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Homemade Spaghetti

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Picture of Homemade Spaghetti
I make pasta from scratch every once in a while. It's easy to do, and the results are delicious.

The process of pasta making is easier to show than to write about; so, this Instructable will mostly be pictures of the process with a little bit of written direction.

The kind of pasta I make has only four ingredients:

2 cups Flour
3 large Eggs
1 tsp Olive Oil
0-3 tsp Water
 
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Step 1: Add Ingredients

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Measure out two cups of flour and dump them on a clean work surface. Use your hand to create a depression in the flour. Crack your three eggs into the depression. Add 1 tsp olive oil to the eggs.

Don't worry if the flour walls begin to crumble. It won't affect the pasta, but it will make more of a mess.

Step 2: Mix Ingredients

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Scoop some of the flour from the walls into the eggs and gently begin mixing the flour into the eggs. Slowly incorporate more of the flour into the eggs. The goal is to get enough flour into the eggs so that they aren't runny.

Once the eggs have some flour in them use your hand to mix in more flour. After a minute or two most of the flour should be incorporated and the dough will be somewhat crumbly. Knead the dough and try to get the rest of the flour incorporated.

If you can't incorporate the remaining flour drizzle 1 tsp of water on the dough and knead it for another minute or two. Add water 1 tsp at a time until the flour is all incorporated.

Step 3: Knead!

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Knead the dough for a little bit and it will form into a cohesive ball. If the ball sticks to the work surface or your hands then sprinkle some flour on the surface. Knead the dough for five to ten minutes.

Divide the dough into equal parts.

Step 4: Roll by Hand

The next two steps can either be done with the help of a pasta rolling machine or by hand. This and the next step detail how to do it by hand.

Divide your ball in half again. Sprinkle your work surface with flour and flatten one of the balls out with your hand. Put the dough on the work surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out. Try and keep the pasta sheet as rectangular as possible. It will take some work to get it rolled out. When you cook the pasta it will get about 25-50% thicker. Keep that in mind when you decide that the pasta is thin enough.

I'm not very good at keeping the dough rectangular. If you look at the last three pictures I cut off a corner that stuck out and rolled it on to a corner that bent in. Then I trimmed it to make the edges neat.

Step 5: Cut by Hand

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Take your sheet of dough and sprinkle it front and back with a little flour. Don't put much flour because it will dry out the thin sheet of pasta.

Roll the sheet up and cut the roll into thin strips. As soon as you cut the strips un-roll them because they have a tendency to stick together.

Step 6: Roll by Machine

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Take the ball of dough and flatten it a little bit. Make sure the rollers are set on the widest setting. Start turning the rolling crank on your pasta rolling machine. Push the flattened dough into the roller and the rollers should catch the dough and pull it through.

Fold the dough in half and run it through the machine again. Repeat this 5 or 6 times, it will make the dough much more consistent.

Cut your sheet of dough in half. If you try to work with the whole sheet it quickly gets unwieldy. Don't be afraid of cutting the sheets in half if they get unwieldy.

If the sheet of dough starts to get sticky sprinkle a little bit of flour on both sides and spread it out with your hand. Don't put much flour because it will dry out the thin sheet of pasta.

Move your rollers one setting closer together, and run the dough through the rollers twice. Repeat this until your dough is as thin as you want it to be. Remember that the pasta will expand 25-50% when you cook it.

Step 7: Cut by Machine

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Put the crank into one of the cutting rollers. I used the thin cutting rollers here. Take your pasta sheet and hold it up in the air and drape the bottom into the cutting roller. Slowly and evenly turn the crank and the pasta will come out perfectly cut. Before the whole sheet is cut put your hand under the cut pasta. Catching the pasta before it hits your work surface is much easier than picking it up. Then finish cutting.

Try hard not to have any creases go into the cutter. Creases will make uneven lumpy pasta.

Step 8: Dry and Cook the Pasta

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I like to hang the pasta up to dry for a little while, but if you are cooking the pasta immediately it isn't necessary. Take some chopsticks or skewers and wedge them under a couple of plates and just throw your pasta over. Let the pasta dry for an hour or so and then freeze it or cook it.

It only takes a couple of minutes to cook fresh pasta so watch the pot closely.


