Recipe for Perfect Pasta Dough

It’s National Pasta Day, a very important day indeed!  White, wheat, ravioli, rigatoni, angel hair, I don’t care – I love it all.  Digging into a massive bowl of carbs is always incredible whether it’s a baseline box of Barilla, artisan crafted, or handmade.  For National Pasta Day, I wanted to share with you the ultimate recipe for making pasta from scratch – as perfected by the one and only Will Rumley, a close friend of mine who taught me everything I know about homemade pasta.

homemade tortellini

It was a Tuesday evening.  I head over to Will’s, as is our tradition for Tuesday nights, and found him flitting about his kitchen, Italian music playing, and there is flour everywhere.  He was making homemade pasta from scratch for dinner as casually as if he were preparing a frozen pizza.  Using nothing but a food processor and a classic pasta maker (no complicated machinery to put together), he was spinning out beautiful linguine – in a delightful white wine sauce with mushrooms. 

homemade pasta dough

After seeing how seemlessly Will threw this meal together, I was convinced that homemade pasta was far easier than I thought. I was eager to try it myself.  While I wasn’t wrong that making pasta from scratch is far more achievable than it seems, I realized there was a whole debate going on in this pasta-making world that I didn’t know about:

What is the best ratio of flour to eggs (and egg yolks) to water?  

homemade pasta dough

Deep in the trenches of other food blog posts, comments, and forums, I was at a loss for how exactly to make the BEST pasta dough.  Will, always one for experimenting, was still working on his perfect dough at this point in time.  He sent me this article from Serious Eats that goes DEEP into the impacts of having too much or too little of each ingredient.  While very educational, I still felt uncertain about what ratio would be PERFECT.  I made a few attempts just going off of how things felt.  All were decent, but, as I do, I wanted perfection.

homemade pasta

Thankfully for me, Will was just as keen on perfecting his dough but much more dedicated to performing countless iterations.  After another week night of making tortellini together, I realized the dough was becoming so consistent over the past couple of months and the texture was perfect: he cracked the ratio.    After many iterations, he adapted the ultimate pasta dough ratios from Serious Eats – and I myself have put it to the test with some homemade butternut squash tortellini this past weekend, as well as some homemade linguine noodles last night.

All you need is a basic pasta maker, rolling pin, and your hands.

homemade fresh pasta
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Perfect Pasta Dough

  • Prep Time: 90 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

The ideal ratio of flour, eggs, and egg yolks for nailing that fresh made pasta at home.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • water ((as needed))
  • extra flour ((as needed))

Instructions

  1. Pour your 2 cups of flour in a pile either on a clean work surface, or in a large bowl (to minimize the mess in your kitchen).
  2. Create a “well” in the pile of flour. Pour the 2 eggs and the 4 egg yolks into the well.
  3. Whisk the egg and flour together by gradually drawing in more flour to the inside using a spoon or fork.
  4. Once the flour and eggs have been thoroughly mixed, get your hands dirty and knead the dough together for 5-8 minutes. It will become a cohesive, smooth mound of dough.
  5. Let the dough rest in a covered bowl for one hour. If you’re going to be using the dough later in the day or even the next day, store it in the fridge but let it sit for an hour to reach room temp before rolling out into pasta.
  6. To make rolling out the dough easier, split your ball of dough into four sections. Working with one section of dough at a time, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough.
  7. Put the rolled out dough through your pasta making at the widest setting, slowly working your way to the mid-width setting. A basic pasta maker will have widths labeled 1-6. Start on 6, and work your way to 3.
  8. Finally, put your ribbon of dough through the pasta maker in the style of your choice.
  9. Be sure to use extra flour when necessary if pasta dough starts to feel sticky. You don’t want any of your pasta noodles or pieces to get stuck together. Likewise, if the dough starts to get craggy and dry, add a little bit of water to make it more workable.
  10. Boil some water and cook your pasta as you would the store-bought kind – but only for about 3 minutes.

Keywords: homemade pasta, pasta dough, fresh pasta

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