Making pasta from scratch is easier than you probably think. In about an hour you can turn out a batch of fresh pasta made from a few ingredients (staples you probably have in your pantry) to pair with your favorite sauces. And, no, you don’t need one of those fancy pasta machines. One base recipe is all it takes to create lasagna, spaghetti with meatballs, or stuffed ravioli. Skip that box of dried pasta and follow these simple instructions to make four shapes from your homemade pasta dough. If it’s your first time making pasta from scratch, get detailed instructions on how to mix, knead, and roll your dough here.
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Roll Your Dough
Divide the dough into four equal portions using a sharp knife. On a lightly floured surface (a few tablespoons should do the trick), roll each portion into a 12×9-inch rectangle about ¹⁄₁₆ inch thick, or thin enough that you can almost see through it. Give both sides of the dough another dusting with flour. Let the dough stand, uncovered, 20 minutes. Now you’re ready to cut it into your favorite pasta shapes.
How to Cut Long Homemade Pasta Noodles
For linguine and fettuccini noodles, use a pastry wheel or pizza cutter to cut the pasta dough. We didn’t measure the width of our cuts, but if you’re looking for uniform noodles use a ruler. For fettuccini, aim for about ¼ inch wide, for linguine about ⅛ inch wide. Dust your noodles with a couple tablespoons of flour or enough to keep them from sticking during cutting.
Buy It: J.K. Adams French Tapered Rolling Pin, $15, Sur La Table
How to Make Ravioli
For ravioli, you will want a ravioli press (It’s like a cookie cutter for pasta.) Dip the press into flour between cuts to prevent sticking. Don’t forget to cut double the amount of pieces you cut because you’ll be using two pieces to create each filled ravioli. Place a mound of your desired filling in the center of half the shapes. Use a pastry brush or your finger to moisten the edges of the dough with water. Cover with a second piece of dough. Seal the edges using the side of your hand.
Related: Mix and Match Ravioli Fillings and Sauces for When Marinara Just Isn’t Enough
How to Make Farfalle- or Bow Tie-Shape Noodles
Use a pastry wheel (such as this fluted one for a decorative edge, $7, Williams-Sonoma) or pizza cutter to cut dough into 1½x1-inch rectangles. They don’t have to be perfect. (That’s part of the fun of homemade.) Brush the center with a little water, then pinch the center edges together to create a bow shape.
How to Cut Pasta into Lasagna Noodles
Use a sharp knife or pastry wheel to cut dough into sheets that are about 12×3 inches. The noodles don’t need to be cooked before being used in your favorite lasagna recipes. But do add a bit of extra sauce to the lasagna because the noodles require a little more moisture to cook through.
Storing Homemade Pasta
To store fresh pasta, arrange the noodles on a pasta drying rack, such as this rack from Crate and Barrel for $14.95 or on wire cooling racks. Let noodles stand, covered, 2 hours to dry. Noodles will keep chilled in an airtight container up to 3 days. To freeze, dry the noodles at least 1 hour; they will keep up to 8 months in a freezer bag or freezer container.
How to Cook Fresh Pasta
If you’re ready to eat your fresh, homemade pasta now, bring a large pot of salted water to boiling. Each of these fresh pasta shapes cooks to al dente (meaning they retain a bit of bite) in only a few minutes, so check for doneness after about 1½ minutes. Toss your homemade noodles in our roasted garlic sauce or go creamy with an Alfredo sauce that rivals your favorite Italian restaurant.