Homemade noodles were one of those bucket-list things for me. Which probably makes me a pretty boring person considering most people have awesome! fun! exciting! things on their bucket list, like, I don’t know, skydiving or swimming with sharks. Me? I wanted to make noodles. But I don’t have a pasta machine. I have one teeny tiny, low, wood laminate counter. And a rolling pin. And some determination. And I made noodles.
Turns out they shouldn’t have been relegated to my bucket list, they should have been on my do-this-right-now-like-immediately list. Which means you should probably put them on yours too, because, uh, they are awesome. And really not hard at all. Seriously! It just takes one tiny counter. And a rolling pin. and some determination, in the form of arm strength. But not a lot of strength. I mean, shoot, I did it. Also, they taste like no noodles you’ve ever had before. Unless you, unlike me, eat at fancy restaurants where they actually make fresh pasta. Or unless you, unlike me, have discovered the joys of fresh pasta eons ago and think I’m waaay behind the times. I generally am. But I’m catching up.
Just wait until you see what I made with these noodles…
Handmade Noodles (I smashed together recipes from Joy the Baker, David Lebovitz, and Smitten Kitchen. I’m overall pretty dang happy with my results..)
- 14 oz (400g) of all purpose flour (this is about 3 cups, but if ever you were looking for an excuse to buy a kitchen scale, let this be your excuse. you will thank yourself later for it. proms.)
- 4 eggs (uh, our eggs come from the chickens in the backyard so they aren’t exactly ‘sized’, but it doesn’t really matter I found. if your eggs are small, you’ll need a bit of water, if your eggs are large, you’ll need a bit more flour. no bigs)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- This is the fun part, and let’s be honest, the real reason I wanted to make pasta for so long. Dump all your flour into a mound on your [very clean] countertop. Make a well in the center so it looks like a blown-out volcano. Or a meteor crater. Crack your eggs straight into the center and add your olive oil in there too.
- Now, slowly at first, use your [very clean] fingertips [from just one hand, whichever is your dominant hand] to start scrambling up the eggs. Slowly use your fingers to start incorporating the flour from the inside edges of the crater into the eggs. This is going to be messy, people. Put the camera down and embrace it already. Use your free [read: not goopy] hand to make sure the edges of your crater don’t collapse. Otherwise you will have egg spillage all over your, uh, everything.
- Once the egg-flour-oil mixture starts looking less like raw egg and more like bright yellow super sticky dough, you can use both hands to start incorporating the flour. It’s just going to take a lot of pushing and folding and prodding. You won’t believe me now, but all the flour will fit in there. You’ll want to give up, you’ll say ‘this is way too dry! there’s no dang way! what have you gotten me into, erin?!’. just keep smashing and stirring and folding.
- Eventually, your dough will start to come together and look like, well, dough. If you stiiiiilll can’t get all the flour incorporated, run your hands under water, shake them off a second, and use your wet hands to knead the dough. There. Now you should have almost no flour left.
- Knead the dough until you have a shiny, elastic, not sticky-at-all ball. [you can wet your hands once more if you need to]. Wrap loosely in plastic and let sit for an hour to rest. Both you and the dough! You earned it! [ps. you could refrigerate the dough at this point for a few days or you could probably freeze it too and then defrost it and let it come to room temperature before rolling it out]
- Once the dough has rested, flour up your counter again. Cut off about 1/4 of the dough [you can do more if your counter isn’t as tiny as mine..] set it on your floured counter and sprinkle it with flour. Re-wrap the dough you aren’t using so it doesn’t dry out. You don’t want to go totally nuts with the flouring of everything, but you don’t want your dough to stick at all, either, so don’t be afraid to use it.
- Start rolling! You’ll find that this dough is ridiculously easy to roll. Seriously. If only pie dough was like this. You want to roll, roll, roll, until your dough is so super thin that you can pretty much see through it. If in doubt, roll it thinner. The first batch I made I didn’t roll thin enough. Thinner is better, as the noodles will puff slightly when you cook them and if it’s too thick it might turn out gummy.
- Cut your dough into strips however thick you like using a pizza cutter. Gather handfuls of the strips, flour lightly, and twirl into little nests. Store these under plastic wrap so they don’t dry out. Alternatively, cut your pasta into large squares for lasagna or small squares for ravioli! Then start again and continue with the rest of your dough!
- At this point, you can either cook your pasta right away in salted, boiling water for about 2 minutes OR you can do several other things: you could hang your pasta noodles [using a clean clothes hanger or something] until they are dry and then store them in a plastic bag, you could freeze the individual nests of pasta and then throw those nests into a bag in the freezer for later use, or you could store them in the refrigerator well covered for a day or two until you feel like using them.
I really hope you guys try and make your own pasta! It really tastes better than anything you can buy in a store and it seriously feels AWESOME to make something like pasta yourself. Seriously. I felt like a freakin pro and I was so proud of myself when I was eating it. Like, dude! This pasta! It was just flour and eggs a couple hours ago! And check it out now!
So tell me, what kind of sauce are you going to smother your fabulous homemade pastas with?!
Beautiful pictures, Erin!! Your noodles look so good!!! I’ve always wanted to try making pastas (I even have the attachment on my kitchen aid mixer) but it always looks intimidating and time consuming. Plus I’m too much of a germaphobe to make it directly on my kitchen counter. I need to get over it or buy a really huge cutting board LOL I’m tempted!! Xox
Haha! You can actually make the dough in a food processor if you have it.. which would eliminate the counter-germ thing. But doing it with your hands is part of the fun! [rinse your eggs well first.. bacteria live on the outside of the eggs, not the inside!]
You are my hero. I always wanted to try this!!!! Your noodles look so good Erin!
Thanks Kristi!! You should give it a go! It’s easier than I expected!!
You didn’t even use a machine? Impressive. I love making pasta – so much nicer home made!
Do you think I could use whole wheat flour?
You could probably try a combination of whole wheat and white, or whole wheat and semolina. I think it depends on the type of whole wheat flour you use, I know King Arthur makes a ‘white whole wheat’ [whatever that means] that tends to work really well when you are replacing wheat for all purpose in recipes, but some other heartier flours sometimes don’t work as well. But it’s a pretty flexible recipe so I’m sure you could play around with it! Let me know how it turns out!!
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It is so impressive. I loved the way you described it, very clear. You made it with out pasta machine, that’s an effort! I guess you enjoyed it so it is all worth it. Thanks for sharing.