How to make and store fresh homemade pasta

July 27, 2015

Making your own pasta from scratch can be a lot more gratifying — and tasty! Here's your fool-proof guide.

How to make and store fresh homemade pasta

By hand

  • On a lightly floured surface using a long, thin rolling pin, roll out one piece of dough into 1.5 millimetre (1/16 inch) thick 50 x 36-centimetre (20 x 14 inch) rectangle.
  • Lightly flour the top of the dough to prevent sticking.
  • Fold the rectangle of dough in half lengthwise, then fold it again; you should have a 12.5 x 36 centimetre (5 x 14 inch) rectangle — do not press the dough together.
  • Using a very sharp knife or pastry wheel and a ruler or straightedge if needed, cut the sheet of dough into strips, making them as narrow or as wide as you like.
  • Carefully unfold the strips and either hang them gently on a drying rack or lay them flat on dish towels.
  • Let dry for one to two hours.
  • Fresh pasta must air-dry before cooking or it becomes gluey when boiled.

Using a pasta machine

  • Following the manufacturer's directions, pass the dough several times through the machine's rollers to knead it and make it elastic.
  • Adjust the rollers closer and closer together as you roll the dough until it is thin enough to cut.
  • Set the machine to cut the desired shapes, and cut.
  • Let the pasta dry on a drying rack or flat on dish towels for one to two hours.

Processor dough pasta

You can make quick work of mixing the dough if you use your food processor instead of your fingers.

What you need:

  • 625 g (2 1/4 c) all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 ml (1/4 c) water
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) salt

What to do:

1. Fit a food processor with a plastic dough blade or a metal chopping blade. Combine all the ingredients in the food processor container. Process until the dough rides up in the centre, about 20 to 30 seconds.

2. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about five minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes before rolling.

3. Roll out and cut the dough by hand or with a pasta machine.

4. To cook, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta. Fresh pasta cooks very quickly — thin strands may be cooked by the time they float to the surface of the water; other varieties will cook in about one to two minutes, ravioli in six minutes. Makes four to six servings of spaghetti or linguine or enough for a large lasagna.

Storing fresh pasta

  • Let the pasta dry for several hours or until it is dry but not brittle.
  • For long strands of pasta (fettuccine or linguine, for example), when the dough has dried slightly but is still pliable, gently wrap a loose bunch around your fingers to form a "nest."
  • Set the nest to dry completely.
  • For large lasagna rectangles, allow each to dry completely, then stack the pieces between sheets of wax paper.
  • Store cut pasta in self-sealing plastic bags or airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to one month.


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