made pasta is delicious, nutritious and a highly enjoyable and satisfying
experience to create. You can truly taste the improvement in the
flavor when compared to dried pasta bought off the shelf. With a
good pasta maker, you can make a wide variety of dishes ranging
from ravioli to lasagna, spaghetti to tagliatelle and linguine to
fettuccini. And with a fine machine, you'll be sure to have a great
deal of fun as well.
detailed guidelines on this page are provided by How To Make
Pasta for use with mechanical machines such as the Marcato Atlas
'150' Pasta Maker. Beautiful and compact stainless steel machines
like these can typically be purchased for under the $100 mark. There
are also a variety of electric options available on the market.
For example, the Marcato Atlas has an optionally available motor
driven unit. Other dedicated electric machines can cost four times
as much as manual mechanical models, so they are not as economical!
How To Make
essence, there are three main steps to follow when making beautiful,
home-made, fresh pasta in your kitchen.
Make your dough with the optimum consistency.
Shape the dough into flat sheets with your pasta maker.
Shape or cut the fresh pasta to combine with your recipe.
detailed information and prices of a wide range of pasta machines
can also be found at Pasta-Makers.com
manual provided with your pasta maker should also have additional
useful and specific information about making dough, using your pasta
maker to make fine pasta, and using attachments to create a wide
range of interesting shapes. Some manuals even have delicious recipes
included! Enjoy your pasta making!
1. Make Your
ingredients: 4 eggs, 2 1/4 cups unbleached or soft wheat flour,
a little rice flour or corn meal (for constant dusting), a dash
of salt. This makes enough for four people. Adapt this recipe to
suit! As a rule of thumb, base the size of your meal preparation
on the principle of one egg and just over half a cup of flour per
person. How To Make Pasta also recommends that you see your
manual and recipe books for info on ingredients and for delectable
pasta fillings and pasta sauce recipes to add to your creation.
For example, for "al dente" pasta, you can substitute
a portion of the wheat ingredient above for traditional durum wheat
flour. "Al dente" means "firm to the bite"
your eggs outside at room temperature for half an hour. Make sure
you have very clean hands and bench top. Starting with the flour,
pour it onto your bench top to create an imaginary "bowl"
of flour in a kind of volcano shape. Make it hollow in the middle
with a circular rim around the perimeter, an inch or so tall (2.5cm).
Use your fingers to create this well about 6 inches wide (15.2cm).
It should be just wide enough to contain the eggs you will break
a small reserve of dry flour at hand in case you need to add a pinch
or two. Keep a small bowl of water nearby as well. Your aim is to
make pasta with just the right consistency to best suit your pasta
maker. And when completed, the dough should not stick to your fingers.
the eggs and drop them into the "bowl". Give the eggs
a quick beating with a fork to break them up, reshaping the outside
shape of the flour bowl with your other hand to prevent anything
spilling out if necessary. Add a good dash of salt to taste, on
top of the eggs. Keep beating and whisking the eggs. At this stage
you can still use the fork for a minute or two longer to whisk the
eggs if you wish.
the same time, start flicking little bits of flour into the middle,
being mindful not to lose the shape of the wall. The yolk starts
to thicken. Put the fork aside and start using your hands. Scoop
the flour inwards from the perimeter and keep mixing vigorously
reshaping your circular flour shape around the outside. The mixture
is now starting to become more viscous and it will no longer spill
so you can completely forget about the wall of flour. Remove excess
dry flour from around the outside and mix and start to knead and
squeeze and reshape all the dough with as much energy as you can.
By this stage, the flour and all the eggs are all combined into
the one big messy, clump of dough.
