How to Make Pasta Like They Do in Italy, According to a Tuscan Chef

It’s *so* much simpler than you’d think

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how to make pasta: raviolo, two people filling pasta dough with ricotta cheese and cappelletti, side by side
Taryn Pire

When in Tuscany, there are a few things one must do for the trip to feel complete, like seeing a Puccini opera, visiting a local vineyard (we’re partial to Podere Còncori) and, most importantly, eating a ton of fresh pasta. On a recent visit to the central Italian region, we took our love for authentic noodles up a notch by preparing them from scratch in a cooking class at Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa. If you’re wondering how to make pasta like the pros, follow these tips from Chef Lorenzo Venanzi that will make the task a breeze, even for newbies.

27 Simple Pasta Recipes Anyone Can Master

how to make pasta: person rolling out pasta dough
Taryn Pire

1. Resting the Dough Is the Most Crucial Step

Pasta dough (and all noodle dough) needs to be malleable. “[Resting the dough] at least 30 minutes ensures gluten development,” Venanzi explains. If you stretch the dough too soon, it’ll be brittle and unworkable. Furthermore, rested dough is moist and springy; you won’t be able to roll it out properly if it’s too dry. You’ll know it’s ready when it changes from lumpy to a smooth mound, says Bon Appétit.

Once the dough is properly rested, a manual pasta maker or a pasta roller attachment for your stand mixer will stretch the dough to its optimal thinness. (P.S.: Don’t toss your pasta scraps—Venanzi slices and freezes them to add to soup later.)

2. Use 00 Flour

Put down the AP flour and step away from the mixing bowl: The secret to stretchy, springy pasta dough is using 00 flour, also called doppio zero or double zero flour. Common in Italy and throughout Europe, this flour is named for its very fine grind size. (In the U.S., flour is graded on protein content instead of grind, but it’s still easy to find 00 flour online or at specialty grocery stores.) It’s the secret to crafting sturdy-yet-delicate, high elasticity pasta that’s far from tough or rubbery, says MasterClass. Venanzi suggests using 100 grams worth of 00 flour per egg when you mix the dough (typically, Italian pasta is made with nothing but eggs and flour, no water or oil required).

how to make pasta: cappelletti
Taryn Pire

3. Fresh, High-Quality Ingredients Make All the Difference

When we made uovo in raviolo (that’s a large ravioli with a whole egg yolk inside) with Venanzi, we were in awe of how fresh the egg yolks were, beaming with deep, rich orange color. Of course, most of us don’t live in a charming Italian village where you can easily get eggs the same day they’re laid. But trust us when we say it’s worth splurging on higher quality eggs (we like Vital Farms organic pasture-raised), cheese (such as ricotta, for a classic spinach-spiked filling) and flour when making homemade pasta.

4. Keep the Dough Moist (but Not Too Moist)

Pasta dough needs to be pliable and moist enough to be sealed when needed (say, when folding cappelletti), but dough that’s too wet and sticky won’t hold its shape. Factors like humidity or varying egg sizes can also affect the moisture of the dough, according to Tasting Table. Luckily, Venanzi says it’s easy to fix dry dough by adding water and wet dough by adding flour. As long as it’s not sticking to your hands or the kitchen counter, or alternatively, looking brittle, you’re in the clear.

how to make pasta: two people filling pasta dough with ricotta cheese
Taryn Pire

5. Don’t Overfill Stuffed Pastas

If you’re making filled pasta, such as tortellini or ravioli, you may feel the urge to pipe in as much cheese as possible. Resist: Like dumplings, if there’s too much filling in the dough, it won’t stay shut as it boils (or perhaps won’t even seal when it’s folded).

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...