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Easy Homemade Pasta From Scratch — No Machine Needed

Fresh homemade pasta (using what you already have in the kitchen)

Until I started making my own pasta, I always thought homemade pasta required a special pasta maker, a lot of space to hang up curtains of noodles, and a ton of time to devote in the kitchen.

The fancy red or green pasta with Italian words all over the packages? Wrote them off as impossible to replicate at home.

But I couldn’t have been more wrong.

You can make the best pasta at home (even colorful pasta) with the most basic of kitchen implements: a smooth surface, a rolling pin, a sharp knife, and a half-hour of hands-on time.

Small appliances can shave off a few minutes if you have a mixer to knead the dough or a pasta machine to roll it out, but once you get the hang of making pasta from scratch, your hands can be just as quick. (I promise!)

Beet pasta
Hand-cut pasta

It’s so easy that I’ll sometimes roll out a batch of pasta dough right before dinner.

This is possible, time-wise, because compared to the dried boxed pasta you can buy in the store, fresh homemade pasta is already luxurious on its own. Its velvety texture means it needs little more than a good tomato sauce to satisfy (or try my skin-on tomato sauce too, which is ridiculously easy to make).

My favorite is handmade linguine or fettucine. I love the rustic quality of hand-cut pasta — how each noodle is just slightly different in thickness or length.

Make Fresh Pasta Now to Freeze for Later

Quite often, I find myself making several batches of pasta at once so I can store and preserve them for future meals. (This is an especially fun task if you have kids at home to help.)

When it comes to preserving pasta, I’m a big proponent of freezing rather than drying for a few reasons:

  • Frozen pasta retains all the color, flavor, and texture of fresh pasta.
  • It cooks faster than dried pasta.
  • It won’t get moldy, since you can freeze it right away.
  • It saves space, since you won’t need to drape it over wooden dowels or the backs of chairs while you wait for the pasta to fully dry.
  • It won’t break during storage, a big issue with pasta that’s dry and brittle, especially if you lack adequate pantry space.

So if you find that you can’t use up all the pasta at once, I wholly recommend freezing the unused portions (which I’ll explain how to do below).

They don’t even need to be thawed when you’re ready to use them. Simply drop the frozen pasta into a boiling pot of salted water and add a couple extra minutes to the cooking time.

Spinach fettucine

The Magic Ratio for Homemade Pasta

For making pasta by hand, my magic ratio is 2 cups flour to 3/4 cup liquid.

This makes 1 pound of pasta, or 4 servings.

I use the “scoop and sweep” method for measuring flour: scoop a heaping cup of flour, then sweep a straightedge across the top.

If your flour has been compacted at the bottom of a bag or canister, fluff it up with a fork before scooping.

An unbleached all-purpose flour works well for the dough. There are special flours you can use to achieve a slightly different texture, like Italian “00” (doppio zero) or semolina flour, but in my opinion, you can make a mighty fine dough with the all-purpose flour you already have in the pantry.

The liquid consists of eggs, which give “bite” and body to the pasta; olive oil, which adds silkiness and a subtle richness; and if you’re so inclined, vegetable juice or fresh herbs for added color or flavor.

Homemade beet linguini
Flavor the dough with fresh parsley

I start my pasta the traditional way — by heaping flour onto a solid surface and whisking in the eggs — but beginning pasta makers may be better off doing that in a bowl until the process becomes second nature.

You might have to wash an extra dish, but at least you won’t get egg all over your shoe.

Below are four variations of my basic pasta recipe. The ingredients are a little different for each one, but the method is the same for all. Let me know which one’s your favorite!

Egg pasta

Fresh Homemade Egg Pasta Recipe

Makes 1 pound

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and dusting
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil

Parsley pasta

Fresh Homemade Herb Pasta Recipe

Makes 1 pound

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and dusting
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs (try basil or parsley)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Spinach pasta

Fresh Homemade Vegetable Pasta Recipe

Makes 1 pound

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and dusting
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable juice (try beet, spinach, or carrot juice, or even tomato paste or pumpkin puree to add color)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Fresh Homemade Squid Ink Pasta Recipe

Makes 1 pound

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and dusting
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
8 grams (or 2 x 4g packets) squid ink (I use this brand)

Master Method for All Recipes

Mound the flour onto your work surface and make a large well in the center. (Tip: I use my measuring cup to carve out a deep, perfect well about 5 inches in diameter.)

