Basic Egg Pasta Dough

Pasta_dough_pb_plain_onecolumn
by Tony M in Rouxbe Recipes

Making your own laminated pasta is an experience not to be missed. Flour and eggs are mixed together and kneaded to form a beautifully-smooth dough.

  • Serves: 2 to 4
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr

  • Comments: 55
  • Views: 25658
  • Success 100%

Step 1: Making the Dough

Making the Dough

To make the dough by hand:

Make a well on the counter with the flour. Then add the eggs and salt. Slowly incorporate the eggs until the mixture forms a ball.

Then bring together the dough together and knead for 5 to 10 minutes. Add additional flour as needed.

To make the dough in a food processor:

Add the flour and salt and pulse. Beat the eggs separately and then slowly add in the eggs, one teaspoon at a time. Once the mixture just starts to look like couscous, stop and remove from food processor.

Form into a ball and knead for 5 to 10 minutes on the counter top.

  • 1 cup all-purpose (or double zero)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Step 2: Resting the Dough

Resting the Dough

Once the dough is fully kneaded, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for about 30 minutes before rolling.

Step 3: Rolling the Dough

Rolling the Dough

To roll the dough, flatten it slightly and roll through the widest setting about 10 times, folding the dough in half each time you pass it through. Sprinkle the rollers and dough lightly with flour if it happens to stick.

Next, run the dough through the rollers just once on each setting without folding. Keep rolling the dough until you reach the second to last setting. How far you roll out the dough will also depend on the dish you are making, and your pasta machine. If you desire ultra-thin pasta, you may want to roll the dough right through to the last setting. Once the dough has been rolled to the desired thickness, it must be covered immediately to prevent it from drying out.

If desired, you can run the pasta through the cutters of the pasta machine to make various shapes, such as linguini or fettuccini.

Notes

Fresh pasta is best if eaten the same day it is made. However it will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator. Once shaped, it can be frozen for up to one month.

This makes approximately 3/4 lb of pasta, which will serve 2 to 3 people as a main or 3 to 4 as an appetizer.

Tum P

water

some recipe add a bit of water?? what a different?? with or without??
Thks

Tony M
Rouxbe Staff

Water

Adding water to pasta dough is often done to ensure it has enough moisture to bind when eggs are the main binding ingredient. Some like a combination of water and egg, even WINE and egg instead of water. A dough with some water will develop a bit more gluten and have a bit more texture than made without.

Tum P

water

thanks Tony

Tum P

egg

I find it using the whole egg makes dough a bit wet!! Is it ok to use just yolk??

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

Using Egg Yolks

Egg yolks can be substituted for whole eggs when making pasta. It just makes the dough richer, due to the fat in the yolks (no fat in the whites). You just need to use enough yolks to bring the dough to the proper consistency. You might find it helpful to watch the lesson on Making Laminated Pasta. Hope this helps. Happy cooking!

Tum P

egg

thank you

Richard yassel D

Thinning out pasta dough

is the pasta machine the only way to thin out the pasta? Can it be done by hand?

Thanks,

Tony M
Rouxbe Staff

Making Fresh Pasta by Hand

By hand requires a special thin and long rolling pin. Even then, the technique is not as simple as just rolling (would require a video, in fact). However, if you are patient, you can thin it out with a regular rolling pin, but would need to roll small amounts, about half a fistful of pasta at a time.

Richard yassel D

nice

Thats awesome I will research on that. Thanks a lot Tony.

Melissa K

Cooking after freezing

The after-note states the shaped dough can be frozen for up to a month. To cook, would it need to be thawed in the refrigerator or can it be placed into boiling water straight from the freezer?

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Cooking Fresh Pasta from Frozen State

Hi Melissa. Good question. Cook from frozen. If you thaw, the pasta first, it will likely stick together.

