how to make fresh pasta by hand (without a machine)

how to make fresh pasta by hand (without a machine)

how to make fresh pasta without a machine

Last month I attended a blogger-only event at Borough Market, my favorite food market in all of London (and possibly the world). This month, Italian food expert Ursula Ferrigno, who is regularly featured on BBC Good Food and is an instructor at my alma mater, Leith’s School of Food and Wine, is the featured chef there. I spent a few hours with Ursula and other bloggers learning how to make fresh pasta and other easy pasta recipes. It. Was. Life. Changing.

how to make fresh pasta without a machine

I’ve always thought of making pasta from scratch as really intimidating and quite frankly, out of my league. I don’t have an Italian nonna (grandmother). Even though my people invented noodles, the limitless shapes, sizes and kinds of Italian pasta always struck me as a mystery. A tasty, beautiful mystery, but a mystery nonetheless. 

how to make fresh pasta without a machine

As it turns out, Ursula Ferrigno showed us an easy pasta recipe and a method for making pasta by hand, and it couldn’t be more straightforward. The key with making pasta is to make sure your dough is pliable and smooth. It should feel kind of like refrigerated silly putty by the time you’ve finished kneading it. If it’s sticky, pillowy, or cracks easily — well, I hate to say it, but you’re not going to make good pasta.

how to make fresh pasta without a machine

how to make fresh pasta without a machine

The best part of this method is that you don’t need a machine, even though I do own this classic, affordable Atlas machine. I bought a pasta machine with the idea that I’d be making pasta all the time after I finished my stint in culinary school, but the truth of the matter is, the machine is kind of intimidating to me. There’s the gears, the folding, and the issue of where to dry the pasta. When you hand roll and cut your pasta, it dries during the process, so all you have to do with the pasta at the end is dust it with more semolina flour.

how to make fresh pasta without a machine

The noodles that this easy pasta recipe produces is gorgeous — just the right amount of bite, with a heavenly mix of doughiness. I love that I can make enough pasta for appetizers for my whole family using this recipe. I mean, I could easily double it and make enough for dinner-sized portions, but really, I don’t want to spoil my family into thinking that they can come home after a long day and sit down to a meal of fresh pasta like, every night.

It’s called managing expectations, right?

how to make fresh pasta (without a machine)

CourseMain Course


  • 100 g tipo “00” flour (finely milled Italian flour)
  • 100 g semolina flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 2 high-quality eggs (if in England, use Burford Browns)
  • splash of good quality olive oil (plus more for serving)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (salt and pepper for serving)


  • Mix together the flours on a flat surface and make a well in the center. Crack both eggs into the middle and add the oil.
  • Using a fork, whisk together the eggs until light and fluffy. Gradually begin incorporating the flours into the center until you feel like you can bring together a nice dough.
  • Using the fleshy part of your palms, begin kneading the pasta dough until your pasta dough is smooth and silky. Flatten the pasta into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  • After the dough has refrigerated, cut the dough in half and shape into a ball. Begin rolling out the dough with a long rolling pin, shaping in the sides as you roll to make a nice long oval shape.
  • Continue rolling the dough until the dough is thin enough for you to see the outline of your hand through it. Fold the ends of the dough into the middle, then fold the folded ends in again toward the middle again. Do that one more time.
  • Trim the edges of the folded pasta, then begin cutting thin strips. Weave your knife through the folds of the pasta, shaking the knife to loosen the pasta threads.
  • Boil the pasta in heavily salted water for around 4 minutes until al-dente.
  • Serve with grated Parmesan, salt, pepper and more drizzles of olive oil.
Looking for more pasta recipes? Check these out:
Like this way of making pasta? Pin it for later!

make pasta by hand


Making fresh pasta without a machine couldn't be easier -- click here for a video on how to do it!

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Mark Callowaysays:

Wow! Thanks for this information. I never tried to make pasta without a machine but after reading your I am gonna try it for sure. Very nice post I like the way of expressing the information here. Generally I ordered pasta from they also make pasta so tasty that you will love it. But your post is also amazing love reading blogs like this.

Fran Esays:

I’ve made pasta with the recipe a few times now, and every time it works perfectly! Using high quality eggs means the yolks are very yellow and make the pasta a warm yellow colour as well, and I am always so pleased with the results! Keep in mind, the pasta does need to be used pretty much immediately after being cut, unless you can hang the strands so they don’t all stick to each other. I put my cut pasta in a bowl and even after 30 minutes they’d all stuck together into a big lump…

Esther de Schonesays:

Hi, when you say in step 5 to “do it again” do you mean just fold it in one more time or repeat the whole step …. as in roll it out till thin then fold again?
I’m looking forward to making this tonight with pesto.


So, I tried this recipe and ended up with what I’d call really long dumplings. The pasta never got thin enough, even after 10 minutes of rolling it out. I wasn’t sure how thin it was supposed to be, so eventually I stopped. My only note would be that you should really, really, really make sure to roll this out very thinly (<.5mm) or the pasta ends up as essentially strips of dough.

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About me

I’m Ann, a mom / wife / lawyer / certified culinary enthusiast. I share recipes, travel guides and home life tips while living overseas. Currently based in São Paulo, Brazil.

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