Instructables

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.
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ccharles46 months ago

what type of flour is used for this?

gregr (author)  ccharles46 months ago

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

ccharles4 gregr6 months ago

ok thanks

DEBlease7 months ago

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

gregr (author)  DEBlease7 months ago

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

utuku5 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!
depotdevoid2 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)  depotdevoid1 year 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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rosatitan1 year 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!
pilot19963 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)  pilot19963 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_Wolf3 years ago
I just got a Ronco pasta machine off of Ebay. Love it.
:0)
panino3 years ago
This is not spaghetti, this is "tagliatelle"
regards from italy
Luca
utuku5 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.
schneidp205 years ago
Is it just me, or does it sound like bad idea to air dry pasta with raw eggs in it?
gregr (author)  schneidp205 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 ).
Papercut5 years ago
Could I scramble the eggs before putting it in flour? Seems like that would make it a little easier right?
gregr (author)  Papercut5 years ago
I've never tried scrambling the eggs. I'm not sure that it would work as you expect. You need a certain amount of liquid to get the flour to come together. Maybe finfan7 can give us some tips.
Yes you can. It works just fine.
eowthwin5 years ago
Very good instructable! I just finished making my noodles and have hung about 80% of them, and cooked the other 20%. It was way too much to eat alone! This is definitely going to be dinner for a few nights.
schneidp205 years ago
Any tips on getting a good, but simple pasta machine? What brand do you have and do you like it? Thanks for the instructable!
gregr (author)  schneidp205 years ago
I've got an Imperia. Its built to last a long time, and works great. I have no complaints except that on the very ends of the cutting rollers sometimes little bits of pasta dough get stuck in the machine. To get the pasta out I usually just let the machine sit out for 24 hours and then turn the cutting rollers and the now dry pasta falls out. In the manual they say that you need to run pasta dough through the machine to clean it out. When you get a machine take some time and run dough through all of the rollers at all of the settings and make sure to get the extreme ends. A fair amount of oil and little metal flakes come out.
Inspired by you (thanks!) I splurged and got the Imperia. What usually happens to me if I buy cheap is I end up eventually throwing out the knock-off and getting the real machoy anyway. :-) One comment on your instructions after running only one batch of dough through. I had pretty firm dough (not sticky at all), but it bunched up in the spagetti cutters. Lightly dusted with flour before running it through the cutters worked wonders! Thanks again! Dave
chasb5 years ago
tatagatha5 years ago
Some people like to use a mix of regular flour and semolina flour (usually Durum) Semolina Wiki. Semolina is a basically flour that hasn't been ground yet. It will make the pasta absorb more water and expand alot more. I use 50/50 semolina and regular. At this point you can also add any other flavors you'd like to add. It is a very easy place to experiment.

Also, Kudos for mixing "in the well". I usually do it in a well that is also in a large bowl. I tried once straight on the counter top and lost control of it. I've been wary of egging running off the side and onto the counter. I also scramble the eggs a bit before mixing so I don't have to deal with the yolk being still intact.
tatagatha5 years ago
To unroll the pasta, poke the center of the roll and grab the internal end. Then unfurl it from there with gravity and a couple shakes, rather than unrolling it like a carpet. Holding the noodle by one end, drop it straight down onto a spot on the table. Keep doing this with 8-10 noodles to make a nest of noodles. You can use this for portion control. 1 or 2 nests per person depending on the size. You can dry the pasta in this form, or just cook it immediately. If you make loose nests then the nest will unfurl in the water. If you make smaller tight nests, you can get then to stay in form and stick together. If these are cooked carefully you can make pretty cool dishes with them because of the shape. Search around on the web for "birds nest pasta"
maicoh5 years ago
Well done and nicely documented! I find that it's a timesaver to use a food processor to mix the dough instead of kneading it by hand. Also, even if you're running the dough through a machine it helps to roll it to a half inch thickness with a rolling pin first to help it take the first time through. I guess it depends on how strong your hands are for kneading and squishing. Great Instructable!
rlmarket5 years ago
We made this for dinner tonight and it tasted great. The directions were easy to follow and took about 20 minutes to prepare (before cooking), with 2 people hand cutting the pasta strips after rolling out the dough. Great instructable!
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