Eric S

Gummy Pasta

I have had some really exquisite hand made - ravioli at a number of restaurants. They always seem delicate and delicious. I recently tried to make ravioli using the basic pasta dough. I'm not sure what I did wrong but the results were very gummy. Maybe I did not roll the dough out thin enough? I used he second to last setting on my pasta maker. Or perhaps I used the wrong flour? I just used all purpose. There has to be something I'm missing.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Gummy Pasta

I use the same basic pasta dough, I also often use all-purpose flour. I also often roll the pasta out to the last setting (on mine that is a 9).

I say try again...practice is what will make you good. If it seemed to thick, roll it thinner next time.

Good luck!

Ted S

kneading pasta

as I knead the dough, after a few minutes it looks like the dough is tearing? Should I stop at that point?

Tony M
Rouxbe Staff

Tearing

Sounds like the dough is a bit dry. One way to remedy this is to wrap the dough with a damp warm cloth and rest for about 30 minutes. It should hydrate. At this point don't knead anymore, simply run through your pasta machine.

The right pasta dough is tricky and requires a bit of experience. Your instinct to stop was correct. At the same time let the dough tell you what it needs: moisture or flour. And rest is always welcomed.

Kelly G

couple of questions

Ever since I've started making fresh pasta, I haven't gone back to store bought pasta. I love it and in fact have given lots of pasta out to friends & family (I tell them, "you've got to try it"). Just wondering, 1. If I give fresh pasta to friends, can it be stored in the fridge for a couple of days if it has enough flour on it? 2. When using fresh pasta for lasagna noodles, do I need to cook the noodles first, or can the fresh pasta sheets be layered in the lasagna and then cook the lasanga?

Thanks so much!

Kelly G

one more question

Sorry, I knew I had one more question.... Besides freezing the fresh pasta, are there any other ways fresh pasta can be stored? (ie. drying it?)

I think that's it. Thanks

Tony M
Rouxbe Staff

Storing and Lasagna

Fresh pasta won't store well for more than 3 days..will start to ferment. It can be frozen, but can also develop off flavors from the freezer and clump. Drying fresh pasta defeats the purpose of making it fresh...it does not produce cook to the same texture. It's okay to dry it, but I think not worth more than commercially dried pasta unless making it with special flours and/or flavors. Fresh pasta is one of those things you make when you want a special plate of pasta.

I always cook my sheets when making lasagna. It results in a less gummy pasta and really, really makes a difference.

Melissa K

Cooking Times for Lasagna Noodle

Tony, that brings up the question--how long do you cook your pasta sheets? I did not precook my noodles when I made lasagna and it was fine. I'm assuming you boil them in salted water for just a few minutes?

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Cooking Times for Lasagna Noodle

You are correct. Cook the noodles in boiling salted water until done. Depending on the thickness of the noodles the cooking time can vary - see step 7 of this recipe for an example. Cheers!

Ted S

variations

What are your thoughts on semolina flour? You don't call for it, but isn't that the classic pasta flour? Does it need to be a certain grind? How does that affect the ratio of liquid? Is olive oil a good addition as part of the liquid?

Tony M
Rouxbe Staff

variations

Semolina is the classic pasta flour for machine extruded pasta, not necessarily for hand-made pasta.

Semolina is much harder and coarser than flour, so will produce a more textured pasta - good for cut pasta, not so good for sheet pasta to make cannelloni, ravioli, tortellini, etc.

Adding olive oil makes the dough more brittle cutting into the gluten - again, good for cut pasta, not so good for sheet pasta which will crack more easily.

Omri T

One or two eggs?

I made this recipe the other night and the dough came out quite wet. I had to add quite a bit of flour to get to the right consistency. I used large eggs - but it's possible they were on the bigger side of large. Isn't the classic ratio for this recipe one cup of flour to one egg?

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: One or two eggs?

Good to trust your instincts. You were correct to add flour to get the proper consistency. It doesn't matter how many eggs you use...you could use all yolks if you wanted for a richer dough. Also, everyone will measure flour differently...some pack it, some don't...some days it is humid, some days it is not (which will affect the amount of flour you will need). The point is to add just enough flour to obtain the proper consistency. Cheers!

