Once you learn how to make pasta at home, you’ll want fresh pasta for every meal.
Fresh pasta is said to have better taste and better texture. In our opinion, the labor and time it takes to make fresh pasta is a fair trade for the perfect Italian dish.
Not everyone has time to make fresh pasta, like the kinds made at Dagostino's Handmade Pasta.
Read further to learn if fresh pasta is worth it for your dinner.
- Can you use normal flour for pasta?
- Should you use Semolina flour for pasta?
- Does homemade pasta need to dry before cooking?
- Is Homemade Pasta better than store bought?
- Homemade Pasta Recipe
Can you use normal flour for pasta?
The best flour to use to make homemade pasta is Semolina flour, also known as durum wheat flour. However, all-purpose flour is also great for making pasta.
Different types of flour will impact the texture and taste of your pasta dish
Should you use Semolina flour for Pasta?
Semolina flour is the best flour to use for pasta and italian cuisine. Semolina flour is used all around the world but is most popular in Italy and Italian cooking. Semolina is high in gluten, which helps pasta keep its shape while cooking.
You can still use all purpose flour to make homemade pasta, but it will require more effort to knead the dough. It also requires more prep work!
Learn more about semolina in our blog: Semolina Pasta & Why it’s Better
Does Homemade pasta need to dry before cooking?
While not necessary, you should consider drying your homemade pasta before cooking. This will allow the pasta to retain its shape while boiling in salted water.
If you feel like your cut pasta is too wet, let it dry in the form of nests or hung over a rack.
Is Homemade Pasta better than store bought?
Most food critics will tell you that homemade pasta is always better than store bought. However, it’s important to remember that making pasta is an exact science, and it may take a few batches before you get your ratios right. Do a few test runs when making homemade pasta to make sure you have the recipe correct. If you don't have time to test your ratios, there are store bought pastas that taste just as fresh and tender as homemade pasta.
Homemade Pasta Recipe
The recipe for making fresh pasta is very basic. There are some added tools that can help make the process even easier:
- Food Processor or Stand Mixer: While you can make pasta by hand, having a stand mixer or food processor can save you extra work
- Pasta Maker: A pasta maker is essential to the process but you can also buy a pasta roller attachment for your stand mixer
- Drying Rack: This is optional but helpful for drying out your pasta
Since not everyone has a stand mixer or food processor, the recipe we'll go over will be making pasta by hand. You can roll out the pasta by hand as well.
- 2 cups of flour (Semolina)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 1/4 tablespoons water
- Note: The water needs to be lukewarm, around 85°
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (depending upon your preference)
- On a large cutting board, pour your flour in a mound
- Note: This can also be done in a large bowl
- Use a spoon or your fingers to create a well in the center of the mound
- Pour your water into the center of your well
- Sprinkle with salt
- Begin to gradually whisk in some of the flour into the water, adding more flour until your mixture is thick
- Note: If some of the water spills out, just use your hands to add them back in
- Using your hands, fold in the remaining dough until it becomes a loose ball
- Note: You can add in more water if it's too dry
- Knead your pasta dough for around 10 minutes
- Note: The dough should be smooth and elastic but you can sprinkle in some extra flour if it starts to stick to the cutting board
- Fold the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap
- Leave the dough on the counter and let it rest for around 30 minutes
- Then, roll out your dough into whatever shape you desire, or run through a pasta rolling machine on the widest setting
- Bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Add a bit of oil and salt. Cook the pasta for around six to seven minutes or until it's al dente
How to Roll Out Pasta By Hand
You shouldn't have to invest in expensive kitchen equipment to enjoy fresh pasta. Here are some tips on how to roll it out without any added equipment.
- Once your dough has rested for 30 minutes, use a knife to cut the pasta dough into four equal pieces
- Shape the wedge into a flat disc-shaped like an oval
- Put the disc on a cutting board and with a rolling pin, roll out the dough to around one to two millimeters thick or to desired thickness
- Note: Add extra flour to your cutting board if it starts to stick
- Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into five-inch strips
- Roll the sections into flat and very loose cylinders
- Cut them crosswise depending on how thick you want your noodles to be
- Swirl the pasta into small "nests" and let dry for around 30 minutes
You repeat this process with the remaining pasta dough. You can then cook it according to the instructions above.
Dagostino’s handmade pasta includes all fresh ingredients. We're focused on curating quality pasta for our customers, replicating the authentic flavors you'd find in an Italian kitchen. If you’ve decided that you don't have time or the resources to make pasta yourself, try Dagostino pasta. It’s the same fresh taste with no hassle!