Crack each egg into the well, followed by the remaining ingredients in your chosen pasta recipe.

Crack each egg into the well

Using a fork, beat the eggs and oil (plus any herbs, vegetable juice, or squid ink, if using) until well combined.

Whisk the eggs

Little by little, add the flour to the egg mixture and beat until all of it is incorporated.

Mix the dough with your fork until it begins to take shape and you can gather it into a loose ball.

Add flour to the egg mixture
Incorporate the flour into the wet ingredients
Mix all the ingredients together with a fork
Pasta dough starting to take shape
Start kneading the pasta dough

With your hands, start kneading the dough. It will feel soft and jiggly at this stage, but keep kneading for about 10 minutes until the dough firms up.

I like to push the dough down and out with the heels of my hands, then fold it back over onto itself, rotate a quarter-turn, and push down again.

There’s no “proper” method for kneading; think of it as a really intense massage. You want to work the dough with your hands to develop the gluten, which gives it strength and elasticity.

Within a few minutes, you’ll notice the dough becoming harder and harder to knead — making pasta can be a great workout in the kitchen!

Knead the dough
Knead the dough

If any excess flour or dough crumbs remain on your work surface and won’t stick to the dough, simply scrape them off with a dough scraper or straightedge.

When your dough looks smooth and no longer feels sticky, shape it into a ball and cover with a kitchen towel to keep it from drying out.

Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes.

Shape the dough into a ball

Cut the dough into quarters.

Keep the rest of the dough covered with a kitchen towel while you work on each piece.

Cut the dough into quarters

On a floured surface, roll out the dough as thin as you can get it — you should be able to see your hands through the pasta sheet when you pick it up. Dust liberally with more flour to prevent sticking.

Hand-rolled pasta sheet

Fold the pasta sheet a few times over itself (as if you were folding a letter) and cut it to your desired width.

Choose your favorite:

  • Spaghetti: 1/16 inch
  • Linguine: 1/8 inch
  • Tagliatelle: 3/16 inch
  • Fettucine: 1/4 inch
  • Pappardelle: 1 inch
Dust the noodles with flour
Shake out the noodles

Shake the noodles out, toss with a little flour, then let them rest in loose mounds on a kitchen towel while you roll out the remaining dough pieces.

When you’ve finished cutting all the noodles, simply drop them into a boiling pot of salted water. Fresh pasta cooks in 2 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness.

Beet pasta

If you’ll be storing the pasta to use later, lay the noodles out in long strands to rest and dry out a little. Pick up a single-serving portion of noodles and twirl into a nest.

Repeat with the remaining noodles, then place the nests on a cookie sheet and freeze for about 1 hour.

This keeps the pasta from clumping together in storage; once they’ve firmed up, transfer to a freezer-proof bag or container and freeze again.

Frozen pasta can go straight into boiling water and takes a little longer to cook, but otherwise comes out exactly like fresh pasta.

Pictured above, clockwise from top left: spinach pasta, squid ink pasta, carrot pasta, beet pasta, parsley pasta, and egg pasta.

Homemade Pasta Recipe Sources

Bellemain Stainless Steel Measuring Cup Set | Delicioso Squid Ink Sachets | John Boos Maple Wood Edge Grain Cutting Board | Trudeau Silicone French Rolling Pin | Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional “S” 7-Inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife (similar) | Mantables Live Edge Cutting Board

This post updated from an article that originally appeared on December 5, 2014.