If you need something explained more clearly or another picture to clarify the process add a comment and I will help you out.
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TerryB93 months ago

I have been making fresh pasta for a while and I make it really well, but when i add it to a sauce it just ends up all stuck together. It tastes great but its not right. When i use bought dried pasta it stays all seperate. Any help would be great

ZachN TerryB98 days ago

I think you can add a cup of the water you used to cook the spaghetti into the sauce if you're making the sauce yourself. the startch in the water should help keep your pasta seperated

Your recipe was right on target! My great grandmother who was 100% Italian has made homemade pasta since I was very young. It was delicious, and your recipe is the same as hers. :-) It sounds like some people do not know how to make REAL homemade pasta, and feel the need to blame everyone but themselves.

BrookeM25 months ago

So I've been experimenting with making homemade pasta and
this is a pretty standard recipe. However, my pasta never tastes good...I've
tried several ways so far. I've made it with all-purpose flower and just water.
Meh. I've tried half all-purpose flower half semolina and egg. Meh. I've tried
all-purpose flower with egg and olive oil . Meh. I've experimented with
different resting times for the dough and different thicknesses for the final product. I always have a pretty good tomato sauce
to go with my pasta, but when I add the sauce to the pasta, the pasta seems to kill
the flavor of the sauce and everything tastes super bland. Yes, I've tried
adding more salt, but the whole point was to get away from too much salt, and
it didn't help anyway.

Can you describe the taste of the pasta? Is it just salty or does it taste funny in other ways? Chances are you are cooking it for too long, which makes te pasta soggy and tasteless, only the saltiness remains (if you incorporate salt in the recipe). Also, all eggs works the best and is the tastiest, you should only add water or oil if absolutely needed, for instance when the dough seems a bit dry, because especially oil will change the taste quite heavily if you overdo it. I've had the last one happen myself, it's a pretty easy mistake to make when using oil.
Furthermore, remember that a fresh pasta only needs to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, wait for the water to boil, then add the pasta.
Hope this is of any help, good luck!
gregr (author)  bernardhkuiper3 months ago
I think bernardhkuiper is right on this one. Try a shorter cooking time, the pasta is probably soaking up too much water and diluting your tasty tomato sauce.

One thing I like to do is to put the pasta and sauce in a pan and turn the heat up on the stove all the way, and then toss and turn the pasta and sauce for a couple minutes. It drives off some of the water from the sauce and the pasta will tend to soak up some of the sauce's flavor.
danny.abhold4 months ago

If I wanted to know how to make the pasta. I would have asked. What I asked was how to make spaghetti. Not Pasta!!!

CeeCeeSirmans6 months ago
Can you sub the olive oil for grape seed oil? I am allergic to olives and their biproducts
gregr (author)  CeeCeeSirmans6 months ago
Yes! Grape seed oil should be fine, or you can just omit the oil.
You can store dry pasta.

I would like to make this and preserve it in bags or even canning jars. How would I do this?

gregr (author)  leslie.holcomb.39 months ago
I normally just freeze the pasta. No need to defrost, just drop in boiling water like normal.

I would think that it would mold if you were doing some kind of preservation other than freezing. This kind of pasta is typically made daily.
ccharles41 year ago

what type of flour is used for this?

gregr (author)  ccharles41 year ago

I normally use all purpose unbleached white flour. Bread flour works a little bit better, but is not required.

ok thanks

DEBlease1 year ago

Can you use half regular flour and half wheat flour with the same amount of the other ingredients? Thank you.

gregr (author)  DEBlease1 year ago

That should work fine. You might have to knead a little more and add a little more water.