Note The kneading process is hard work on your arms and
hands! If you are unable to do this or don't have a strong family
member at hand to help, it is possible to buy a separate electric
dough mixer or stand mixer (with pasta accessories) to complete
this stage of the process.
now you are very actively kneading the mixture. You need to work
hard, mixing and shaping and squeezing and rolling the flour into
a single big piece of dough. If it sticks to your hands, it may
be too moist and you can add a dash of flour, but only add a small
amount at a time.
creative kneading process continues for a while with a mixing and
folding and pressing technique. Again, this mixing process needs
lots of effort for 10 or 15 minutes. Lots of elbow grease and TLC
as well! Just keep folding the mixture in half, then press it down
strongly with the palms of your hands, again and again, rolling
and pushing. You can even throw it down onto the bench top now and
idea is to mix and squeeze and distribute the ingredients as completely
and evenly as possible. A technique that works well is to push down
hard on the dough, which squeezes and lengthens it. Then, stand
it on its end and repeat the process.
too moist, you can carefully add an extra dash of flour. If too
dry, add a small splash of water. A number of tiny air holes can
give you a clue that the consistency is about ready. But with experience,
you will soon know when your pasta is ready by the feel and firmness
divide your big lump of pasta dough into four and reshape them into
smaller ball shapes, each one fitting comfortably into the palm
of your hand. The size should now be smaller than a tennis ball.
The size is very important, because the volume needs to fit comfortably
into a typical home pasta maker. (They are available in slightly
different widths.) But there is no substitute for experience, your
pasta needs to have just the right consistency and softness and
firmness and volume to work well and for the optimum results from
your pasta maker.
the four balls of dough with a very light touch of flour (so they
don't stick to the plastic wrap you cover them with) and let them
"set" for 15 minutes or so. This is where you can use
the rice flour or corn meal for dusting.
second step will be to roll the four pasta balls into flat, elongated
shapes to suit your pasta maker so you can continue the process
of creating your delicious pasta dish.
2. Use Your
a generous amount of rice flour on your bench top to avoid stickiness.
This is one of the secrets of how to make pasta. Grab the first
ball of dough in your hands while keeping the others covered. Flatten
the ball as much as possible to start with. Some people find that
a rolling pin is useful at this stage. Make it approximately 4 inches
wide (10cm) and 8-10 inches long (20-25cm) in a roughly rectangular
shape. It should also be thinner than your finger, and the thickness
should be fairly even. This shape is purely so that the dough will
fit into your pasta maker in the next step.
your pasta maker to your bench top in a convenient place with the
clamp provided. (Remember, we are discussing mechanical machines
here, not electric models.) Start with your machine at the widest
setting (on most makers, this will be setting "One" but
on some machines the numbers could be reversed!)
the dough through the machine at this widest setting five or six
times, each time folding it into halves or thirds, like a triple
fold shape, for example. This helps to blend the mixture as evenly
and smooth as possible. Your aim is to make your sheets more and
more smooth and silky.
an example, the Marcato Atlas '150' Pasta Maker has nine consecutive
thickness settings which you control by clicking a convenient 9
position dial. These settings help to make it easy to make fresh
sheet of dough has now been transformed into a thick but uniform
sheet of uncooked pasta. This is a good opportunity for some family
fun and involvement. An extra pair of hands is very useful when
you are using your pasta maker to help manage the sheets as they
come out of the machine.
from How To Make Pasta If the dough is too soft and
moist, the rollers won't be able to cut it. Add some flour to the
mix and pass the dough through the rollers a few times to remix
it. And if the dough is too dry, the rollers won't be able to grip
and grasp it either. Add a little water and pass through the rollers.
the pasta maker onto the second widest setting (usually number "Two").
This time, feed the pasta through two or three times, only this
time, you don't need to refold the dough. You will notice the sheet
of pasta is getting longer and thinner. The pasta stretches out
a little each time it passes, and this helps it to settle. Now you
are starting to see progress.
a useful idea is to put a handful of dry flour sprinkled
on the bench top. Before each pass, you can drop the pasta sheet
onto the flour to lightly dust it. This helps it to pass smoothly
through the machine and prevent it from sticking.
the machine to "Three". Repeat this procedure through
the remaining settings of your pasta maker, each time switching
to the next smallest setting. From here on, you might find that
only two passes at each setting is sufficient for the optimum result.
on the recipe you are planning, continue pushing the pasta through
all the settings until you have achieved the thickness you want.
You don't always have to go as far as the thinnest setting, it depends
on your recipe and style. Repeat this procedure for all your pasta
sheets and cover them to prevent excessive drying out.
to care for your pasta maker, simply wipe it with a clean, dry cloth
or soft brush and scrape with a plastic or wooden scraper, avoiding
detergents and water. Now and again, place a drop of oil on the
rollers for smooth operation.
