in my Italian Cookbook was too sticky. Likewise, you may need to adjust your recipe based on the climate you live in.
- 2 3/4 cup flour
- 4 eggs
Directions for Homemade Pasta Dough
- Place flour in a bowl and make a well in the center.
- Crack eggs into the well and start beating with a fork incorporating flour as you stir.
- Continue mixing dough with your hands. If dough is too sticky you can add more flour.
- Continue kneading dough on a lightly floured work surface for 5-10 minutes. Cover and let rest for about 5 minutes while you set up your pasta machine.
- When you are ready to make the pasta, cut the dough into 8 workable portions and shape into round balls.
- Flatten one ball as much as you can with your hands and keep the remaining balls covered.
How to Make Homemade Pasta
To make homemade pasta it is important to follow the directions for your pasta maker. However, I will give you tips that work for me. Always start on the largest setting for the dough and work your way thinner. Sometimes, if my dough is too narrow at the start, I fold the end up and reprocess on the same setting to get a more rectangular shape. I do the same if I get a hole in my pasta as well. Usually I stop before I get to the last setting. I tried it once, but the pasta was too thin. I also recommend having someone crank the handle while you guide the pasta through the machine. Although it isn’t necessary for the first few thicknesses, I find that as the dough gets longer it can catch on the machine and stretch if you are not using two hands.
Homemade Fettuccine and Spaghetti
To make homemade pasta recipes for Fettuccine or angel hair add the proper attachment to your pasta machine. Once your dough is as thin as you like, pass it through either the Fettuccine or angel hair cutter. Most importantly, catch the pasta with your hand as it passes through to prevent it sticking together. At the same time you will need your other hand to hold the other end of the pasta that has not passed through the machine yet. Of course this is easier if you have a second person operating the crank. Another option is to cut the length of the pasta sheets prior to passing them through the Fettuccine cutter. This way if you have to operate the machine yourself the pasta is less likely to stretch out.
To cook, place pasta in boiling salted water for approximately 7 minutes. Drain and serve with your favorite pasta sauce.
I am including the sponsored links for the kitchen tools we used to make the pastas in these recipes.
Stuffed Homemade Pasta Half Moons
We served this with homemade pesto with basil we grew on our front patio. Use plain pasta sheets. When filling runs out, use remaining pasta sheets for Fettuccine or spaghetti.
- 1 cup ricotta cheese, with excess moisture squeezed out through a paper towel
- 1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mix filling ingredients together before preparing pasta sheets.
- Prepare pasta sheets as instructed above, but do not let them dry out.
- Place dumpling press under pasta sheet and place a teaspoon of filling in center.
- Fold dumpling press over to seal. Then use a knife or pastry cutter to cut away excess dough.
- After that, place on a parchment lined baking sheet to dry out.
- When the first size dries for about 10-20 minutes, flip over to dry the other side.
Tip: If you live in a warm humid climate, you might want to place your pasta filled half moons in a convection oven at 350F for 5-10 minutes to help the drying process. Also, if edges don’t seal all the way, press with a fork dipped in flour. Likewise, sprinkle flour on edges of dumpling press to prevent pasta from sticking to inside.
Follow cooking instructions for Fettuccine.
Homemade Pasta Recipe for Ravioli
To begin make the filling for half moons before making the pasta. Once the filling is made, make the pasta sheets as for half moons. To make the ravioli, lay the dough on the table. Then lightly press ravioli molds on pasta to mark where filling should go. Make sure not to cut all the way through. After that, place a small spoonful of filling in the center of cut out fig. 1. Once filling is placed in the center of each ravioli, cover gently with a second sheet of pasta, fig. 2. Once covered with the second pasta sheet, carefully use ravioli cutters to cut all the way through each ravioli, fig.3. If raviolis are not cut all the way through, use a pastry cutter to finish the job. Dry in the same way as for half moons, follow cooking instructions for Fettuccine.
Homemade Pasta Recipe for Lasagna
Make pasta sheets the same as above and cut into appropriate lengths to fit your lasagna pan. Make filling while pasta is drying. Cook onion and mushrooms over medium heat in a tablespoon of olive oil until tender. When onion is tender add spinach until wilted. Then remove from heat.
These ingredients may need to be adjusted depending on your tastes and size of baking pan you are using.
- 4oz. sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 cup diced onions
- 5 oz. fresh spinach
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 egg
- 2 cups sauce
Once your pasta sheets have dried slightly, fig. 1, and your filling is cooling, boil a large pot of salted water. Once the water boils add a few sheets of pasta for 30 seconds, fig. 2. Then remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cold water. After that take the pasta out of the water and place on a clean towel to dry fig. 3. While pasta is drying mix ricotta, Parmesan, 1/2 cup of mozzarella with egg until smooth and well blended.
To assemble the lasagna spread a light layer of sauce over the bottom of your baking dish, fig.4. Then top that with a layer of pasta sheets, cutting pasta with a sharp knife to fit properly. I try to estimate the size I need and cut prior to placing the sheets in the dish to prevent mess. After that spread the vegetables in an even layer and top with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Then place another layer of pasta sheets. Spread the ricotta cheese mixture evenly on top of that. Top with a last layer of pasta sheets. Cover with sauce. Then sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.
Homemade Pasta Recipes: Cannelloni
To make Cannelloni use the same filling as for the homemade pasta recipes for half moon pasta. Prepare the pasta sheets the same way as for lasagna. Then one at a time spoon filling into center, Fig. 1, and roll up, fig 2. After that place in a baking pan that has been spread with a layer of sauce, fig. 3. Top with desired amount of sauce, and sprinkle with additional mozzarella cheese, fig. 4. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned, fig. 5.
My focus in this post was on the process. I wanted to give instructions on making the pasta, using the tools, and tips based on my experiences. Filling ingredients may need to be adjusted depending on the amount of pasta your are making or based on the size pan you are using. For example, if you plan on making a large pan of cannelloni I would double the amount of filling. Of course you can use other fillings as well.
In addition, you may freeze the uncooked pasta after it is no longer moist to the touch to cook at a later date.
I plan on following this post up with another to include additional fillings and pasta variations. Sign up for my newsletter above so you don’t miss out!
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