Amish Egg Noodles and Trina’s Pasta Secrets

 Today I’m gonna tell you how I make Homemade Pasta. This recipe is often called Amish Egg Noodles, and I got the idea from Homesteading for Beginners, Volume 3 .

We’re gonna start with a dozen eggs. Well, I’m gonna start with a dozen eggs, but if you don’t want to make that much pasta, here’s the ratio –

Two parts egg yolks
One part egg whites
One part boiling water
Four parts flour (aprox.)

I’m making enough pasta for 4 meals (or a month of weekly pasta dinners) so I’m going to separate a dozen eggs…

 …so that I get a cup of egg yolks. I will add 1/2 cup of the egg whites and then beat in 1/2 cup of boiling water.

Pasta dough has to be really dry, which makes it tricky to get the dough right without a machine. I have mixed pasta dough by hand when we were on the homestead without electricity, but I only did that once. Now I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer, Julia. (Yes, as in Julia Childs)

Secret #1 of making pasta dough is starting with the flour in the bowl, and mixing in the wet ingredients gradually.

I start with the whisk attachment on a medium speed, pouring in the egg and water mixture gradually.

I used 8 cups of flour, and that seems about right. You want the dough to be dry and crumbly, so add more flour if it’s not. You can test the dough by grabbing some and pressing it together with your fingers – if it looks dry but holds together under pressure – kind of like pastry, it’s good.

Now I change attachments to the dough hook to knead that dough into a little more of a solid mass.

Now we’re ready to shape it!

You don’t need any special equipment for pasta making – it’s more fun and less work if you have a machine, but don’t let that stop you from trying. If you have a rolling pin and a flat surface, you can make all kinds of pasta – ravioli, lasagna, fettuccine, linguine, – the list goes on. I’m going to show you both ways I make pasta.

First, by hand – I had some homemade ricotta in the fridge from yet another failed mozzarella batch, so I decided to make tortellini.

Start by grabbing a handful of your dough and forming it with your hands into a large, flattened patty. Lightly dust your surface and begin rolling.

You must roll and roll and roll and roll and roll that dough until it is thin enough to see your hand through it:

Note: rolling pasta is good exercise and can double as your aerobics for the day. I am still sore from Monday’s dinner.

It helps if you get yourself some cute company while you work. Be sure to prepare in advance for the helpers or you will get stressed rather than enjoy their presence while you begin to pant and sweat. Pasta dough is very forgiving, so they won’t ruin a piece of dough you give them – they can even make their own tortellini!

Once your dough is thin enough, you can cut it and shape it.

(Check out my Tortellini Tutorial and Four Cheese Filling Recipe here).

I added a little frozen, steamed swish chard to the ricotta cheese filling – it added lovely color and no one complained at dinner – Score! ๐Ÿ™‚

Notice: the recipe didn’t include any salt. You must salt the water generously when you cook the pasta! I use about 2 tsp. of sea salt for a big pot.

I boiled the tortellini for dinner while I set Julia up with her extruder attachments.

Again, notice how dry my dough is? Just right.

OK, here’s pasta secret #2 – when using the extruder you really want to follow the instructions and only feed the hopper a small piece of dough at a time – like, half a grape sized. If you add too much, your machine will just get bogged down and you may burn out the motor. You add once piece at a time, and only add the next little chunk when the auger recovers and speeds up again.

Secret #3 (that’s not really a secret ’cause it’s right in the manual but I missed it the first time) is  this – the first couple inches of noodles are gonna look funky. Don’t give up! Keep going! eventually – I don’t know what happens, but everything evens out and the dough will start to look like noodles.

I support my lasagna noodles as they come out of the machine, and tear them off at about 6 inches.

 See those funky bits nearest me on my drying rack? Those were the first lasagna noodles. I’m still keeping them and they will taste just as yummy.

OK, I admit, the rest of the lasagna noodles look a little funky, too, but I’m serious – they work fine and taste amazing in my Garlic White Lasagna! I could roll them and cut them by hand and they would be perfectly flat, but extruding them is easier. And I think they’re beautiful!

I have a fettuccine disk, a large and small spaghetti disk, and one for elbow noodles. I will report that the I have not had any success with the angel hair and the fettuccine disks. They’re just too small the dough won’t come out

OK, now here’s my last Pasta Secret – #4: Don’t start making pasta at 4pm! Extruding the pasta does take less time than rolling by hand, but the instructions say you must let your machine rest an hour between each baseball-sized chunk of dough – for the size batch of dough I made, I had to let it rest 3 times. I was making pasta till 9pm, and I don’t care how much fun it is and how much it reminds me of playing with play dough – I want to be in bed at 9!

Last step is drying. You can spread a sheet on a spare bed, or use every drying rack in the house (as I did) to let your pasta dry for 3 days. Then pack them into air-tight containers and they will last for a long time – unless you devour them all in a week like I did the first time! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Now, my first success with my pasta was using all white flour. Second time I did 1/2 white, half fresh ground whole wheat. Next time I hope to use %100 sprouted whole wheat flour, to make the most nourishing, easiest to digest pasta. 

There, now you know all my secrets to making homemade pasta. Feel free to pepper me with questions, though, if you want to try it yourself and need help! It’s a lot of work but sooo yummy, it’s totally worth it!

This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays over at Kelly the Kitchen Kop. 

13 responses to “Amish Egg Noodles and Trina’s Pasta Secrets”

  1. nmetzler Avatar

    I will have to try this! I made pasta twice while living in Haiti but I haven't tried since getting home. Mostly because I changed how I use flour (switching to sprouted or soaked whole grains instead of white) so I didn't know if it would work.