utuku6 years ago
This was a huge disappointment. I was going to surprise my girlfriend with homemade spaghetti. I'm a decent cook; I make homemade bread(all by hand), homemade pizza, Chinese good, Indian food, etc. So I'm not a bad cook. I tried twice to get this recipe to work. Three eggs isn't nearly enough to mix in 2 cups of flour. The first time I ended with an unworkable, crumbly mess, and the second time I ended up with a hard, elastic, unworkable lump and about a half a cup of flour left. I wasted 6 eggs and 4cups of flour on this. I spent an hour trying to get it to work and all I have to show for it is sore arms, an hour's wasted time, and a bunch of wasted food. I'mnot trying to be rude, but I'm very upset and disappointed. I was really looking forward to treating us both, and on our income, that's a LOT of food going into the garbage can. I just looked at another version which said you should have 2/3 c flour to 2 eggs, which would come out to something like 5 eggs. Now I'm afraid to risk wasting even more eggs to try to fix this mess. I even bought stuff to make homemade sauce. -sigh-
sounds like you had very small eggs! I use four LARGE eggs and 250 flour and 250 semilina, a teaspoon of salt and 50ml of oil. It is really important to let the dough rest for as long as possible in the fridge wrapped in cling film. I usually overnight.
No offense, but there are a bunch of previous posts from people who had success with this recipe.  Perhaps before posting something about how upset you are that the recipe seems to be flawed, you might reconsider what might have gone wrong or what might be wrong with your expectations.

This recipe uses a pretty standard ratio of flour to eggs for pasta.  Perhaps your eggs were a little small, or you were using a kind of flour that absorbs a lot of liquid.  But in general, this recipe is what standard pasta recipes are like, so maybe your expectations aren't realistic.

You say you have experience making homemade bread -- what about very firm doughs, like bagels, for example?  Not all bread is the same.  And pasta (which is different in a number of ways) is generally made from a very firm dough.  "Hard, elastic, unworkable lump" sounds about the texture you should aim for... pasta dough is really tough to knead by hand.  If the dough really is impossible to work, cover it with a damp cloth and come back in 10-15 minutes after the gluten has relaxed a bit.

Moreover, instead of complaining here, if you really think the dough should be more wet, you could just add more liquid to the dough.  It's a bit more difficult and time-consuming than adding more flour, but all it takes is patience to gradually knead it in.

Finally, I take issue with "you should have 2/3 c flour to 2 eggs, which would come out to something like 5 eggs."  Not true.  If this were the ratio (which is unusual for pasta), 2 cups flour = 6/3 cups, which is 3 times 2/3 c.  Thus, you'd need 3 times the eggs or 2 * 3 = 6 eggs, not "something like 5 eggs."
If my opinion is that the recipe was a mess - as it was with some other people that contacted me - then that remains my opinion. To sit and write five overly-defensive paragraphs about how much you disagree really says something.

"Instead of compaining, blah blah blah." Hey I tell you what. If I have a complaint or criticism I'll make it, and you can continue to be all indignant about it. Last time I checked, you weren't my boss and the comments were for comments, even if those comments get you all in a lather.

And by the way - the ratio that you "take issue with" is the ratio that - get this - ACTUALLY WORKED FOR ME.

So kindly go away.
You're welcome to make your complaint, but why not be nicer about it? When I try a recipe that worked for lots of other people and it doesn't work for me, I usually try to figure out what *I* did wrong, rather than going on a forum and saying the formula is wrong. I'm sorry it didn't work for you, but I'm not the one who sounds "defensive."

If you notice, I gave you a bunch of practical tips -- pasta dough is firmer, like certain kinds of (firm) bread dough, you can actually knead in more liquid to existing dough, your formula for eggs actually had the calculations a little off, etc. I didn't "take issue with" the ratio -- if it works for you, fine -- I took issue with your calculation to convert the eggs from other version you found to the amount of flour in this recipe, which is a question of basic math.

The fact is that this is a pretty standard pasta recipe.  Your other version should probably still make pasta, though quite eggy and perhaps a bit harder to work with on a humid day or if you needed thin sheets -- but if it's better for you, fine.  That doesn't mean that this recipe is fatally flawed.

