HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Homemade pasta without a pasta machine?

I've been reading a few posts about making pasta at home but I don't have a machine. Has anyone made pasta by rolling it out by hand? By the way, I am not talking about gnocchi either.
Thanks is advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Here's a link to Marianne Esposito's Ciao Italia website recipe for handmade pasta. I've seen her make it on TV and it seems really easy. Also, our grandmothers didn't have pasta machines and made very fine noodles.


    1. I've made pasta without a machine a couple of times with only so so results. No matter how much I let the dough rest betwen rolling I can never get it as thin as a machine will so it tends to be a bit starchy when cooked. If you are planning a wide pasta like papardelle or lasagne the cutting is easy with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. For narrower pastas like fettuccini you would roll it up like a cigar and cut strips that way. You need to use lots of flour to stop the dough from sticking to itself though. It's worth the effort just to have something other than dried pasta and I would recommend you give it a try. What have yo got to loose after all? About $2 worth of ingredients and a half hour of your time. The experience is worth that at least.

      1. Look for the thread about whether you have to use 00 flour for pasta and you'll find there a recipe for whole-wheat pasta that I posted. It can be done quite effectively with just a rolling pin.

        1. Thank you all for your replies..... I may spend my Sunday making pasta!

          1 Reply
          1. re: HungryRubia

            You may want to take a look at the book "Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken". It is substantially dedicated to the lost art of hand rolled pasta.

          2. Hand rolling pasta is, for me, very difficult.

            1. It requires a lot of resting of the dough and flexibility. I grew helping great-grandma (Alte Oma) make noodles. It took a long time and I remember patiently waiting while the dough "took a nap" under the bowl. Then it was hand stretched, then rolled. Granted hers were usually egg noodles which are more tender, but I have applied the process to egg-less pasta. Still- those lovely stainless steel hand cranked rollers are really not that expensive and lots of fun.

              1. Hand rolling pasta sheets is not too tough. If you are willing to make something such as ravioli or tortellini, it's fairly common to roll the dough out with a pin and simply cut the sheets to the size you need. Long pastas are a bit tougher (remember you need to cut uniform sizes for uniform cooking).

                1. You'll want to make sure that you cut it into small, manageable batches to roll. Once fully rolled, if you flour both sides of the pasta, then roll it as if it were a jelly roll you can quickly cut long, even strips that easily uncurl for drying.

                  1. you could always try making hand pulled noodles:


                    or hand shaved noodles which is basically taking the hunk of dough, taking a sharp knife and shaving pieces off of it...

                    both methods, however, take quite a bit of skill and practice to pull off...

                    1. I was learning to make udon noodles from scratch and found this site. Scroll down to where it says "nobashi"(rolling out the dough) and you'll see the very smart way of getting your dough to be thin and even, without the need for a pasta machine. Basically you roll the dough onto your rolling pin and then unroll again. It's great especially for people having limited space.


                      Pasta machines are fun, but if the water content of the dough isn't right, even with a pasta machine it's not going to work too well. The dough will get softer when resting, and so your starting dough shouldn't be too easy to knead.

                      Cutting the noodles is now fun for me, after learning the method from the website, where you fold it "like a folding screen" as it says, or like those paper fans kids make, which unfolds better than jolly rolls.

                      I would suggest using high gluten flour if you want to make the chewier type of pasta like ravioli. If the dough is in the right condition, you need very little flour to roll it out, even to cut and unfold. You would only need to sprinkle the noodles with flour if you're not going to cook it right away. For that, or for rolling the dough onto the rolling pin (as the website mentioned) I use the whole wheat pastry flour that I couldn't use for a Hand-pulled noodle experiment.

                      edit: I've been searching for a webpage I came across a while back that talks about the "water drip" technique to determine the amount of water you need for your dough. Basically it's a way get the amount of water to be just barely enough when the flour look like little nubs the size of rice grain. Maybe it's similar to when they say "resemble coarse meal"? Anyhow, you don't need a pasta machine, NOR a food processor to make pasta.