    Now I'm excited!! =)

  2. Kateri Avatar

    Trina, I totally get the satisfaction factor. I do a lot of things that aren't particularly effecient I do because I love doing them (spading my garden by hand in spite of having a rototiller, for an example). Like I said, I will be trying making the dough for ravioli–my husband loves ravioli, but the real stuff is way to expensive to buy on a regular basis. The attatchments just sound like they are way too much work with not enough return for someone who doesn't have large blocks of time to put into it. Sounds like something I can look forward to when I retire or if I am ever in the situation where I don't have to work full time.

  3. Trina Avatar

    Lizzie – I always love it when you say hello – thanks for your encouraging comment! let me know how the sprouted wheat turns out!

  4. Trina Avatar

    Sarah – sorry it took me so long to respond to your question – the computer ate my first attempt. ๐Ÿ™‚

    The main reason I wanted to make my own pasta is because I just love to make everything from scratch.

    second reason: yes, it is healthier than store bought wheat pasta which I use sparingly around here.

    3rd – it is cheaper than store bought, especially when compared to the price of rice pasta which is what I usually buy.

    Yes, It's a huge time commitment, but then, when you consider the breaks in between while my mixer cooled, in which I made dinner, did laundry, hung out with my kids and chatted with my husband, I don't mind the time commitment.

    seriously, making pasta is like playing for me, so I'm grateful for the time to do it.

  5. Aer Conditionat Avatar

    It looks so nice, and i am sure it is delicious. I want to try this recipe, but tomorrow because it is weekend. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  6. Lizzie Avatar

    This is wonderful! I was hoping you might post some pasta tips when I saw your “6 Things” post back in March. My family got into sprouted wheat last year, and since I haven't found it in stores, I'm really excited to try making sprouted wheat pasta! Thanks so much for this great post!!

    (By the way, I read your blog all the time – I don't comment much – and your posts are so inspiring for me!)

  7. smoore2213 Avatar

    I was kind of wondering the same thing as Kateri; this seems very labor-intensive to me for something as inexpensive as pasta to buy. Do you make it specifically for the health benefits(is it really superior to pasta you can buy in the store)?
    I have considered making pasta in the past, but the fact that it would take most of the afternoon, and I can buy all the pasta we'll eat in a month at the store for around $7.00, which translate into a third of what I could make in an hour of work, it just doesn't seem cost effective to us at all.

  8. Trina Avatar

    Kateri – I guess you have to look at it not as a time-saving process, but just for the satisfaction factor. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, it takes a big time commitment, but in this way I can make a healthy, nourishing pasta, superiour to anything I find in the store, and when I make a big batch of it, it saves time later in the month, allowing me pasta for a quick dinner option.

    Naomi – i hope these tips help you! My first experiments my dough was too moist, as well. Let me know how the recipe works in your crank style pasta maker, as I don't have one of those to try it in!

  9. Kateri Avatar

    Okay, in all honesty, this makes the pasta attachment sound like way more work than it is worth. How long did it take to make enough pasta for a dinner?

    However, the egg noodle recipe souds great (and a good way to use up some of the many eggs my chickens are laying). I hope to try it to make ravioli (which my husband loves and the few times I tried to make it by hand, while it was okay, it wasn't great.)

  10. naomilovestom Avatar

    Wow, I can see how this could be a time-consuming job, putting together a blog like this. It looks beautiful! I am encouraged to try pasta with whole grain flour. I have sprouted my own, it works great. I dry it in my Excalibur. My problem is that my dough has always been too moist. I've never heard anyone say that it should be as dry as all that. So now I'm excited about trying again. I do have a crank-style pasta machine that works wonderfully, one of those stainless steel ones that clamp to a table. Thank you so much for such valuable information!

  11. Shu Han Avatar

    I wish I had a pasta maker too ): I still had a lot of fun making my own (sourdough) pasta though!

    http://mummyicancook.blogspot.com/2011/01/homemade-sourdough-pasta.html

    thanks for sharing your tips!

  12. Trina Avatar

    Farmer's Wyfe – thanks for your encouragement and enthusiastic comment! A post like this takes forever to put up, so I'm glad you appreciated it.

    Sprouted wheat flour! I searched my archives – I can't believe I haven't posted about this yet! I'll have to do that soon. Meanwhile, you can make your own -it's real easy – I'll give you the shortened version here.
    1. fill a glass jar 1/3 full of wheat berries and to the brim with water.
    2. Soak overnight then drain and rinse occasionally through the day to keep it moist.
    3. When you see it begin to sprout, you dry it. I spread mine on a tea towel on a drying rack.
    4. when dry, grind it and you have sprouted wheat, or bulgar flour!

    Yeah, my camera needs a clean up after I do one of these sessions! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Farmer's Wyfe Avatar

    Oh, YAY!!! You posted all your wonderful information about the pasta!!! Thanks SOOO much!! I've been wanting to hear someone who has experience with it. I'll def. try it home-made before I buy the attachments…because I probably won't be able to get it til next Christmas anyhow. ๐Ÿ™‚ THANK YOU for all your tips. I will def. be back to refresh my mind on these.
    About the sprouted wheat flour: have you found a good source for this. I found it at the health food store, but it was outrageously expensive. I wonder if it's possible to do oneself. I'll check back for your answer.
    I so appreciate your blog, and know it takes real talent to take pictures when your hands are covered with dough! ๐Ÿ™‚

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