Homemade pasta is one of those food projects that is never necessary, but always satisfying. Sure, you can buy quality dried pasta from the store and it works just fine, but the taste (and pride) of homemade pasta is just too good. We enjoy this whole wheat version, which is a 50-50 whole wheat/white flour mix. It adds a little heartiness and nutritional value to pasta night!
Now, I don’t consider myself a pasta expert (my grandma was of French heritage – not Italian!), but after a few times, I feel like I’ve gotten the hang of it. Once you get good at it, it’s surprisingly quick and can be made with items you probably have on hand. So next time you want to eat some pasta, give yourself a little extra time and try it from scratch.
Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta
About 1 pound (serves 4-6)
What You Need
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 pinches of salt
What To Do
1 In a food processor*, combine all of the ingredients. Process the dough for about 30 seconds until a ball forms. If a ball doesn’t form, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until the ball forms. Be careful that you don’t make it too wet.
2 Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 1 minute until smooth. The whole wheat flour makes this dough fairly tough, but it should be smooth and moist. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
3 Roll the dough out using a pasta machine, or by hand with a rolling pin. It can be die-cut with a machine (shown above), hand cut, or made into ravioli.
To roll the dough with a pasta machine:
— Take about 1/5 of the dough (smaller amounts are easier to work with) and flatten it with your hand. Run it though the pasta rollers at their widest setting. Fold the dough in half and run it through again at the same setting. Repeat this until the pasta runs through smoothly (2 to 4 times). If the pasta becomes sticky at any point, sprinkle a small amount of flour on the sheet of dough and rub it in.
— Narrow the rollers one notch and run the pasta through the rollers; fold it in half and run it through again at the same setting. Keep narrowing the rollers one notch at a time and running the dough through once or twice. For the narrower settings, you don’t need to fold the dough in half if it runs through smoothly.
— When you get to the desired thickness (third lowest setting on our machine), lay the sheet out flat and rub a little flour onto both sides. Cut the sheet to the length of pasta you want.
–Switch the pasta machine to the die-cut side and run your pasta through to cut it (again, shorter amounts of dough are easier to work with).
— Lay the pasta out flat until it is ready to boil. If you stack or nest the pasta, make sure it is well floured.
— Don’t wash the pasta machine with soap and water. Wait for the pasta to dry and then wipe it with a towel and try to get all of the little bits out. I usually shake it around upside down, run the rollers backwards, and poke at it with a chopstick!
4 When ready to serve, drop the pasta in salted boiling water and cook for only 2 to 4 minutes depending on thickness. It doesn’t take long, so be sure that you don’t overcook!
*If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a stand mixer or just knead by hand for several minutes.