Yield: 1 pound

Fresh Homemade Pasta

Fresh homemade pasta (using what you already have in the kitchen)

Here are four easy recipes for homemade pasta! They all use the same master technique and base ingredients, but incorporate a variety of colors and flavors.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 2 minutes

Ingredients

Egg Pasta

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and dusting
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Herb Pasta

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and dusting
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs (try basil or parsley)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Vegetable Pasta

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and dusting
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable juice (try beet, spinach, or carrot juice, or even tomato paste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Squid Ink Pasta

Instructions

  1. Mound the flour onto your work surface and make a large well in the center. (Tip: I use my measuring cup to carve out a deep, perfect well about 5 inches in diameter.)
  2. Crack each egg into the well, followed by the remaining ingredients in your chosen pasta recipe.
  3. Using a fork, beat the eggs and oil (plus any herbs, vegetable juice, or squid ink, if using) until well combined.
  4. Little by little, add the flour to the egg mixture and beat until all of it is incorporated. Mix the dough with your fork until it begins to take shape and you can gather it into a loose ball.
  5. With your hands, start kneading the dough. It will feel soft and jiggly at this stage, but keep kneading for about 10 minutes until the dough firms up. I like to push the dough down and out with the heels of my hands, then fold it back over onto itself, rotate a quarter-turn, and push down again.
  6. When your dough looks smooth and no longer feels sticky, shape it into a ball and cover with a kitchen towel to keep it from drying out. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Cut the dough into quarters. Keep the rest of the dough covered with a towel while you work on each piece.
  8. On a floured surface, roll out the dough as thin as you can get it — you should be able to see your hands through the pasta sheet when you pick it up. Dust liberally with more flour to prevent sticking.
  9. Fold the pasta sheet a few times over itself (as if you were folding a letter) and cut it to your desired width. (See Notes below.)
  10. Shake the noodles out, toss with a little flour, then let them rest in loose mounds on a towel while you roll out the remaining dough.
  11. When you’ve finished cutting all the noodles, simply drop them into a boiling pot of salted water. Fresh pasta cooks in 2 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness.

Notes

General pasta widths:

  • Spaghetti: 1/16 inch
  • Linguine: 1/8 inch
  • Tagliatelle: 3/16 inch
  • Fettucine: 1/4 inch
  • Pappardelle: 1 inch

Freezing tips:

If you’ll be storing the pasta to use later, lay the noodles out in long strands to rest and dry out a little. Pick up a single-serving portion of noodles and twirl into a nest.

Repeat with the remaining noodles, then place the nests on a cookie sheet and freeze for about 1 hour.

This keeps the pasta from clumping together in storage; once they’ve firmed up, transfer to a freezer-proof bag or container and freeze again.

Frozen pasta can go straight into boiling water and takes a little longer to cook, but otherwise comes out exactly like fresh pasta.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1/4 pound

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1319Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 512mgSodium: 227mgCarbohydrates: 192gFiber: 7gSugar: 2gProtein: 43g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »

99 Comments

  • Maryam
    May 14, 2021 at 9:44 am

    Hi, for vegetable pasta, we need vegetable juice or vegetable puree? Thank you

    Reply
  • Clarissa Cope
    April 15, 2021 at 7:24 am

    Iwas wondering would using wholemeal four affect the outcome too much?

    Reply
  • Stephanie
    February 22, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Ok…when I came across this recipe that said “easy homemade pasta”, I instinctively said “bull****”. Heard that one before. But I decided to give it one more shot…and I’m glad I did! This recipe made a delicious batch of pasta sheets! We folded them around ricotta and smothered them in homemade short rib ragu. O.M.G. Will definitely make again!

    Reply
  • V
    June 14, 2020 at 8:23 am

    Epic pasta! I had never made fresh pasta before and thought I couldn’t because I didn’t have a machine… But this turned out amazing! It was super easy for me to do even as an inexperienced cook. Thank you for sharing this fabulous recipe (I made the vegetable-coloured pasta recipe by the way).

    Reply
  • Maha Khedr
    July 16, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Hello 🙂 the recipe is amazing. I tried the basic one a few times ands just fantastic. Thinking of trying the spinach one now but i have a question, if i cant conveniently find ready made spinach juice, can i just juice it in a blender myself? And if so, how much water should i add? I wouldnt want it to be too watery so it doesnt ruin the dough
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    Reply
    • Linda from Garden Betty
      October 13, 2018 at 2:05 am

      You can definitely juice your own spinach, as that’s what I usually do. I add just enough water to be able to turn it into a thick puree, and then I strain the solids. Having spinach juice that’s too watery won’t really ruin the dough, it just won’t add enough color. Good luck! 🙂

      Reply
      • Maryam
        May 11, 2021 at 7:17 am

        Hi, thank you for sharing your great recipes.For this recipe we need vegetable juice or vegetable puree. Thank you for your answer

        Reply
  • Callie Hunt
    May 11, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Hi there:) Can you use almond flour or coconut flour?