Jeez...
Just tried this tonight with grilled chicken. Turned out great. At the bottom where it says 0 - 3 tsp of water is where you add enough water to get the dough to the right consistency. Took about 2 tsp for me. Anyway this is the second recipe that I tried and the first to work.
I find that pasta texture is much better when you mix the flour 50/50 with semolina it gives a much better taste too. I was told this by an Italian pasta chef some time ago.
Resting the dough before rolling is important as well as rooling severatimes to break down the gluent unitl the dough becomes elastic and soft in feel.
I cut the recipe down to 1 egg and 2/3 C. flour, as I had never attempted pasta before and didn't know how successful it would be. After resting, the dough got very soft and manageable. I used a cheapo pasta roller and had great results. Going to try this again; practice makes perfect! Thanks for your great tutorial and recipe!
depotdevoid3 years ago
Thanks for the recipe! I used it to make these pasta ears for my zombie party this weekend!
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gregr (author)  depotdevoid2 years ago
Awesome! Check these out (http://goo.gl/vqXPv); It's a pasta called orecchiette which means 'little ears' in English.
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rosatitan2 years ago
Just made this recipe. First time I made homemade pasta. I used pasta machine. It turned out AWESOME! I didn't need to add any of the water. Made 3 big servings!
pilot19964 years ago
This is an older post, but I'm hoping someone will find this and answer. I have the same pasta maker, and I attempted my first batch last night (before finding this article).

I managed to get everything right up to the part where the pasta is cut. I was able to get the linguine setting to cut most of the pasta, but completely unable to get the pasta to feed into the spaghetti cutter.

How thick/thin (what setting) do you use on the rollers? How dry/wet should the pasta be? I sense my pasta was a little dry going into the spaghetti roller, but not sure.

TNW, the bowl of linguine I made was delicious! Thanks for a great article, and I look forward to trying again.

Regards,

Mac
If the rollers won't pick it up, its too dry. If the cutters don't cut through, its too wet.
gregr (author)  pilot19964 years ago
I normally will roll the dough until I can just see through it for the spaghetti cutter but, you'll have to experiment a little bit with the thickness. Next batch you make divide your dough into smaller balls and then try several different thickness settings on each small batch and see which works best on the spaghetti cutter.

The pasta shouldn't be wet or sticky. it should feel kind of like cool smooth skin. After you make pasta a few times you'll know when the dough feels right.

Unless your pasta was cracking it probably wasn't too dry for the spaghetti cutter.

Good luck and thanks!
I tried this out yesterday and had really good results so thank you so much.

I tried a few pasta recipes and didn't like the consistency or the flavour so much. Yours, however, was brilliant. Really good to work with and a great flavour.

I actually made up some farfalle with the pasta but it was really good. I just threw all of the ingredients in the food processor and it worked really well.
Hi, your instructions were great step by step guide for making pasta. My daughter and I made this together for tea tonight and turned out great. It is a bit of hard work getting the dough (is that what you call it) going when you first roll but it seems it needs to be quite hard consistency because once rolled it is beautiful and silky smooth, not wet at all. So for those who had a bit of trouble, perservere, it is well worth it. I also made a big mess at the start, had no control over those eggs but just keep going and it will come together, it did add a bit extra egg because I was worried about adding too much water because I that makes it gluey. Finally, for those still reading a tip I found worked well (if you are hand rolling) I re rolled the pasta after cutting and the dough had relaxed a bit, a bit fidly but made the most beautiful silky soft pasta (hard to get iot thin enough otherwise) or perhaps you could wait a minute or two befor cutting and roll again once relaxed a bit. Any way that's enough rambling, felt the need to share. Thanks again. Jb
White_Wolf4 years ago
I just got a Ronco pasta machine off of Ebay. Love it.
:0)
panino4 years ago
This is not spaghetti, this is "tagliatelle"
regards from italy
Luca
utuku6 years ago
The other recipe worked. I wasted a LOT of food but I finally got it working. I made homemade sauce too. I'm actually not sure what amount of each I used; I was desperately trying to salvage stuff. I had some eggs and I just kept adding flour till I got the consistency I wanted. It was good.
marqeast utuku4 years ago
boo hoo
This is so good. I just made it last night and it was delicious. Now I might have to get a pasta machine.
schneidp206 years ago
Is it just me, or does it sound like bad idea to air dry pasta with raw eggs in it?
gregr (author)  schneidp206 years ago
I suggest drying the pasta for a little while mostly to make sure that it doesn't become a sticky mass if you freeze it. Additionally you will be cooking your pasta at 212f for a long enough time that anything growing in it will die.

Eggs are actually pretty stable. You can leave eggs out unrefrigerated for two or so months before they become inedible ( http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustainable-Farming/1977-11-01/Can-You-Really-Store-Fresh-Eggs-a-Year-or-More-Without-Refrigeration.aspx ).
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