How to Make Homemade Pasta (Without a Pasta Maker!)

You CAN make homemade pasta without a pasta maker! Our step-by-step homemade pasta recipe is a game plan to enjoy your favorite pasta recipes with fresh pasta. Don’t forget the pasta sauce!

How to Make Homemade Pasta
Alison Conklin
Homemade Pasta Dough No Pasta Machine
Alison Conklin

I’ve been making pasta from scratch for about eight years now, often with a child standing at each hip, and all without using a pasta maker.

Sometimes gadgets can be barriers to experimentation in the kitchen. But a small kitchen or a lack of funding shouldn’t prevent anyone from making delicious homemade food. I find that most meals can be made with just a few simple tools that serve multiple purposes.

In the case of my homemade pasta, my rolling pin doubles as my pasta roller.

Video: How to Make Homemade Pasta


SKC - Homemade Pasta

Also, head over to YouTube to watch our Senior Editor Summer Miller make this recipe with her kids as part of our Simply Kids Cook YouTube series!

How to Make Homemade Pasta

Making pasta by hand, you use a rolling pin to mimic the action of a pasta maker: roll out a small piece of dough until it’s paper thin. Then, use a knife to cut it into individual noodles.

It takes a little more muscle and patience, but you can absolutely get the pasta as thin as you would using a machine.

Homemade Pasta Dough no Pasta Machine rolling the pasta until paper thin
Alison Conklin
Homemade Pasta Noodles paper thin dough
Alison Conklin

Homemade Pasta on Your Schedule

Making pasta from scratch does take some time, but don’t let this dissuade you from making pasta at home. The dough can be made one day, and either refrigerated overnight or frozen so you can cut and shape your pasta on another day.

Don’t refrigerate pasta dough for more than a day, however. Otherwise, the dough will discolor. If you don’t plan to make your pasta the next day, then freeze it.

  • To freeze a ball of pasta dough, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Then, set it inside a zip-top bag with the air squeezed out of it (no need for oil). The morning you plan to make the pasta, just transfer it from the freezer to your countertop. It will be ready for you to roll out and cut later that afternoon.
  • You can also freeze the cut noodles. Whenever I make homemade pasta, I always make a big batch and freeze the extra noodles for those moments when life demands more carbohydrates. Even straight from the freezer, homemade noodles cook faster than dried pasta from the store, so this makes for quick weeknight meals.
How to Make Homemade Pasta cut into noodles
Alison Conklin

Tips for Making Homemade Pasa

  • If the eggs break through your flour while mixing, don’t panic. Simply push some additional flour up against the break-through with your hand, and continue mixing. A bench scraper is also really useful here because it allows you to scoop up a lot of mess quickly. If you have one, keep it handy.
  • It’s important to rest the dough before rolling it out: This gives the gluten in the dough a chance to relax, which makes it easier to roll out. It makes a big difference when rolling out pasta by hand, verses using a machine.
  • If your pasta is sticky at any point, add more flour, a teaspoon at a time. When you roll it out, make sure you dust your countertop with flour at regular intervals. It’s also important to thoroughly dust the rolled-out pasta with flour before folding or rolling dough to cut into your desired shape.
  • If the dough starts to “snap back” as you roll it out: Pause and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes (to give the gluten a chance to relax). Then, try rolling it again.
  • Cooking frozen noodles: Use frozen noodles straight from the freezer without thawing. Don’t leave them to thaw on the counter while you are preparing the rest of your meal. Sometimes, condensation or ice crystals form inside the bag. That will dampen your noodles and cause them to stick together as they thaw.
Homemade Pasta Noodles
Alison Conklin

What to Make With Homemade Pasta

This same recipe and rolling technique can be used to make thin linguini noodles, lasagna noodles, ravioli, tortellini, and any shape of pasta in between.

Pair this pasta with your favorite sauce for a quick and easy weeknight meal, or add them to your favorite homemade chicken noodle soup recipe.

Sauces to Serve With Homemade Pasta

How to Make Homemade Pasta (Without a Pasta Maker!)

Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Resting Time 60 mins
Total Time 110 mins
Servings 8 servings

Extra-Quick Pasta: If you’re pressed for time, roll out the pasta as described in Step 4. Then, use a pizza cutter to cut into strips. You can cut lengthwise or across, or even on the diagonal, whichever you prefer. This makes a more rustic pasta dish – but just as delicious.


  • 2 3/4 cups (350g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and rolling

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Mix the dough:

    Heap the flour into a pile on the countertop. Create a large well or crater in the center, big enough to hold the eggs and olive oil like a bowl. Place the eggs, yolk, olive oil and salt into the well. Use a fork to whisk together the eggs and oil.

