Pasta, From Scratch: Fearless Friday Episode 15

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Heather says:

Another week another kitchen challenge. This week I experimented with making noodles from scratch. I’ve made rolled dumplings in the past, so I knew it couldn’t be too difficult, but I was prepared for a starchy mess.

Ready for the Fearless Friday Spiel?

Fearless Fridays are an exercise in kitchen bravery. It’s not about grossout games like Fear Factor, rather, Fearless Friday is trying to learn a new skill. It’s a time to stop making excuses and try to cook, even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly. It’s serving a vegetarian dish to your meat and potatoes family or taking a walk down the freezer aisle and deciding to try making one of those items on your own. For some, Fearless Friday is cooking a meal instead of eating out. We all have our starting point, the key to becoming successful is to keep going, knowing sometimes we will fail.

Did you try a new recipe or technique this week? Share a link to your blog in the MckLinky below or tell us in the comments. Take a moment and visit those participating. It’s encouraging to share in the experience.

Homemade Noodles

A (Very)Basic Tutorial


It won’t be long before someone whose traditional, Italian grandmother taught them how to make noodles chimes in and tells me I did it all wrong. I know this, There is a different (more traditional) technique that involves piling all the flour on the cutting board and mixing the eggs in a well. My goal for this tutorial is to explain the process in a manner even a very novice cook could attempt. I also live in a small town and Semolina flour requires a long drive I wasn’t going to make for an experiment. Ok, now that’ we’re on the same page, let’s get started.

  • 4 eggs (use the best quality you can afford / find)
  • 1/4 tsp salt aka a pinch
  • 2 TBSP olive oil (again best quality)
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose (plain, not self-rising) flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

beat the eggs In a large bowl, beat the four eggs with the oil and salt.

white and wheat flourIn another bowl whisk together the all purpose flour with the wheat flour.

stir with forkUsing a fork to stir, slowly add one third of the flour mixture. Stir until there are no lumps, then hunt down a spoon.

Add another third of the flour mixture while stirring. The dough will be very sticky.

Slowly add flour from the final third of the dough until it has all come together and isn’t impossibly sticky. It was so humid in my area that I had to use all the flour. Drier climates and seasons may require less flour. Don’t underestimate the weather when it comes to some recipes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about five minutes. Much like bread dough, you want to knead enough to encourage the gluten (basically flour glue) but not so long that the proteins from the wheat break down.

shape into a ballShape the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Allow it to rest for 15 – 30 minutes. If you’re bored, click through the McKlinky above and see what other Home Eccers have been up to.

Sometimes I can harass my husband into playing photog.
Sometimes I can harass my husband into playing photog.

Roll the dough out using a rolling pin. Turn the dough (or I highly recommend the pastry mat,  for less than $10) about an 1/8th of a turn after each roll to try to keep the thickness of the dough as even as possible.

eighth inchRoll the dough out until it’s about 1/8th of an inch thick. Don’t break out the ruler, eyeball it. Think about boxed fettuccine, as that’s the general idea of what we’re going for.

Let the dough hang out for at least then minutes. A little longer if the air is so humid that it’s hard to breathe (what, like you’ve never complained about the weather before?)

Grab the bottom of the sheet of dough. Fold it about 1/4 of the way toward the top. Grab the bottom and fold it up again, repeat until you reach the top. It’s kind of like rolling up the dough, but it’s flat folds.

slice into ribbonsGrab a sharp knife and cut the dough into 1/4 – 1/2 inch strips.

draped noodlesUnroll the strips and drape over whatever is handy. If this is your first time making pasta, I bet you don’t have a past drying rack, either. I used one of my grill accessories as it happened to be nearby. Whatever floats your boat.

Let the noodles hang out and dry for a while. Some tutorials said ten minutes, some said three hours. My noodles hung out somewhere around 30 – 45 minutes.

pot of waterNow, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

boil the noodlesDrop your noodles in and check after 3 minutes. Fresh noodles don’t have to boil anywhere near as long as dried pasta. Don’t forget about them or you will have a pot of starchy mush, not the best way to end a culinary adventure.