Randy B

Do it in the food processor

I've been making my dough by hand for a long time, but the lesson showing how to make pasta in the food processor was a breakthru! This is such a time saver and the dough is perfect every time.

I have found that my ravioli is best when rolled to thickness #6. Don't let the sheets dry! Fill and cut as soon as it's rolled and cook immediately. I've tried it thinner (all the way to #9) but it tended to break apart. Flat noodles on #7. I use the Atlas machine (doesn't everyone?)

William B

Tasty, but not pretty

I gave making pasta my first shot today. It tasted delicious, but it wasn't without problems. :-) I incorporated all ingredients using the food processor method. Once I had turned it out to knead it, I got the same "tearing" effect that another person posted about. I stopped to let the pasta "rest." Once I was ready to run it through the pasta machine, I had a great deal of trouble getting long, clean sheets of dough. I ended up more with weird, oblong pieces that did not resemble a rectangle in the least. Once cut and cooked, it was not able to be seen, but the process was frustrating. Any suggestions? :-)

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Tasty, but not pretty

I think this may just be a case of practice. I suggest making it again and perhaps adding a bit less flour so the dough has a bit more moisture. If the dough sticks as you roll it out you can sprinkle the machine with a bit of flour to help prevent it from sticking.

Good for you for following through and finishing the process. At least you had some tasty pasta after your hard work. Hope this helps. Cheers!

Kariman H

What is the difference between the fresh and the ready pasta?

I mean what do they do to make the pasta hard or dry like that? I can store it more than the fresh one.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: What is the Difference Between Fresh and Ready Pasta?

Good question, the difference between extruded and laminated pasta is quite significant. This is covered in the lesson in the Cooking School called Selecting Pasta" (in particular topic 3). Cheers!

Kariman H

RE: What is the Difference Between Fresh and Ready Pasta?

Thanks Dawn that was so helpful :)

Robert S

Sticking

I have tried to make pasta by hand a few times with varying levels of success. Still I haven't got it right or easily enough to make me think it's worth the trouble. I'm sure it is and I know it takes practice, but here are my recurring problems.

1) When kneading the dough, it gets tough really quickly and starts to fold into layers.
2) When cutting the pasta in the pasta machine, the pasta starts to back up in the rollers. This has happened more than once and even after I made sure that there was no dry pasta bits left in the rollers.
3) The pasta that I have been able to cut lumps together when I store it in the fridge before cooking.

I'm wondering how to trouble-shoot these - especially (3). Should I lay out the pasta a certain way or mix with cornmeal or something?

Thanks for the help.

Tony M
Rouxbe Staff

Pasta

3) Yes, lots of cornmeal in-between sheets, to be brushed off before cooking.

2) Make sure to grab the pasta from under, pull and roll at the same time; dough may be a bit too wet, but based on 1) sounds like the dough is not coming out freely through the rollers and catching on to the flap underneath.

1) If folding into layers this means dough needs a bit more liquid.

None of my students, who had similar pasta issues, would ever buy "fresh" pasta now. They had no choice but to practice and solve their issues. Pasta is not as simple as it looks, but once you get it, you got it for life.

Jeanne L

Gluten-Free Fresh Pasta

My husband loves pasta but is allergic to wheat. Would King Arthur's Gluten-Free Multipurpose Flour be a good substitute for the flour on its own or would I need to add something like xanthum gum as well.

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Gluten-Free Pasta

I have not worked with this type of flour before but pasta dough needs gluten or another product to give it elasticity. King Arthur's website for this flour indicates that xanthum gum is used in pizza dough, bread, etc., so you will have to experiment with adding some to make the pasta dough. Would be interested to hear how it works for you. Cheers!

