How to make pasta: fresh and from scratch

Making pasta is an art, but it is fairly easy to do and requires just two ingredients – here's how to get started

how to make pasta
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Always wanted to know how to make pasta? Che bello! The good news is that it's easier than you think. Plus, it's tastier and healthier than anything you will pick up in a supermarket...

Admittedly it's not quite as convenient as dried alternatives, but once you've mastered the art of making fresh pasta – whether by hand, or in a food processor – you'll be surprised just how quickly you can knock up something extraordinary. And if you're looking to impress dinner party guests, making your own pasta guarantees success. 

For more recipe ideas and cooking tips, head over to our food hub.

How to make pasta dough

Freezing pasta dough

It's perfectly possible to freeze pasta dough for up to four weeks. This is great news if you're looking to speed up the pasta making process, midweek. Simply wrap your dough in cling film, place in the freezer and you're good to go.

This recipes serves four

Ingredients:

  • '00' flour, 400g – this can be found at most major supermarkets, or Italian delicatessens
  •  Free range eggs, four large

Method:

1. Add all of your flour to a large, deep bowl. Create a well at the centre.

2. Crack your eggs into the well, lightly beating to create a smooth consistency.

3. Ditch your utensils and get your hands involved! Gently work your flour into the egg until you achieve a dough like consistency.

4. Next, you'll want to remove your dough from the mixing bowl in order to knead it effectively. We'd advise sprinkling the surface with flour to prevent anything from sticking. 

Top tip: kneading dough requires elbow grease! We'd recommend gently stretching your dough so that it doubles in length, before folding it in half on your surface and pressing into the dough with base of your palm. Repeat until your dough feels smooth.

5. Wrap your dough in cling film and place in the fridge for up to 30 minutes. Jump for tips on how to hand roll pasta or how to use a pasta machine.

How to make pasta dough in a food processor

Method:

1. Add your eggs and flour to a food processor. Blend until your ingredients form breadcrumbs.

2. Remove from your food processor and mash together to create one large ball of dough.

3. Next you'll need to knead it effectively. We'd advise sprinkling the surface with flour to prevent anything from sticking.

Top tip: kneading dough requires elbow grease! We'd recommend gently stretching your dough so that it doubles in length, before folding it in half on your surface and pressing into the dough with base of your palm. Repeat until your dough feels smooth.

5. Wrap your dough in cling film and place in the fridge for up to 30 minutes. Jump for tips on how to hand roll pasta or how to use a pasta machine.

How to hand roll pasta

If you're hand rolling your pasta, you'll want to sprinkle your surface with flour to prevent anything from sticking, as well as ensuring you have enough space to work with.

Take a rolling pin, and a small amount of your pasta dough, and begin rolling. Your aim is the get the dough as thin as possible. Once you've achieved this, use a knife to cut your pasta into your desired shape. We'd recommend keeping things simple if it's your first time, perhaps stick to tagliatelle, lasagna, ravioli and the like. 

How to use a pasta machine

If you're using a pasta machine, you'll want to start by rolling your pasta with a rolling pin so that it forms a rectangular shaped block no wider than the width of your pasta machine.

Initially, you'll want to make sure you pasta machine is set to the widest setting possible. Use one hand to feed your pasta dough through the machine, and one hand to turn the handle – you may need to swap hands in order to receive your pasta part way through.

After your pasta has passed through the machine, turn the settings up one notch, so that you're feeding your pasta through a slightly narrower system. Repeat the process, passing your pasta through the machine, then changing the setting, until you've reached the thickness outlined in a recipe, or the narrowest setting available on your pasta maker.

From there, you can either hand cut your pasta. Or, some machines make it easy to cut spaghetti, tagliatelle and other types of pasta.