How to Make Homemade Pasta {fun to make with the kids}!

It certainly is a lot easier and faster to just open a box of dried pasta, dump it into boiling water and have dinner ready in less than 15 minutes. And 99% of the time- that’s how we roll too. But when you have the time, want to cook with the kids, and want to make something that is so much tastier than the boxed variety- I highly recommend making your own homemade pasta! It’s not hard, the kids love to crank the pasta machine, and it actually is kind of fun!

In the 90’s I had a pasta maker like this- and man- how I loved to use that thing.

pasta maker

You literally spooned in the flour, dropped in the eggs and it did all of the mixing for you. Then you pressed the extrude button and out it came. Delicious, doughy pasta elbows (or whatever shape you wanted to make). I used that machine until I burned out the motor. And then for a long time I forgot all about making homemade pasta.

Homemade Pasta- pasta maker- backUntil recently….. I came across a recipe that reminded me that pasta is just a few simple ingredients: flour, salt, eggs, and water- and I dug out an old hand-crack pasta maker from a closet, and decided to call in the troops for some help. Here’s how it’s done:

Homemade Pasta Dough:

Homemade Pasta- dough

In your food processor- mix together 2 cups of flour (I just used unbleached flour which I always have on hand), and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and blend for 5 seconds. Add 2 large eggs and 4 tablespoons of warm water, and pulse to blend until a moist dough forms. You can add more warm water, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too dry.

Remove the dough from the food processor and knead it on your kitchen counter for 5-10 minutes until dough is silky and pliable. You can sprinkle in more flour if it is too sticky. Form a ball, lightly dust the outside of the dough with flour, and wrap in plastic wrap to “rest” for about an hour.

Rolling the Pasta Dough:

Homemade Pasta- cut dough into 6 piecesUnwrap the dough from the plastic wrap and cut into 6 equal’ish pieces.

Homemade Pasta- roll out to get startedUsing a rolling pin, flatten one of the pieces until it is thin enough that it can be fed through your pasta machine at the widest setting.

Homemade Pasta- thru machine once

Crank it through the machine once. Adjust the knob to a thinner setting (I skipped down two), run the pasta through again, and then adjust the knob to an even thinner setting, and run it through one more time.

Homemade pasta- roll out three timesYour pasta ribbon will grow and grow! (Kids love this part!)

Next, add the cutting attachment to the end of the pasta maker and switch the handle to “drive” the attachment rather than the base. We decided to make fettuccine noodles- so that is the attachment that we used. Run the pasta through again to cut the noodles.

Homemade Pasta- add attachment to cut pasta

After we created the noodles, we used our hands to gently spilt them apart, and tossed them in a bit of flour we dusted on top, to keep them from sticking together while we cut the rest of the pasta.

Homemade Pasta-separate stands dust with flour

 Boiling the Pasta:

Homemade Pasta- cook

Fresh pasta cooks very quickly- about 2-3 minutes in boiling water is all that it takes!

Homemade Pasta- yum

A little sauce (homemade of course!), some meatballs and garlic bread (um- purchased frozen!), a nice salad and a glass of wine- and you are all set!

So who’s up for a little homemade pasta? (And if any of you once owned the electric pasta extruding machine like I did- I would love to hear about it!) 

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