How to Make Spaghetti at Home
Is it better to make your own pasta?
Pasta seems like one of those culinary adventures that is awfully intimidating to embark on in the kitchen–and for good reason. The ingredients to make pasta are simple. It just takes flour, eggs, salt and some oil. But, it sounds like a lot of work to mix these together, knead your own dough, wait and then cut it out in strips as thin as possible. Meanwhile, it comes so neatly and nicely prepackaged in plastic at the grocery store that you figure you’d save a lot of time buying something ready to simply boil. I am here, however, to tell you otherwise. Making pasta is much simpler than you’d might expect and it tastes so much better than the store-bought alternative.
How to make pasta from scratch
Contrary to what you might think, it's actually quite simple to make pasta from scratch. Pasta contains only 3-4 ingredients: flour, egg, salt and sometimes a little bit of oil. The process is straightforward, too. Once you mix your ingredients, you knead the dough for around 5-10 minutes or until you're happy with the consistency. Let it rest for about half an hour at room temperature and then your dough is ready to shape into the pasta of your choosing–it’s literally ready in less than an hour! Hopefully, after adding this recipe to your repertoire, you’ll have a stronger appreciation for the magical ingredient, flour, as it accompanies you from tortillas to pancakes, cookies to pasta.
Should you use a pasta roller to make pasta?
Pasta rollers certainly make your pasta making experience much smoother and easier. They flatten the pasta into thin, even sheets. Once you have one of these sheets you can switch the machine into a pasta cutter and arrive at beautiful and consistent thickness spaghetti. Other mechanisms work, too, like a rolling pin and a chef’s knife or a special contraption known as a guitarra. If you don't have a pasta roller, don’t fret. You may still have everything you need at home to avoid pasta that comes in that suffocating plastic wrapping. All you really need is a flat surface, a rolling pin, and drive.
Can you make pasta without a pasta roller?
If you don’t have a pasta roller, you're in luck. Because I believe in pasta and I believe in trying something out before spending large amounts of money on the process, this recipe will not require a pasta rolling machine at all. You’ll need a flat surface and a rolling pin to roll out your dough into those thin sheets that the pasta roller would create. If you don’t have a rolling pin, try using a metal water bottle or even a wine bottle instead (but be careful). Roll your dough out into a thin sheet. Then, roll it again. Once it's as thin as a tortilla, use your chef’s knife to cut long strips into a spaghetti shape. Or, you can try cutting squares if you would like to fold your dough into tortellinis.
How to save your pasta
If you’re planning on saving your pasta for later, use an airtight container and your refrigerator. How long does it save for? In the fridge your fresh pasta will stay good for 1-2 days, and in the freezer, you can save it for up to a month. To unfreeze, drop it into water at a steady boil and continue to cook until al dente!
What to cook it with
Pasta goes well with numerous sauces like carbonara, marinara, or pesto. If you're looking for a sauce, check out HuBee’s article on carbonara, or try pasta alla Norma–a nice tomato sauce with eggplant. If you want to challenge yourself and make pesto from scratch, I recommend Kate’s recipe, here.
Time: 30 minutes for the pasta, another 4 if you are boiling it right away
Serves: 3-4 People
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- Olive oil
- Place your flour on a clean and flat surface to work on. I recommend HuBee’s baking mat because it has a large area and will make it really easy to clean up any floury mess. Pour your flour in a pile and make a little indent so that it looks like a volcano.
- Add your eggs, salt, and oil into the indent in your flour. Use a fork to slowly mix everything into the flour without letting it run. Then, use your hands to keep bringing more flour into the mixture until all the flour is used up.
- Knead this dough for about 10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when you have one cohesive blob. At first it may feel flaky or dry, but the more you knead, the more it will come together!
- Wrap your dough in plastic and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Once the dough is well rested, transfer it back to your flat surface and cut into four pieces. Use your rolling pin or rolling utensil to roll each piece into thin sheets. Go as thin as you can go or as thin as you like your pasta. Personally, I like mine on the thicker side. Flour each side of your sheets so that you can stack them without them sticking.
- Use your chef’s knife to cut your pasta into spaghetti strips and roll them up into pleasant-looking ball-like shapes. And presto! Your pasta is ready to save or cook right away.
Cooking your pasta:
- Bring water to a boil in a pot and salt liberally.
- Put your pasta into the pot and boil for 2-4 minutes. Since you made it fresh, the pasta will cook much faster than store-bought pasta.