    Continue whisking the eggs, but begin pulling in bits of flour from inside the well. Use a stirring motion and go slowly to avoid any eggs breaking through the bowl of flour. (If the eggs break through your flour while mixing, don’t panic. Simply push some additional flour up against the break-through with your hand or with a bench scraper, and continue mixing).

    Continue like this until the dough starts to come together and the eggs have been incorporated. The dough will be damp and chunky in some parts and loose in others. And the mixture will still be quite floury. That’s ok. Use your hands or a bench scraper to continue bringing the dough together. I scoop the damp and crumbled dough up with my bench scraper and cut it into the rest of the dough.

    Homemade Pasta Dough No Pasta Machine make the egg volcano
    Alison Conklin
    Alison Conklin
  2. Knead the dough:

    When the dough looks relatively cohesive but still a bit scraggly, form it into a ball, and knead for 10 minutes against the counter. The dough will be rough at first, but it should begin to tighten up and smooth out as you continue kneading.

    If the dough sticks to your hands, dust the countertop with a little more flour. If the dough is too stiff, add a teaspoon of water. Add more water or flour, a teaspoon at a time, until you get the right texture.

    In the end, you should have a soft, elastic dough that isn't sticky, and feels smooth like a baby’s bottom.

    Homemade Pasta Noodles begin kneading the dough
    Alison Conklin
    Homemade Pasta Dough Recipe continue kneading dough
    Alison Conklin
  3. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest on your counter for an hour:

    After an hour, continue to the next step, refrigerate the dough for the next day (no more than 24 hours), or freeze the dough.

    (To freeze, wrap the ball of pasta dough tightly in plastic wrap. Then, set it inside a zip-top bag with the air squeezed out of it. No need for oil.)

    Homemade Pasta Noodles rest the dough
    Alison Conklin
  4. Roll out the pasta:

    When the dough has finished resting, shape it into a fat log and cut it into 5 or 6 equal sections. Leave one section out and re-wrap the others. (If you are working on a small counter, you can cut each piece in half again, so you are working with less dough.)

    Flour your workspace well, and use your rolling pin to roll out the dough into a long strip. With each pass as you roll, lift the dough up, re-dust the counter beneath, and flip it over. When you’re finished, you should have a long, thin piece of dough. It should be just about paper thin, but strong enough to be lifted off of the countertop.

    How to Make Homemade Pasta cut the dough into pieces
    Alison Conklin
    How to Make Homemade Pasta begin rolling out the dough
    Alison Conklin
    How to Make Homemade Pasta roll out long
    Alison Conklin
    Homemade Pasta Noodles paper thin dough
    Alison Conklin
  5. Loosely fold the pasta strip like an accordion:

    Dust the strip of dough with more flour. Starting with the short end, loosely fold like an accordion. (An accordion fold, like the one pictured here, helps prevent the dough from sticking to itself better than rolling it up like a cigar.)

    How to make homemade pasta pile dough like accordion
    Alison Conklin
    Homemade Pasta Dough Recipe pile the dough
    Alison Conklin
  6. Cut the stack into strips:

    Use a very sharp knife to cut the stack across the folds into thin strips. You can cut the strips as thin or as a thick as you prefer (like thin linguini or like wide fettuccine). But try to stay consistent with the width. Otherwise, the noodles will cook at different rates.

    Homemade Pasta Dough Recipe cut into the noodles
    Alison Conklin
  7. Dry the noodles:

    Unroll the bundle of noodles and lay them across your dining room table, kitchen island or the back of a chair. Let them dry for about 15 minutes.

    Homemade Pasta Noodles dry the noodles
    Alison Conklin
  8. Repeat with the rest of the dough:

    Continue rolling out and cutting the rest of the pasta, until you've worked through all the dough.

  9. Use or freeze the noodles:

    At this point, the noodles will still be pliable, but dry. They can be used immediately or frozen for later.

    If freezing, gather the noodles into several small, loose bundles. Be careful not to compress the noodles too much; it’s fine to just gather them together. Place the noodle nests on a well-floured baking sheet, then freeze. Once frozen, transfer the nests to a large zipper bag, and use as needed. Frozen noodles will keep for 9 months.

    Homemade Pasta Noodles without a Pasta Maker gather the noodles
    Alison Conklin
  10. Cook the noodles:

    Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the fresh or frozen pasta and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until chewy and al dente (taste one of the noodles to check). Serve with your favorite sauce.

    How to Make Homemade Pasta cook the noodles
    Alison Conklin
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
226 Calories
6g Fat
34g Carbs
9g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 226
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 139mg 46%
Sodium 178mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 92mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.