As impressive as it is easy, homemade pasta dough is a satisfying cooking project you can make with just 4 pantry ingredients.
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homemade pasta drying
Credit: Casey Barber

If you're looking for a new kitchen project to tackle this weekend, look no further than homemade pasta dough. Making pasta is even easier than making bread. You only need four ingredients—flour, eggs, olive oil and salt—to make pasta magic. It only takes about an hour from start to finish, and that includes a half hour of resting time.

And you don't even need a pasta maker. Really! A rolling pin will work just fine. (However, a stand mixer pasta attachment will make the process something you can do in your sleep. If you have a hand crank pasta maker, that's great too. And if you only have a rolling pin, you'll be giving yourself an arm workout, so you can cross the day's exercise off your list.)

Tools to consider buying:

How to Make Homemade Pasta

Make the pasta dough:

homemade pasta ingredients in a bowl
Credit: Casey Barber

To make 4 servings of fresh pasta noodles, add the following ingredients to a large bowl: 3 cups all-purpose flour, 4 large eggs, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt).

With your hand, gently stir the ingredients together until a shaggy dough forms.

mixing homemade pasta ingredients with hands
Credit: Casey Barber

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface or a large butcher block. If you don't have an ideal countertop, I recommend a Rollpat silicone mat for working with dough.

Kneading Dough for Homemade Pasta
Credit: Casey Barber

Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes until it forms one smooth ball, picking up the errant pieces of dough that fall on the work surface as you go.

Cover the dough ball with your mixing bowl and let rest for 30 minutes.

Roll out the pasta dough:

Divide the rested dough into 4 pieces with a bench scraper or knife.

Dividing Dough for Homemade Pasta
Credit: Casey Barber

Working with one piece at a time, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out until it's about 8-10 inches long. Continue rolling out by hand until you can almost see the outline of your hand through the dough.

rolling out pasta dough with rolling pin
Credit: Casey Barber

If you do have a pasta maker, feed the dough through the pasta maker at its widest setting. Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter, then feed through again on the widest setting.

folding dough for pasta
Credit: Casey Barber

Change the setting after each pass to make the dough thinner and thinner, until you can almost see the outline of your hand through the dough.

pasta maker attachment
Credit: Casey Barber

If the dough is sticky, gently flour it after each pass as needed.

Whether you are rolling by hand or using a machine, when the dough becomes too long to handle easily, cut each piece in half horizontally to make 8 total pieces of dough.

Finish the pasta dough:

You can use the finished pasta sheets as is for ravioli or lasagna, or slice them into noodles of any width for your favorite pasta dishes.

To cut into noodles, gently flour each sheet, then fold it over on itself 2 or 3 times. Slice with a very sharp knife.

slicing pasta dough
Credit: Casey Barber

If serving the same day, the noodles can be left to dry on a pasta rack or tossed lightly with flour and held on a baking sheet.

Homemade pasta can also be frozen: Toss the noodles lightly with flour and divide into piles on a baking sheet for as many servings as you would like to freeze. Freeze until solid, then transfer to an airtight zip-top bag and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Cook from fresh or frozen in boiling water for about 5 minutes, then toss with your favorite sauce or use in one of these 3-ingredient pasta dinners.