    Reply
    • Linda from Garden Betty
      May 28, 2018 at 11:09 pm

      I’m not familiar with using wheat flour substitutes, so I’m afraid I can’t help you there.

      Reply
  • Sam Smith
    March 30, 2018 at 3:44 am

    Wow! This is awesome. Can’t wait to try this out.

    Reply
    • Linda from Garden Betty
      April 16, 2018 at 3:47 am

      Good luck! It’s a really fun and satisfying process. 🙂

      Reply
  • Cherryl
    March 29, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Wonderful timing for this article–thank you!. I’m going to make good use of all this information because I just received my custom made Noodle Board! If anyone doesn’t know what that is, it is a wonderful kitchen item from yesteryear, often sold today as a decorative cover for the stove. They usually look like a large, rustic cutting board with three raised sides and are used both to roll out and cut noodles and to dry them. I had mine custom made from oak, with 6 inch sides and no holes, because I wanted it to be perfectly smooth, food grade with no finish, and capable of holding onto all the flying flour that will be going on. I’ll use refined olive oil to season it, then it will be ready to go, for making noodles, tortillas, pie crusts, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and anything else that makes a mess on the counter.

    Reply
    • Linda from Garden Betty
      April 16, 2018 at 4:15 am

      That sounds wonderful! I looked into pasta boards recently because our new kitchen doesn’t have smooth counters, and I thought about just making one to the exact size I need. You’re giving me another reason to revisit that idea!

      Reply
      • Cherryl
        April 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm

        Best decision I ever made for a kitchen item. I love it! I changed my mind on the refined olive oil finish and used refined walnut oil instead. It really brought out the grain of the wood while protecting it. Any good quality, refined vegetable oil should work, and you can research that. I don’t prepare food with refined oils, but for this purpose I needed an oil that wouldn’t “go rancid”. You aren’t slathering the board with oil, but rubbing it in periodically to maintain the wood.

        Reply
        • Linda from Garden Betty
          April 25, 2018 at 2:18 am

          I make a “spoon oil” (that can be used on cutting boards and pasta boards as well) using walnut oil: https://www.gardenbetty.com/homemade-spoon-oil-or-as-i-like-to-call-it-spoon-butta/

          Reply
          • Cherryl
            April 25, 2018 at 7:32 am

            The “spoon oil” should work great after applying the initial oil finish. Walnut oil is a good “curing oil” when it is refined. I’m glad I used it for the initial wood treatment. I’m going to make and use “spoon oil” to keep my new noodle board and cutting boards happy. Also, I’ve made several pasta recipes based on your great article. Please keep them coming!

  • Geisha Joy Casildo
    July 10, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Is it okay to use oatmeal flour?

    Reply
    • Linda from Garden Betty
      July 11, 2017 at 7:39 am

      Unfortunately I’m not familiar with oatmeal flour.

      Reply
  • Amanda
    July 8, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    I just tried this recipe! It was my first time making homemade pasta and it turned out great! I did a tomato- basil version!

    Reply
    • Linda from Garden Betty
      July 10, 2017 at 8:22 am

      Yum!

      Reply
  • Anina Imhof
    September 5, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Beautiful post!! I can’t wait to try! I have a question: when you say the general rule is 2 cups flour to 3/4 cup liquid… By “liquid” do you mean eggs plus oil (eg: in the egg noodle recipe)?

    Reply
    • Linda Ly of Garden Betty
      October 15, 2016 at 12:49 am

      Thank you! And yes, the liquid includes both egg and oil.

      Reply
  • Amy
    May 29, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    I just tried your recipe; it’s my first time making homemade pasta. It turned out beautifully!

