There are few things as satisfying as making homemade pasta, and this recipe showcases the process in stunning fashion. My Laminated Pasta layers delicate edible flower petals and fresh basil leaves in a carefully crafted dough, creating a dish almost too pretty to eat.
I love the versatility of pasta and other carbolicious bases (I’m looking at you, Whole Wheat Gnocchi), and it’s almost therapeutic to go through the process of kneading, rolling, and shaping the dough. Whether it’s a simple Whole Wheat Homemade Pasta or a more complicated dish like my Handmade Orecchiette Pasta, I always find the end result is worth the effort. Believe it or not, making homemade pasta really isn’t as daunting as you might think.
What Makes This Recipe Work?
The right tools can make or break any task, and you do need some gadgets for this recipe. Once you have those, though, it’s as simple as an elementary school craft project to put together.
A pasta machine easily transforms a ball of dough into silky pasta sheets. If you have a food processor, even the dough-making process can be a breeze. I use a pizza cutter to slice the pasta sheets, but honestly you can use a sharp knife. Your strips just may be a bit more “rustic.”
Laminating is a process used in pastry-making and pasta-rolling. It’s essentially flattening the dough, folding it in half or thirds, then rolling it out again. This process gets repeated a few times to add layers to things like croissants. For pasta, it builds up internal structure in the dough, making it easier to handle and creating that satisfying chew.
My Laminated Pasta recipe takes advantage of that process by incorporating edible fresh flowers and herbs into the dough, creating a beautiful stained-glass look. Pasta perfection!
- Eggs- Use large eggs, warmed to room temperature, to ensure optimal moisture content and workability.
- Flour- I use a combination of white flour and semolina, which adds some texture here. If you can’t find semolina locally, you can order it online or just use all white flour.
- Olive oil- I use extra virgin, but any variety will work.
- Salt- Even though you’ll be salting your water when you cook this pasta, this is really important for the flavor.
- Fillings- These are completely optional but definitely yield a colorful result. I used organic edible flowers and fresh basil for this batch.
How to Make
- Make sure the salt is mixed well with the flour before you add your eggs and olive oil. A food processor makes these steps super quick, but you can also do it in a bowl, a stand mixer (with paddle attachment), or directly on your counter. (You can read more about the counter method here.
- Knead the dough for just a few minutes on a floured surface, then let it rest, covered, for about an hour. This will help the dough relax and avoid a tough or overly chewy pasta.
- Using the pasta roller, make thin sheets. You can cut it at this point or form it into shapes, just be sure to let it dry for just a few minutes to make it easier to cut.
- If you want to make the garganelli pasta, cut the dough into 1 ½ - 2” squares. Don’t worry about these being perfectly square because you’ll be hiding the imperfections in the next step.
- Lay the squares on a gnocchi maker or fork, and roll them up around a small rod or dowel (~ ¼” in diameter), leaving little ridges on the outside of the pasta.
- Let it dry on the counter until you’re ready to cook it later in the day. Then sit back and admire your artwork and get ready for the “oohs” and “aahs” at the dinner table!
Carefully run the pasta through the roller again.
Tips for Making Laminated Pasta
- This pasta is beautiful cut into wide noodles like pappardelle, but I shaped mine into garganelli. They are fun to make and only require an inexpensive gnocchi maker to achieve the classic ribbed quill look. Feel free to experiment with ravioli or any other shape you’d like. Just choose something wide if you add fillings during the laminating process so you can see the pops of color.
- Homemade pasta is definitely best served the day you make it. If you can’t cook it right away, though, you can store the cut/shaped pasta in an airtight container for a day in the refrigerator. If you need to wait longer, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, then put it in a ziptop bag or airtight container and freeze for up to a month. Thaw it overnight in the fridge before rolling, cutting, and shaping.
- After caretaking the pasta, you’ll need to think about saucing it. If you add herbs to the laminated pasta dough as I did, I’d recommend something light and simple - olive oil and fresh parmesan or maybe a garlic brown butter sauce - so the pasta doesn’t get lost under a red tomato blanket. If you’re not adding the extras, the sky’s the limit for sauce options.
- Remember fresh pasta cooks much quicker than its dehydrated cousin, so make sure the rest of your dinner is ready to go when you drop the pasta into boiling water. You’ll also want to gently stir the pasta as soon as it touches the water to avoid clumping and sticking.
- If you make a flower or herb laminated pasta, make sure you choose smaller, flatter pieces (like flower petals) and ensure they’re dried really well before using.
Semolina is the classic pasta flour. It’s a coarser yellow-ish flour made from a different kind of wheat than classic all-purpose flour or whole wheat and has a higher protein content. The subtle texture it provides makes it the best flour for pasta making because the sauce clings to it really well. White and whole wheat flour both work, though, and you can even experiment with something more flavorful like kamut flour.
The key here is just to have a cool work surface. Most traditional countertops like granite and quartz work great. You’ll also want something relatively texture-free to keep the pasta nice and smooth when you’re cutting it.
If you have leftovers from making laminated flower pasta, don’t throw them out. Use them to decorate cakes or cupcakes, add color and flavor to a salad, or drop them into flavored oils/vinegars. You can also add them with water to ice cube trays and have a pretty and creative way to chill your favorite beverage.
Whether you add flowers and herbs to this Laminated Pasta or just enjoy the wonderful chew of homemade pasta with your grandmother’s bolognese, this recipe will be one you come back to again and again. Now that you’ve seen behind the curtain how simple the mysterious pasta-making process is, I hope you’ll pop into your kitchen to turn these simple ingredients into a truly artisanal meal.
All white pasta recipe
- pasta roller or rolling pin, food processor (optional)
- 4 eggs room temp. All ingredients should be room temp
- 2 ½ cups all purpose I used 2 cups all purpose and ½ cup semolina. If you don't have semolina, use all all purpose
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- Food processor-Add flour and salt to food processor and pulse a few times to incorporate.Next add in eggs and olive oil. Pulse several times until the dough comes together into a ball. Remove from food processor and knead for 2-3 minutes on a lightly floured surface until the dough is nice and smooth. Cover and allow to rest for at least 1 hour at room temp.Kneading by hand-Mix flour and salt on surface. Create a well and add eggs and olive oil to center. Carefully mix the eggs and oil in the center, slowly incorporating the flour from the outside of the well until it is all mixed in. Now, knead the dough fro 3-5 minutes. Cover and allow to rest for at least 1 hour at room temp. Divide dough into 6 sections for rolling. If you are using a machine, start with the largest setting. Roll through on this setting and move to the next smallest setting. Continue this way until you are at the thinnest setting. Now your pasta is ready to go. Shape it as desired. You can follow the directions on this post and make a laminated pasta formed into garganelli.Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!