1. Set a pasta machine on top of a towel, and attach it to the edge of a work surface by tightening the machine’s clamp. Place the crank attachment into the first hole, which is used to roll out the pasta. The crank can be placed in the other holes for cutting later. 00:58
2. Use a rolling pin to flatten the pasta dough so that it can fit into the pasta machine’s roller. Turn the hand crank to roll the dough through the machine. On the first pass, make sure the machine’s rollers are set to the widest setting. The rollers can be adjusted using the knob on the side. Before each additional pass, lightly dust the dough with flour. Fold the dough over itself, dust with flour, and flatten again. Pass the dough through at the widest setting. Repeat this process once more. 02:22
3. Dust the pasta dough with flour. With each pass, adjust the knob on the side of the machine so that the dough gradually becomes thinner. Roll to the desired thinness, depending on the type of pasta being made. 05:44
4. Using a pastry wheel cutter, cut the long pasta sheet into smaller sheets that are equal in length. They will be approximately 12-inches long if making long noodle-type pasta varieties. Separate each sheet to prevent them from sticking and to allow them to dry slightly prior to cooking. 07:35
5. To make stuffed pasta, roll the sheet so that it is as thin as possible, but can still hold filling. Cut the sheets into workable sizes. Pipe filling directly onto the pasta, allowing for adequate space between each dollop to seal the pasta. Using a spray bottle filled with water, lightly spray water over the filling and onto the pasta sheet. Fold the sheet over and press down on the exposed pasta to seal the dough over the filling. Use a stamp around the filling, and press out each piece of filled pasta. If the sheet begins to stick to the work surface, dust with semolina flour. 08:25
6. To store the fresh pasta, dust a sheet pan with semolina flour. Place the pasta on the sheet pan and store in the refrigerator for up to a day, or freeze solid for future use. 11:05
7. Once the thicker sheets of pastas have dried, they are ready for cutting. If cutting with the pasta maker, place the crank in the hole that cuts the desired pasta type, like tagliatelle. Dust the sheets and the machine with semolina flour. Roll each sheet through the section that feeds through the cutters. Dust with semolina flour and cook immediately, or store for future use. 11:28
8. If cutting by hand, dust a sheet with semolina flour and lay it flat on a cutting board. Roll one side of the dough sheet until it reaches the middle. Roll the other side halfway so that it meets the opposite rolled portion. Use a chef’s knife to cut the pasta to the desired width. Slide a ruler underneath the cut pasta. Lift the ruler and the pasta should drape over each side. Set the strands aside for further drying prior to cooking or storing. 12:49
What You'll Need
- Pasta maker
- Rolling pin
- Pastry wheel cutter
- Spray bottle filled with water
- Sheet pan
- Ravioli stamp
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Pasta dough (1 portion)*
- Pasta filling*
- All-purpose flour (for dusting)
- Semolina flour (for dusting)
*For the pasta dough and filling recipes, refer to Chef Notes.
Chef Steve makes his pasta dough with 100 grams of flour for every whole egg. Knead the dough together with a touch of salt.
Chef Steve demonstrates applying a filling to fresh pasta by piping a purée of roasted beets, ricotta cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. To make this filling, roast two beets until tender, peel them and blend until smooth. Gently fold in two lightly beaten eggs, 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta, and 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Use a microplane to grate fresh nutmeg into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Pasta makers are fragile, and large pieces of dough should not be forced through the rollers. Make sure to roll your dough out slightly with a rolling pin before passing it through the maker.
There are a wide variety of pasta makers available. Basic machines designed for home use can be found at kitchen supply stores for around $30 to $100 USD.
Many pasta makers come with attachments that will cut different shapes and styles of pasta from fresh dough when rolled through the machine. Chef Steve prefers to hand cut his pastas.
After the second step, adjust the rollers on the machine as necessary in order to work your pasta to the right thinness. Different types of pastas require different thicknesses. Pasta to be stuffed requires thin sheets of pasta, whereas some types of pasta, like spaghetti and tagliatelle, will require thicker sheets.
When storing or cutting pastas for cooking, dust with semolina flour, not all-purpose flour. Towards the end of the preparation process, adding additional all-purpose flour may cause the water to become too starchy which will result in gummy pasta. Semolina flour will help to prevent this from happening.