Sunday, January 4, 2015

Homemade pasta

Most of the ravioli we eat we make ourselves. And since the pasta dough is easy to make, I usually double the recipe to make noodles or other shapes in addition to the ravioli. It's a good project for a rainy day with the bonus of a homemade pasta dinner plus more pasta in the freezer.

Pasta dough recipes are plentiful, but most are a simple mixture of flour, salt and eggs. I've found that a ratio of 3/4 cup flour to 1 egg works well and can be easy increased based on the number of diners. Once you get the hang of it, try adding chopped cooked spinach, tomato paste or herbs to the dough, or incorporating other flours (whole grain, semolina) for different flavors.

To make noodles, I use a pasta roller and cutter. While the gizmo makes the task easier, it's not a requirement. You only need a rolling pin and sharp knife. Just roll the dough very thin on a floured surface and cut into desired shapes.

Mix flour and salt and make a well in the center for the eggs. I doubled the recipe
using 3 cups flour (half semolina, half bread flour) mixed with 4 eggs

Knead dough for 5-10 minutes then cover with a damp towel
and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Divide dough in half and using a pasta roller, knead and roll dough to desired thickness.
I use the thinnest (#7) setting. If you don't have a pasta machine, use a rolling
pin to roll to desired thickness. Cut pasta into sheets.

Drop filling (about a tablespoon each) along top and bottom of pasta sheet. The filling I used was
15 oz ricotta mixed with one egg, salt & pepper, 1 tsp each dried parsley and basil
and 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. If desired, add diced sauteed
mushrooms, pumpkin puree, cooked sausage, etc.

Top with second sheet of pasta dough, carefully pinching
then cutting between mounds of filling.

Using your fingers, press seams of ravioli making sure to press out any air pockets.
Place on a towel dusted with flour. Let dry for at least an hour before using.
To freeze, place ravioli in a single layer on a cookie sheet dusted with flour.
Place in freezer overnight. Remove ravioli to a freezer bag for long-term storage. 
In addition to about three dozen ravioli, this recipe also made fettuccine for a second meal.

The pasta is the star so I tend to dress with a simple red sauce. Just fresh
canned tomatoes and a few herbs. Perfect with a slice of homemade focaccia

Basic Pasta Dough
1 1/2 cups bread flour
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add eggs, beating slightly with a fork. Slowly incorporate flour. When eggs are incorporated, turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead 5-10 minutes until smooth. Wrap in a slightly damp towel and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Roll and cut into desired shapes.

To cook: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, return to a boil and cook for 3-5 minutes. Overcooking may cause ravioli to burst.

Quick Red Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 quart tomatoes
1-2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp each dried basil and dried oregano
1 tsp sugar
salt & pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large pan, Add onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Add tomatoes, paste, herbs, sugar and salt and pepper. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve over pasta.


  1. Hi, I kove making my own pasta as well. The recipe I use calls for 3 cups flour and 3eggs with one 10 ounce pakage of spinach. . I was wondering if you had any troubles with the ratio when incorporating spinach or other vegetables in the pasta because I find the dough rather hard to work with. Also what is your reason for the bread flour. Thanks

    1. Hi Jason! I use bread flour as it has a higher protein content which develops more gluten. This gluten makes nicer noodles and makes the dough easier to roll. I typically use a ratio of 3/4 cup of flour to 1 large egg. If I incorporate veg or whole grain flour into the pasta, I might add a bit of water to help with the consistency and rolling (unless I'm extruding pasta and making shapes, then I decrease the liquid). Thanks for stopping by!