Holiday traditions in my husband’s family don’t end with a glittery Christmas tree and stockings hung above a toasty fire. No, siree. Every year we roll up our sleeves, prepare fresh pasta dough and make hundreds of homemade ravioli!
A few years ago, I started helping out with the process and have come to love the tradition (and memories made) ever since.
Having a keen eye for lovers of kitchen gadgets like myself, my mother-in-law surprised me with a shiny new pasta machine for my recent birthday. Taking it for a spin was even easier than I expected, and whipping up ribbons of soft, delicate fettuccine has been the most fun I’ve had in the kitchen yet!
Today, I’m excited to share my best homemade pasta recipe with you (and lots of step-by-step photos below). A simple combination of four ingredients makes for the best pasta you’ve ever had in your life – perfect with a savory tomato sauce and a pile of meatballs. Each tender forkful is made even more tasty knowing it’s homemade!
You’ll love feasting on homemade fettuccine just as much as you’ll enjoy making it. There’s no better sense of accomplishment than seeing those beautiful doughy ribbons of pasta spill out into your hand and onto your plate. Homemade pasta may take a little patience, but the work you put in is well worth the delicious reward!
Yield: Serves 4
Measure flour onto a clean, dry surface; form a mound then create a well in the center. Crack eggs into the well of flour. Add salt.
Mix eggs gently with a fork, without disturbing the flour. Once eggs are mixed well, slowly incorporate the flour into the egg mixture, a little at a time. Once mixture is well combined, gather dough together with your fingers. Add milk drips at a time, incorporating into mixture until you can form a dough ball (You may not need all 3 Tbsp. of milk). If the dough ball is sticky, add a little flour.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough ball like you would bread dough. Push the dough down away from you with the palm of your hand, then turn it 90 degrees, fold, and push down again away from you with the palm of your hand. Continue kneading for 3 minutes, then cut dough ball into 4 even pieces.
If not using right away, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 day.
Flatten dough balls in your hand, lightly flouring them and the pasta machine. Set pasta machine to the widest setting, mine was setting 1. Feed the flattened piece of dough into the slot of the pasta machine while turning the handle, or allow automatic mixer to feed through. Hold dough in your other hand while it comes out of the machine. Fold dough in half and repeat 6 times to make dough very smooth. Dust flour on dough as needed, it should not be sticky.
After you have processed 6 times on setting 1, turn to setting 2. Feed the dough into the machine while gently holding it when it comes out. Repeat. Turn the setting to 3 and repeat. The dough should go through each setting twice. I stopped my dough at setting 6. Place each thin, long piece of dough on a floured surface and cut in half.
For fettuccine… Prepare dough cutter on pasta machine. Lightly flour the pasta drying rack. Sprinkle flour on each side of whole dough pieces.
Feed each piece through the dough cutter, making sure to catch falling pasta with your other hand. If you don’t have a pasta machine, simply fold over the well-floured pasta then cut into desired size with a sharp knife.
Place cut pasta on drying rack and gently separate each piece just so they’re not touching. Repeat the process with other dough balls. Let the hanging pasta dry for 3-4 hours.
To cook pasta… Set a medium pot of water over high heat; bring to a rolling boil. Once boiling, place pasta into the water and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and toss with your favorite sauce, or freshly grated Parmesan and a bit of butter.
• Dried pasta can be frozen in a resealable plastic bag
• Refrigerate dough balls up to 1 day; they cannot be frozen
• Always keep your dough, pasta machine and work surface lightly floured
• The whole process is made easier (and more fun!) with at least 2 people
• Don’t let pasta sheets dry out; cover with a dry towel or plastic wrap if needed
Adapted from For The Love of Cooking