To the amateur cook, making pasta from scratch can seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually surprisingly simple! Ready-made pasta is quick, convenient, and easy to store, but there are advantages to making fresh pasta, too. The texture of fresh pasta is silkier and chewier, making for a different tasting experience. It’s also rewarding to partake in a centuries-long tradition, perhaps daydreaming that you’re smelling the fresh air and seeing the rolling hills of the Italian countryside through your window. So let’s learn how to make fresh pasta!
The Best Flour for Pasta
Is there a special type of flour used to make pasta? Yes. But don’t worry—it’s easy to come by (especially at Supermarket Italy!). The best pasta flour (and pizza flour, for that matter) is 00 pasta flour. This is a refined Italian flour that offers the best, smooth texture. Antimo Caputo and Molino Grassi are two popular 00 flour brands.
Some people also use a blend of 00 pasta flour and semolina flour. Semolina flour is not as refined, making this mixture ideal for that perfect al dente bite. Try these 10 healthy pasta recipes that won't break your diet.
How to Make Pasta Dough
Only two ingredients are necessary to make pasta from scratch: flour and water. It’s really that simple! Many people also make pasta dough with eggs, but egg pasta isn’t vegan, so it’s optional. However, egg pasta does offer a richer flavor.
The most common ratio of flour to water for eggless pasta is 3:1 (e.g., 3 cups flour per 1 cup water). Optionally, you can also work in a dash of extra virgin olive oil and salt. For egg pasta, the ratio is 2:3 (2 cups flour per 3 eggs).
Place the pasta flour in a mound on a cutting board, then make a depression in the center like a little well. Put warm water into the well and slowly knead the ingredients together. You will end up with a pasta dough ball that you can then flatten with a rolling pin. Creating the pasta shape can be done using a pasta machine or by hand—be creative! Even try making these unique ravioli recipes.
Note: Fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta. The amount of time depends on the pasta thickness, but no more than a few minutes.
How to Make Colored Pasta
If you’re new to making pasta, you probably marvel at colored pasta. Pink, orange, green—how do they do it? Just as making pasta dough is easier than you’d think, so too is making colored pasta dough.
When mixing the flour and water together to make the dough, also mix in the vegetable puree or seasoning of your choice! (Depending on the ingredients, you may have to adjust the amount of water used.) Make a simple black pepper pasta, spinach pasta, or beet pasta and enjoy the stunning colors and flavors. Your guests will be impressed and they don’t even have to know how effortless it was.