Making pasta at home has always been something I’ve wanted to do, but frankly, it’s kind of intimidating. Having finally faced my fears, let me tell you: it is not as difficult as you think! Time consuming, yes. Especially if you triple the batch like I did. But good? Oh yeah. And the best part about hearing this from me? I made pasta without a pasta machine or a pasta roller or a pasta cutter. I do have this ravioli press to help make ravioli, but that’s the end to my pasta equipment.
From start to finish, it took me seven hours, but don’t let that discourage you. That includes stopping to cook and eat dinner, allowing the dough to rest, and allowing the pasta to sit out on the counter for several hours to dry out.
So are you ready?
Pasta Dough Recipe
3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
(I tripled this recipe and made 96 raviolis. My husband, son and I ate 24 at one meal.)
Add flour one cup at a time, mixing well each time. After a while, you’ll just have to work the flour into the dough by hand. By the last cup, it will look like you have way too much flour, but just keep kneading. Eventually it will look like dough.
If it just will not come together, add water one teaspoon at a time, kneading after each addition, until it does. If it it’s to sticky, add flour a sprinkle at a time until you could throw it across the room with accuracy.🙂
Shape it into a log, wrap with plastic wrap and let sit on counter for at least one hour, but no more than 4. (This allows the gluten to relax so it’s not as springy when you hand roll it. If you have a pasta machine instead of a rolling pin, this step is not necessary.)
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half width-wise, and then in half again, so you have four roughly equal sized pieces. Keep all dough in plastic wrap until ready to use it, one piece at a time, so it doesn’t dry out.
On a lightly floured surface, press one piece of dough lightly with your hands until you have a 3 inch square. Then, with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough out until it is translucent and you can see your fingers through the dough. Note: always start in the middle of the dough, rolling once away from you, then toward you, then flip the dough over and repeat. This way you’re not re-rolling the same mass. You should have a looong skinny rectangle. Place dough on frame, press to form pockets, and place 1/2 tablespoon of filling in each pocket. (My filling was 2 cups cooked ground meat, 2 cups shredded mozzarella, 15 oz ricotta, 1/2 cup grated parmesan, 1 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp each dried basil and oregano. It was lightly flavored, which is how we like it. For more flavor, I’d increase the spices or use Italian sausage.)
Place another rectangle of dough on top and press with rolling pin, lightly at first and then harder, until edges of frame are visible through the pasta. Trim away dough edges and re-roll. Turn frame upside down and gently press ravioli out with fingers. Transfer to a heavily floured baking sheet. Let them air dry on the counter for at least one hour, and then flip them and let the other side air dry for at least an hour more. Then…
Freeze them on their floured baking sheets and then toss in a freezer bag for a quick, gourmet home cooked meal! (Or toss them in booking water and easy them right away!)
I ended up cutting the remaining dough into strips with a pizza cutter to make thin fettucine-like noodles. Just hang those up to dry overnight. Yep, that’s my wiped-down laundry drying rack they’re on.
By the way, this is the best arm workout I’ve had in a while. Now I know why Italian grandmothers are so dang strong.🙂
Dough recipe is from the back of the ravioli press I have.
Soli Deo Gloria.