Homemade Linguine Noodles

Posted by on August 15, 2010 in Cooking, Recipes | 6 comments

I’ve been wanting to make pasta noodles from scratch for a while. When we got a stand mixer for a wedding gift, we also got a ravioli attachment. I’ve always wanted to use it, but it seems pretty useless without a pasta roller. Since the pasta press attachment costs a cool $150, I thought I’d better buy a cheaper version first and make sure I’m using it often enough to justify the cost of going electric, so to speak. I picked up a manual pasta press for about $35 and decided to get down to business.

After my long and frustrating experiment in homemade bread making, I was leery of starting a new hobby that involved flour. Had I known that making pasta from scratch was so easy, I would have started years ago. To make basic egg noodles, here’s everything you need:

Homemade Linguine Noodles

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • water, if needed

I could have used the stand mixer to knead the dough, but I always think it’s worth doing things the hard way at least once to know what ‘too wet’ and ‘too dry’ looks and feels like.

Pour the flour on a clean working surface. Run your fingers through it to break up any lumps. Make a well in the middle and add the wet ingredients.

Fold everything onto itself until the mixture starts to bind. Sometimes I have to add a couple of handfuls of water to get the dough to bind so I can knead it properly. Other times, I have to add more flour to stiffen it up a bit. Once the dough ball is formed, cover it with a damp towel for about 15 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Next, use a dough cutter to break off 1/4 inch pieces, one at a time. Using the press, you run the dough through on the widest setting. You keep adding flour and folding it over onto itself until it takes on a reliable shape (meaning there aren’t any bits hanging off the edges anymore).

Then you run it through the press, narrowing the width with each pass until it reaches the desired thickness. It can get pretty long. This is one of those times where having a kitchen island on wheels comes in really handy.

Finally, you pass the dough through the cutter. My machine cuts linguine/fettuccine and spaghetti noodles.

You shake the fresh pasta strands with a little flour so the noodles don’t stick together and repeat the process until there’s no more dough. That’s pretty much it. My dough ball made enough pasta to fill a 9 x 9 inch casserole dish, or enough to feed four people comfortably. I left the noodles in the fridge for about 6 hours until dinner.

Fresh pasta cooks really fast. You just bring a pot of heavily salted water to a rolling boil and add the noodles. Stir occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking.

After a few minutes, they’re done cooking. I figured, what better way could there be to eat fresh, homemade pasta than in a carbonara?

This was the best pasta alla carbonara I’ve ever made, even though –gasp!– I used bacon instead of guanciale or pancetta. The wife was very pleased with the texture and taste of the noodles, which is a big deal because she seems to have texture issues with everything that I like these days.

Next time I’m going to experiment with some eggless noodles and flavored pastas.

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6 Comments

  1. Chad, thanks so much for showing me how easy it is to make homemade pasta, which I’ve always wanted to do but thought it would be too difficult. I’m also interested in the other recipes you have posted, which look and sound wonderful. Love your website! Brenda

    • It’s easier than it looks. It would be even easier if I had a good food processor that would knead the dough ball for me. Good luck!

  2. Chad, I’m still trying to find a decent inexpensive manual pasta maker. I’ve been online reading reviews of different brands, and they are not good. Any suggestions? Also, since you mentioned you wished you had a food processor to knead the dough, I’m assuming it takes a while to knead? (I also do not have a food processor). Thanks, Brenda

  3. Brenda, I bought this model at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $35. it’ll probably be cheaper around the holidays. It only presses pasta dough (for any flat noodles like ravioli/lasagna/etc.) and cuts them into spaghetti and linguine shapes, but it’s a good start for me. If I’m still using it in a year or two, I’ll splurge for something nicer.

    Making the pasta dough is easy. This was my first attempt and I’ve done it several times since. It only takes a couple of minutes of kneading the dough and drizzling more water into the flour until it forms a ball. I wish I had a food processor because it would be a lot cleaner than getting wet flour all over my island.

  4. Chad, thanks so much for the info – I receive coupons in mail for Bed, Bath & Beyond, so this is great! What you have described is exactly what I need. Thanks for answering all my questions! Brenda

  5. Thanks, we came across one of these pasta makers at a thrift shop for $15. We finally tried it out tonight and it wasn’t too shabby! I think the thickness setting isn’t working correctly, though, so the pasta thickness was a little hard to set. Probably why it ended up at the thrift shop ;-)

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