Emily D

amount of servings

How many servings are in the basic pasta receipt I have a large family so how much will I have to make? can they recept be increased or should ir be made in small batches

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Servings

The recipe indicates that this amount will serve 2 to 4 (2 main servings or 4 small appetizer servings). You can double (even triple) the recipe but it just depends on how much you can handle kneading as the dough is quite dense. Depending on how much you want to make, you might want to do 2 large batches. Cheers!

Robert S

Semolina in the food processor

Hello:

Today I tried making pasta in the food processor for the first time. However, I used the recipe I got at a fresh pasta cooking workshop - 1 cup AP flour, 1 cup semolina, 3 eggs, 1 TBSP olive oil, and a 1/4 TSP salt - and it was really hard to bring together to knead. I got to the couscous stage, and it felt nice when I pinched it between my fingers. But when I tried to clump it into a big ball and start to knead, it was tearing, folding over itself, and generally hard to hand. In general, I would say "more liquid," but it seemed to be plenty wet given the "food processor" criteria. Could it be that I used semolina? Something else?

I'm a little frustrated because I wanted to put my brand new food processor to work, but alas . . .

Tony M
Rouxbe Staff

Semolina

Some semolina is a lot coarser, which will not only require a touch more liquid, but also some resting time to give the large granules a chance to hydrate and soften - which explains why the dough is tearing. Wrap and rest the dough, then knead.

Equal parts semolina to flour is not my recommendation, I'd use more flour. Also, 1 TBSP of olive in my experience is too much and can also lead to kneading and rolling difficulties.

Brian B

After cutting

I have a very similar (possibly the same) question as Robert S:
3) The pasta that I have been able to cut lumps together when I store it in the fridge before cooking.

Tony M said "3) Yes, lots of cornmeal in-between sheets, to be brushed off before cooking."

My main issue is when I've actually cut the pasta into fettuccine or spaghetti or something. The first cut strands end up sticking together by the time I've finished cutting the last strands. Even if I only have 4 sheets to cut. They mostly come back apart if I agitate them in the boiling water, but not quite as nicely as I'd like.

The lesson suggests tossing with a dusting of flour for the hand cut style. Would this also work for thinner, machine cut? Can I toss the floured pasta in the water?

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: After Cutting Fresh Pasta

To prevent the strands from sticking together, whether hand-cut or machine cut, you can toss the strands with a bit of flour (as per the lesson). This is especially important if you are not cooking the pasta immediately.

And yes, the floured pasta can just be added to the water (like we did with the freshly cut pappardelle noodles in the lesson).

Also note, when cutting pasta be sure you do not stack it. Also, if you are storing the freshly-cut pasta in the refrigerator before you cook it, this will also add moisture to the pasta, which, in turn, can make it stickier. Cheers!

Andrew L

Cooking Times

I realize that times will vary with thickness. Do you check doneness just by tasting the noodles as they cook? Is the time shorter / longer than store bought noodles?

Thanks.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Cooking Times and Pasta

Tasting the pasta as it cooks is really the best way to test for doneness. As for store cooking at a different rate than homemade, the time all depends on which pasta etc. Also, remember that much of the store bought "fresh pasta" is really just extruded pasta. Cheers!

Cheri D

Love my pasta machine

I've tried making my own pasta twice. The first time I couldn't wait to use it so I made chicken and "dumplings". I made my pasta and cut 1"x2" strips to add to my chicken. The second time I made spaghetti with shrimp. I had a couple of issues with the pasta gumming up in the rollers. However, I began to dust the sheets with a little flour and that did the trick. I think I've had beginners luck. My family has loved the fresh pasta. What a difference!

I want to add one more thing. Rouxbe...THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Love my pasta machine

Yes, if the pasta is sticking to the rollers, it could have just a little too much moisture. Dusting the sheets with flour is the solution. Nice work. Enjoy all of the yummy rewards from your cooking. Cheers!

Oscar L

Oil in pasta dough?

