mariooch's pasta making 101

Some tasks in the kitchen (and in the house) we need to divide and conquer, and pasta making is one of those tasks!  Here are the steps to my egg-free, no-fuss pasta making. I call it – Pasta Making 101. You can have homemade pasta in less than 30 minutes  and no machine is necessary!  It’s easy and delicious.  This is one activity your teenagers will like to do and guess what, they have to use their hands, so they cannot use their phones! Bonus!!!

Pasta Making 101


Step One – Prepare your work space.  Be sure your counters are clean of any debris.  You will need the following: all-purpose flour, 2 measuring cups, a rolling pin (I use a French rolling pin), a large wood cutting board (be sure it’s clean!) or a wooden pastry board, small pastry cutter (looks like a mini-pizza cutter), a large bowl, a fork and clean hands!  Let’s get to work!

Step Two – MAKES ROUGHLY TWO SERVINGS (For my son it’s one serving!) Gather your ingredients. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, roughly 3/4 cup warm water, and a few drizzles of extra virgin olive oil. That’s it! Add the flour to a warm bowl, mix in a little bit of the water at a time (using most of it), using the fork and keeping your hands clean (for now), then once the dough forms together drizzle in about 2 tablespoons or so of olive oil. The dough will look like this as it’s forming.

pasta forming together







dough forming


Once the dough forms together, roll it into a ball using the palms of your hands.  Add some flour to the board and let the dough rest for a few minutes. I believe that a warm bowl, warm hands and warm water keep the dough soft and silky. It makes sense! Cold hands and cold water will harden the dough. I figured this out by watching my husband and daughter make silky, smooth dough. They have something in common, warm hands. (Warm hands, warm heart!)This is what the dough will look like.

dough formed








Step Three – Divide and Conquer! It’s easier to cut the dough and roll out one piece at a time. This dough can be split into two chunks.  In this photo is the French rolling pin.

Divide and Conquer








split the dough


Step Four – Now you are ready to roll out the dough. First, prepare your rolling pin with some flour. Add flour to the cutting board or pastry board and roll the dough, starting in the middle of the piece. Roll out in every directions. The key here is to keep flipping it over so it does not stick! Add a few small handfuls of flour, otherwise it will stick and tear and you’ll have to start again. As you roll it out, it will start to look like this.

rolling out the dough







dough rolled out


Step Five – Now using the pastry cutter, cut a perfect rectangle. Keep a pile of scrapes, we will use that later. This is what the dough will look like after you cut off the rigid edges. I have my vegetable scooper next to the dough so you can gain perspective on how thick it should be.

dough rectangle







dough ready to cut the strips of pasta

Step Six – Start cutting narrow, linguine-like strips of pasta.  I think going fast is better, get a rhythm going! Once you have cut all your strips, your dough will look like this.

pastry cutter perfect












Pasta in strips, relatively uniform in width.

Step Seven  – If you have any excess dough, roll it into a ball and using the rolling pin, roll it out, then cut it into strips. This recipe will make roughly one serving of pasta. So if you are feeding two people double it, three people triple it and so on but remember to divide and conquer! I like to use one serving as a starting point because it’s manageable, but as you get the hang of it you will easily make more.

Now once all the pasta is cut into thin strips, add some flour to a bowl and gently using your clean hands toss with some flour so each piece is coated. You can put these in the bowl in small batches as you make them, or you can hang on a wooden rack made for pasta, while you continue making more pasta.  This is what the pasta will look like coated in flour.

pasta ready to cook








pasta ready to cook!

Step Eight – Now bring a  5 Quart pot of water to a boil and salt generously about 2 tablespoons of sea salt!!!!  This will flavor the pasta. Cooking time is roughly 6 minutes maybe less. I use a wire mesh noodle ladle to fish out the noodles. I think the colander may break them. They are very delicate. Try Mariooch’s Homemade Tomato Sauce  or toss with my homemade Pesto Sauce. Either way it’s delicious! Mange!

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