    Reply
    • Linda Ly of Garden Betty
      October 17, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that!

      Reply
  • Stephanie Smith
    May 13, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Wow that was amazing to read! Very informative and beautifully written and photographed. You addressed all my concerns/fears of fresh pasta making and now I think I have to give this a try!

    Reply
    • Linda Ly of Garden Betty
      October 17, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you, I hope it turns out great for you!

      Reply
  • joseph
    March 3, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Linda I have to tell you, hands down the best presentation of any product or food prep. I have ever seen, bar none. a lot of times even in great posts there is a vital point forgotten and makes the end result a waste of time and someone will miss out and maybe give up on following future recipes. SO GREAT BIG THUMBS UP TO YOU AND THAT GREAT PASTA. Thanks for all your hard work.

    Reply
    • Linda Ly of Garden Betty
      March 7, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      Woohoo! Thanks for the awesome comment and I’m so happy you rocked the homemade pasta!

      Reply
  • cascadian12
    February 15, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    What a gorgeous and well-explained post! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Linda Ly of Garden Betty
      February 24, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      You’re welcome, I hope you have a chance to try it!

      Reply
  • Laurie
    August 4, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Can you knead the pasta with the dough hook in the mixer? I have a 350 watt Kitchen Aid mixer that makes wonderful bread dough that I was hoping would work for the pasta too.

    Reply
    • Linda Ly
      August 5, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      Yes, you can use a mixer. You might need to finish it off with some hand-kneading, however, to really get all the air pockets out.

      Reply
  • Arian
    April 13, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Can this be made ahead and stored in the fridge until dinner?

    Reply
    • Linda Ly
      April 13, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      Yes, just make sure you dust the noodles with flour and wrap them in a dry towel so they don’t become too moist and sticky in the fridge.

      Reply
  • Chris
    March 28, 2015 at 6:48 am

    I noticed you kneed it on granite and roll on wood. We have a large granite countertop and I have noticed that the sheet of pasta keeps sticking to the countertop making it hard to pick up to keep rolling, or stikcs when cutting out ravioli/tortelloni. Is that because of the granite or something else? If the granite, is there a way to avoid this. I don’t have room for a large wood cutting board. Thanks

    Reply
    • Linda Ly
      March 28, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Dust your counter and your rolling pin with more flour to prevent sticking (I do the same for my wood surface).

      Reply
  • Momtoafew
    March 24, 2015 at 9:21 am

    What gorgeous pictures! 🙂 I have a trouble shooting Q…I have picture perfect pasta until it is boiled…it is pliable, kneads beautifully, cuts easily, and looks just like yours in the photo before it is cooked. BUT, when I boil it, the surface gets wrinkly. Does not affect firmness or taste, and from afar it looks fine, but when you look at it out close, it is wrinkly…is this normal? Am I expecting too much? Or, if not, how can I avoid the wrinkled surface? Thanks!!!

    Reply
    • Linda Ly
      March 26, 2015 at 8:16 pm

      I’m not exactly sure what you mean when you say wrinkly, or how close you’re looking at it when you say “up close.” If it starts out smooth but gets pockmarks after boiling, it’s possible you had some air bubbles in the pasta. My own boiled pasta doesn’t have wrinkles, but it does have a slight texture because I roll it out on a butcher block (as opposed to marble or granite). I prefer the surface that way as it helps sauces adhere better.

      Reply
  • Tissy13rn
    February 21, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Can you use coconut flour too or will it not taste as good ???

    Reply
    • Linda Ly
      February 22, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      I’m not familiar with coconut flour so I’m sorry I can’t help you here. It has such a different composition from wheat flour that you will have to make several adjustments to account for its absorbency, texture, and flavor.

      Reply
  • Alex
    February 14, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Love this! All these beautiful colors would look fun cut into cute shapes. Would the dough hold its shape if it were cut into tiny hearts for instance?

    Reply
    • Linda Ly
      February 22, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      Yes, as long as you let the dough rest long enough. You can also make other pasta shapes with this same dough, like bowties and tubes. They hold their shape better if they’re left out to dry just a touch.

      Reply
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