perfect pasta dough

There is nothing yummier than some home-made pasta ( I especially like fettuccine) with your favourite sauce. Thanks to MasterChef there has been a foodie crazy when it comes to making your own pasta. And I have to admit, they make it look a lot easier than what it is…it is a lot of hard work but it very rewarding.

As I have to have any and every foodie gadget under the sun…I do in fact have a pasta machine. After the machine purchase, all I needed was the perfect recipe…so I hunted around and compared Jamie Oliver’s recipe to Yuppie Chef’s. Then adapted bits from them to make it work for me.

’00’ flour is not readily available in SA…I needed a substitute and found that you can use cake flour, if you can’t get ’00’ flour. I am yet to try ’00’ flour (due to the price) and always use sieved cake flour.

The secret to this recipe is basically : 100 g flour to 1 large egg – feeds 1 person…couldn’t be simpler!

perfect pasta dough

Serves: 4


  • 400 g cake flour
  • 4 large eggs


  1. Place all the ingredients into either your stand mixer or food processor with the dough hook attached
  2. Mix the ingredients until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs
  3. Take out and knead the dought on a clean floured surface to activate the gluten
  4. Once the dough is silky, smooth and elastic, cover completely with cling film and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes
  5. Now it is ready to be rolled out and used

Rolling your dough (pasta machine):

  1. cut your dough into quarters, remove 1/4 and keep the rest in the cling film
  2. Dust your work surface with cake flour
  3. Use your palm to flatten the dough enough for it to fit through the rollers
  4. On the widest setting (rollers are furtherest apart) start rolling your dough through. You will need to remove it, fold it in half and feed it through again. Do this about 4 – 5 times (this is to laminate the dough and activate the glutens – you will feel the dough change and become silky)
  5. Once your dough is laminated, work it through all the settings on your machine until it is the thickness you desire
  6. Once your pasta is rolled to your desired thickness, you need to cut it straight away. Most pasta machines come with an additional cutting attachment. Feed your pasta through the cutters as you did to roll it. It is best to get someone to assist you and catch the pasta as it comes out the machine
  7. Hang the pasta to dry, (I used to use my clothes horse until I got a pasta drier)
  8. Now repeat all the steps for the other 3/4 of dough
  9. Once you have rolled and cut all your pasta, place in a big pot of salted boiling water – cook for about 3 mins, remove, cover with sauce and enjoy!

Tips :

  • Use large eggs and not extra large or you will be adding more flour
  • It is better to have the dough a little too wet than a little too dry – it is much easier to add flour than to try add more egg
  • Make sure you keep the extra dough covered with the cling film while rolling out as it will dry out
  • If your dough sticks at all while rolling, dust with a little flour
  • I normally roll my dough to the 2nd last setting if I am making fettuccine, spaghetti or tagliatelle otherwise the dough is very thin
  • Remember most pasta machines must never be washed or come into contact with water

Happy pasta making! Feel free to contact me with any questions, queries or successes!

Imperia Italian SP150 Double Cutter Pasta Machine

Yuppie Chef’s photo of Imperia Italian SP150 pasta machine (same one I have)

image of jamie oliver making pasta dough by hand

Jamie Oliver’s photo of making pasta dough

Pasta dough resting before being rolled out and cooked

My photo of pasta dough resting – taken with my iPhone

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