How to Make Handmade Pasta Without a Machine
For the home cook, the idea of making fresh pasta may sound intimidating. But starting noodles from scratch is actually incredibly easy: Our recipe for Fresh Pasta Without a Machine doesn’t require any specialized equipment, and it only requires four everyday ingredients (flour, eggs, olive oil, salt). Moreover, using fresh pasta makes a world of difference when it comes to turning out an all-star dish.
For a pasta dough that could be easily rolled out by hand (but still cook up into delicate, springy noodles), we create a super-malleable dough that doesn’t snap back when you roll it. A generous splash of olive oil coats the flour proteins and limits their ability to form gluten so the dough stays more elastic. We also mixed in six extra egg yolks. Yolks are loaded with fat and emulsifiers that also limit gluten development—but because their proteins coagulate when heated, adding structure, they ensure that the pasta is strong enough to stay intact when boiled.
Additionally, we incorporated an extended resting period to allow the gluten network to relax and developed a simple, effective rolling technique (which we outline below).
What’s the trick to turning a lump of pasta dough into long, silky strands—all without a pasta roller? Starting with a soft, malleable dough is half the battle. You should be able to easily make an indent in the dough as shown:
After that, all there’s left is dividing the dough into small, manageable pieces and working with them one at a time. Here’s how. (Want to make homemade shaped pasta, like farfalle? Learn how here.)
1. WORK WITH SMALL PIECES
Shape the dough into a 6-inch cylinder; wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 1 hour. Divide it into 6 equal pieces. Reserve 1 piece; rewrap the remaining 5.