Making your own pasta at home may seem like a faff but with just four ingredients, a bit of know-how and a little elbow grease you’ll soon be dishing up the silkiest homemade pasta. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
How to make perfect homemade pasta
Use ’00’ flour
The ‘00’ refers to the grade that the flour has been milled to – in this case to very fine, with all of the bran sifted out, resulting in a very soft dough. It will, however, contain plenty of gluten and protein – look for 10-12% in the nutritional facts box – meaning the dough will be strong and stretchy once kneaded. Try this one from Waitrose, available on Ocado.
Egg whites and yolks
The egg white and yolk will be doing different things within the dough – the whites will help bind the dough together while ensuring it’s stretchy and pliable. The yolks will add richness and a deep colour.
Kneading the pasta dough
Kneading the dough bonds the gluten molecules in long chains, making it elastic and easy to roll until paper-thin, and will give the pasta some bite once cooked. Kneading also helps to get rid of any flour pockets and air bubbles.
Resting the pasta dough
Any gluten-based dough needs to rest – this helps the gluten strands relax and become even more pliable, which will make it much easier to put through the pasta machine, with less springing back, warping or tearing. Any excess water will also be fully absorbed by the flour, resulting in a smooth dough.
Rolling the pasta
Using a pasta machine instead of a rolling pin will make the process a lot easier and ensure more precise results. It’s important to start on the widest setting with a pasta machine, and run it through twice on each setting. Repeatedly rolling the pasta aligns the gluten bonds into long lines, resulting in a long, smooth sheet of elastic dough which is easy to work with.
Cooking the pasta
The water needs to be just simmering – boiling water may tear or break the pasta, and it will be much easier to judge when the pasta is perfectly cooked.
Homemade butternut ravioli recipe with brown butter and sage
- butternut squash 400g, peeled and cut into 4cm pieces
- garlic 3 cloves, skin on
- olive oil 1 tbsp
- ricotta 100g
- lemon ½, juiced
- nutmeg a good grating
- butter 200g
- sage leaves 8
- parmesan (or veggie alternative) finely grated, to serve
- '00' flour 300g, plus extra for dusting
- eggs 2
- egg yolks 4 (freeze the whites for meringues, if you like)
- Kcals 842
- Fat 56g
- Saturates 30.9g
- Carbs 64.7g
- Sugars 4.1g
- Fibre 4.6g
- Protein 17.5g
- Salt 2.3g