Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Homemade Pasta

This past week has been a real adventure for me and a lot of fun - I learned to make pasta. The May issue of Bonappetit Magazine had this luscious looking sauce recipe that was placed on a pile of homemade pasta. I had always wanted to make pasta but not having the stereotypical heavy set Italian grandmother to teach me I avoided even trying. So I did what I usually do in such a situation - I made a list!

  1. Find a machine to make the pasta.  This was easier said than done, but after some research and user reviews I settled on the Italian Imperia model purchased at Williams-Sonoma.

Check out how beautiful this little machine is - sleek, bright and modern. I have to admit that one of the reasons I picked it was because it was red.

2. Find a pasta recipe.  Luckily the Williams-Sonoma website has a video of Jessica, their culinary expert, who gives you the recipe and shows you how to make the pasta using the Imperia machine.

The addition of #3 & #4 didn't happen until my first batch of pasta failed and stuck together. After consulting with my friend Chef Jeff Maiani at Bistro 310 I had to add more to my list. He said the pasta was probably too wet!

3.  Semolina. I couldn't locate this at my local Kroger, so I purchased a boatload from You can make a firmer pasta by just using semolina, but this time I used it to sprinkle on the pasta as it was drying to keep it from sticking.

4. And last but not least is the drying rack. Now that I have had a bit of success I don't really think the rack is necessary, but I like the way it looks and for $12.95 at why not?


  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 3 eggs

1.  Place flour on countertop and make a well in the middle of it.  Add three eggs to the well.

Using a fork mix eggs briefly and begin incorporating the flour into the eggs. Try not to breach the flour wall. Mix until you can begin kneading with your hands.  Mix in as much of the flour as you can. Using a blade knife scrape up leftover flour, and stuck on bits, and place it in a sifter.  Sift flour over dough until the dough won't absorb anymore.  Both times I had flour left over.
Pasta after kneading

Using your blade cut the pasta into four equal sections and place in a bowl covered with a wet towel. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

Now the fun begins. Take out one section of the pasta and roll it into a small rectangle.  Using the widest setting on the machine run pasta through flattening it into a larger 
rectangle. Fold the pasta into thirds (ends to the middle) and run the pasta through again beginning with the open edges. Williams-Sanoma says two to three times the Italian box the machine came in says nine times. I went with the Italians!

This particular machine has six setting one a bit smaller than the next. At this point you begin flattening the pasta 

into a larger rectangle (no more folding into thirds) by running it through each of the smaller rollers rolling only once per level. Since I was making Tagliatelle I only went down to the fifth setting. I now dusted each sheet with the simolina and let them hang to dry on the drying rack for 15 minutes.

Now you begin cutting the pasta. Roll each slightly dry sheet through the cutter shape that you desire. (This particular machine only had two different cutting blades although you can purchase different ones.) Dust the pasta with the semolina and hang to dry until you are ready to cook it.

So there you have it.  My first batch was a complete failure the second wasn't half bad. I have attempted many difficult things in the kitchen and for some reason I thought this might top the list.  It did not. It was really fun and the end result was really worth it.  Give it a try!

Life is good - enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. We did this with our Girl Scout troop once. They had to make something from scratch that they normally bought pre made.