You have made the pasta dough, (instructions here) and it has rested for at least 30 minutes. Now it’s ready to be rolled and cut!
Rolling the dough
- Cut a 2-3″ piece from the log. Keep the rest of the log wrapped while you work so it doesn’t dry out.
- Take the piece and flatten it with against the counter with the palm of your hand. Put it through your pasta machine on the widest setting. You will put this same piece through widest setting, 6-10 times total. Each time you put it through, fold the piece in half. This will knead the dough, and you will see the consistency of the dough change. You are finished when the piece of dough is smooth and has come together. Lay the piece on a lightly floured counter.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the rest of the dough.
- Now all the dough has been through the pasta machine on the widest setting. It’s easy from here. This time, each piece will only go through the setting one time. (you are done kneading, now you are just getting the dough to the desired level of thickness). Change the machine setting forward two increments. Put the first piece of dough through the machine one time, then place on the lightly floured counter. The dough will stretch significantly.
- Repeat with all the dough – put it through the machine one time and place on a floured counter. If the dough becomes too long, cut it in half so it is easier to work with.
- Change the machine setting forward two more increments.
- Put all pieces through one time, then place back on lightly floured counter.
- Keep repeating this process until the dough is the thickness you want. My machine has settings #1-7, wide to thin. I find rolling the dough to setting #6 is the easiest to work with.
Shaping the dough
If you are making lasagna or ravioli, use these long sheets of dough. Otherwise, you can manually cut the sheets with a knife or pastry cutter, or use the cutting attachment on your pasta machine. If you are not cooking the pasta immediately, make sure you allow it enough space to dry completely. Use sheet pans dusted with flour (or pasta flour), or hang the cut pasta from a drying rack.