Note A brand new machine may contain a trace residue
of oil inside the rollers and interior. Run a spare sheet of dough
through your new pasta maker and throw it away to clean it. This
is also a good idea if you haven't used your machine for a long
time. You can also carefully use a folded up paper towel to pass
through the mechanism.
3. Shape And
Cook Your Pasta
made pasta is incredibly creative and versatile, and every recipe
you create can be a little different. There are basically two main
ways you can use your pasta in your home cooking. (That is if you
don't leave your pasta uncut to make lasagna!) One way is to cut
the flat sheets of pasta into shapes with a pasta cutter, and fill
those shapes with a range of delicious ingredients and seal them
for cooking. And the other option is to use the attachments provided
with most good pasta makers to cut and shred your pasta sheets into
a variety of widths and styles. Then, you are able to create attractive
and appealing shapes and lengths in an almost infinite variety of
shapes with a pasta cutter
are a variety of pasta cutters and stamps with many different shapes
on the market. If you are lucky, some pasta cutters may have been
included with your pasta maker set. Spread one of your pasta sheets
out on the bench top. As always, sprinkle a tiny amount of flour
first to prevent anything sticking. Using a pasta cutter (or even
a small glass) press the shape into the pasta sheet, as close together
as you can, to make the shapes. Remember to see your manual for
you will have a big pile of beautiful pasta shapes ready for filling,
like ravioli for example. Add your fillings individually, one by
one. usually around half a teaspoon or so will be sufficient for
each piece. The next stage is to fold the circle in half over the
top of the filling to cover it. The final step is to press around
the semi-circle with a fork to seal it. This also creates an attractive
and stylish shape, always an essential part of the finest cooking.
like this will cook in as little as a minute or two when put into
boiling water. Add salt to taste. Experience, experimentation and
the taste test will help you know when it is ready. Always remember
that fresh home made pasta cooks dramatically faster than the dried
pasta you buy from the grocer.
see your manual for details of your cutters and stamps and how to
use them. These can provide a fun and creative activity for all
the family as you can see in the photo of a pasta stamp at left.
shapes with a pasta maker attachment
pasta makers have optional accessories you can use to make a variety
of pasta styles. There are countless styles of traditional Italian
cuisine, so you are sure to want to experiment with creating a wide
range of different shapes. These attachments simply clip on to the
top of your machine quickly and easily. See your manual for specific
instructions and advice on how to make pasta shapes and variations.
can now use the same handle and mechanism you used to make your
dough in Step One to feed the pasta sheets through the machine to
shred them into different widths and styles. Simply move the handle
crank from the machine to the attachment on most models, it should
just click in simply and quickly. The procedure is the same, turn
the handle and feed the pasta sheets through the attachment where
the sheets are shredded. The attachment has a slot or chute at the
top where you feed the pasta in.
turn the handle at a good fast clip for best results. Now
you have a pile of pasta, and you can add a dash of corn meal or
rice flour to prevent undue sticking. Mix it through the pasta pile.
This is also another occasion where an extra pair of hands is a
an example, the Marcato Atlas '150' Pasta Maker has different gauge
cutting options depending on whether you are making spaghetti or
fettuccine for example. Fine machines like this model give you a
versatile range of great options.
this stage, you have the option of hanging the pasta on a drying
rack, which are frequently made of wood. Or, you can make your own
with some round wooden dowel. This helps to avoid sticking, though
remember, you can also dust with flour at any time during the pasta
making process to help prevent this. You can leave the pasta to
dry for an hour or so, and this is an ideal time to start preparing
your sauce or the other ingredients of your meal. (Pasta will also
keep for more than a week if kept cool and dry.)
to cook your pasta, simply add it to boiling water with some salt
added to taste to bring out the flavor. See your pasta maker's manual
for cooking times and use the taste test, but cooking time is much
quicker compared to dried, processed pasta from the supermarket,
and can vary from as little as one to three minutes for a typical
dish. In general, the narrower you make your pasta, the slightly
more quickly it will cook. It's also a great idea to have a timer
visible in your kitchen to help you make your pasta.
for more detailed information about a wide range of pasta machines
available on the market and their prices, you're welcome to visit