Drain and toss with your favorite sauce.

In our case, we had alfredo with beef stewed in a wine gravy. All I can really say is NOM!

Homemade noodles


Added to the Food on Friday Meme.

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18 thoughts on “Pasta, From Scratch: Fearless Friday Episode 15”

  1. Nom indeed! Alfredo AND wine gravy – be still my heart! That sounds fabulous with fresh pasta!

    I haven’t made pasta in AGES – and now that the husband is making bread and pasta all week . . . well, fresh pasta has kind of lost its luster for him, sadly.

    • I had intended to do my favorite combo, blackened shrimp with the alfredo. However my husband and I had a funny miscommunication on Wed. I was out running errands and I asked him to brown the beef, add a cup of stock, turn to low, and cover. I had planned on making stew. You can imagine my surprise when I opened the cover and found browned ground beef.
      The stew beef had to be yesterday, so I made that up on the fly.
      It turned out really well.

  2. Great stuff….but if one needs to avoid white flour could the whole wheat flour ratio be increased without affecting the process? Is 100% whole wheat flour even possible?

  3. Looks delish! I too was in the pasta making mode this week. My mom made pasta a few times when I was growing up and it was wonderful. But she had to make enough for 8 and I only had to make for 4, big difference in the hard work.

    I made bowtie pasta and served it with home made chicken Alfredo sauce. Everyone loved the sauce, but some were a little leary about the noodles. They were OK, but not what they are used to. But I did get a vote of approval and I can make it again, if I want to.

    Thanks for your photos and instructions.


  4. My grandmother made homemade noodles for her chicken soup. She used the Joy of Cooking recipe (no more complicated than what you have here–though imagine my surprise when I called my mom for the ‘secret recipe!) but she never rolled them out. Instead she kneaded it and cut hunks off of the dough into the soup. it was like something between a noodle and tiny dumpling. And still to this day one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Also an excellent quick, but somehow fancy fix for soups with noodles if you’re in a hurry!

  5. I actually CANNED something yesterday!
    But I forgot a step – releasing the air bubbles. Two of my jars have about an inch or 2 of air space between the food and the lid (the jars sealed correctly). Can I still keep them or do we need to eat them right away, anyone know? They’re peaches in light syrup.

  6. That does look nummy!

    My grandma used to make homemade noodles and I LOVED them. So I keep saying I’m going to try it someday. Your tutorial will help me see if I’m on track, if things look normal, and if I’ve left some critical ingredient or step out of the process.

  7. I was watching Martha Stewart a few weeks ago and she uses a clothing drying rack to dry pasta. Of course you’ll want to clean it up before using it for food purposes, but thougth it was a good idea for those just starting out 🙂 And she did have the schematics for her drying rack on her website that you can dowload for free…not sure if it’s still there, but it is very nice 🙂

  8. You know, this is one of those things that I’ve meant to try, for so long. What’s really sad is that I even have a pasta roller/cutter – one of those hand crank jobs, AND a wooden pasta drying rack. I was given them by someone who had them for a long time and never used them. So I stuck them on the kitchen shelf in the attic. They’re right next to the espresso machine they also gave me, and which I’ve also never used.

    Somebody kick me. I can take it.

  9. Thanks for the pasta recipe. Basic is good! I’m going to try this one out for Sunday’s pasta dinner. Although, for a nice little twist, I’m going to make them with a nice creamy Cardinal sauce and some breaded veal in a nice lemon butter sauce! Cheers! Great website!

  10. Heather ~ Is the pastry mat a plastic mat or is a heavy cloth?

    And…I would also love the recipe for the Alfredo sauce and Beef Stewed in Wine Gravy….sounds FAB-U-Lous!

  11. Oh, and P.S. ~ I have seen tutorials in which pasta makers have used a broom handle laid upon two chairs or over a chair and a counter. I think it would work in a pinch.


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