Hi!
I tried putting in some olive oil and water in the dough (read it somewhere on another recipe) The problem then was that the pasta machine had trouble feeding the dough between the rollers because well, it was to slippery. I used a rolling pin to thin it out and then put it in the machine. The thing is that i liked the taste, colour and smell of the dough with some oil in, are there any way of making it go easier through?

Thx for great lessons!
/Oscar

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Oil in pasta dough?

Hi Oscar - Yes, that is the hazard with oil in the dough. I've seen recipes that call for a very small amount of oil in the dough and I'm not sure if the flavor is actually different enough to warrant the hassle of not being able to roll through the pasta maker. Have you tried a pasta extruder with this style of dough? Cheers!

Tom D

Frozen lasagna sheets

I recently made a batch of gluten free lasagna sheets and froze them. i'm wondering if I need to cook them prior to making my lasagna or if I can make my sauce and stack frozen sheets in my lasagna with some extra liquid so the sheets cook in the oven? Similar to the dry lasagna sheet method.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Cooking Frozen Lasagna Noodles

Ah yes, this has been a popular question in the past. You may want to check out this thread here. The short answer is "no, you don't have to cook them first, but the longer answer is that you might be happier with the end result, if you do boil them first. Hope that helps. Cheers!

Tom D

Thanks!

Thank you for point that out Dawn. I tried to search for it but came up empty. With the gluten free pasta being so brittle, I'm tempted to just cook it from frozen since it'll hold up better. I can't believe I paid $5 for a package of 5 gluten free sheets and made my own for less than $1 plus labour. :-)

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Cooking Frozen Lasagna Noodles

No worries Tom. In the end, the best way to truly know if something will work for you, is to try it out. You may find that you are perfectly happy with the end results of cooking the gluten-free pasta sheets from frozen – it sure would save a big extra step.

Let us know how it turns out. And btw, good job on making your own gluten-free noodles. Buy "gluten-free" products these days sure can get expensive. I saw a bottle of water the other day that was labelled "gluten-free" — ah, when was water not gluten-free? :-) Cheers!

Tom D

I must have missed something ...

.. after making fresh pasta, how do I store it in the fridge? In small nests, covered with a tea towel, or in tupperware containers?

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: I must have missed something ...

If you'd like to store the pasta for a short while, it's best to bundle it in small nests with a sprinkle of semolina. Gently rest these bundles in a bag or airtight container. You'll want to be sure not to introduce any other hydration to the pasta - it will cause clumping and sticking. ~Ken

Tom D

Thanks!

Would this work the same way with ravioli?

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Storing pasta/ravioli

For ravioli, it's best to store them in a single layer or stacked with parchment separating each layer. It depends how large the ravioli are (large ones don't stack as well- too much cumulative weight), but this method works for short term storage.

Otherwise, I'd freeze them (single layer) on a sheet pan and then transfer the frozen ravioli to a bag for storage. I hope this helps. ~Ken

Jonathan

Failed with food processor, success by hand

At first, I tried making the dough in the food processor. It came out exactly like the videos from the machine. I believe the mistake I made with this dough was attempting to knead the dough on parchment paper taped to my counter (for easier cleanup). The parchment paper kept moving around and I wasn't able to knead it properly. Second, I only loosely covered it when setting it to rest and a tough skin formed on the dough after only 30 minutes. I tried to keep re-kneading the dough adding lots of water. I eventually gave up and rolled the dough anyway. It was way too dry and I wound up throwing it out.

Last night I tried making it by hand. I did it slightly differently than the video. I took a large mixing bowl and added half the flour to form the well. Then I added the eggs in the middle. I mixed it and added a 1/4 cup of flour at a time until I got the correct consistency. I kneaded the dough initially in the bowl with my knuckles and then started on the counter. When kneading it, it still dried out a little, but somehow I was able to correct it. Before I let it rest, I put a thin layer of olive oil to prevent the tough skin I had previously. After 30 minutes the dough was very wet and I was worried it would stick. I wound up using a lot of flower on the rolling machine and an occasional dusting on the dough, but it came out perfect.

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