Perfecting Pasta (Recipe: Homemade Linguine with Whiskey Cream Sauce)

Written by Kristen Doyle

I recently marked a culinary goal of making homemade pasta noodles off of my list. I’ve heard raves about how delicious fresh, homemade pasta could be but I honestly didn’t believe it until I tried it for myself. Sure, it is more work than opening up a box of store bought pasta noodles and throwing a handful into some boiling water, but I’m here to tell you that the difference in flavor is well worth the extra effort.

I have the KitchenAid pasta attachment, which made my foray into pasta making a breeze. The good news is you don’t need a pasta attachment to make homemade pasta. Flat noodles such as lasagna or linguine can easily be made with a rolling pin and a little bit of patience.

Photo by Kristen Doyle

Tips For Making Homemade Pasta

I’ve shared the recipe I use for homemade pasta at the end of this post, but first I wanted to share with you a few things I learned from my attempts at making homemade pasta.

  • Find your space: Clear off your counters so you have lots of room to work. Rolling out pasta is a big job and you’ll need the space to spread out your noodles once they are ready. I ended up moving to my kitchen table, which provided plenty of room for pasta making.
  • Give it a rest: When rolling out your pasta, if it resists your attempts to roll out thinner, stop for approximately 10 minutes to let the pasta rest. After it has had the chance to rest, try it again. Continue to let the dough rest in between rolling until your pasta has reached your desired thinness.
  • Watch the moisture: With pasta, there is a fine line between perfect and too wet or too dry. The recipe I share below creates a really nice, easy dough to work with. Your dough should be firm, but not sticky to the touch. If it sticks to your hands when you work with it, add a little bit more flour.
  • Helping hands: Although not required, having an extra set of hands in the kitchen during pasta making time makes it a lot more fun. Making fresh pasta is a fun culinary experience… invite someone into to your kitchen to share in the fun with you!

Now that you know my tips for making delicious homemade pasta, I want to share with you a pasta recipe as well as a simple recipe to highlight the freshness of your pasta noodles. The great thing about making your own pasta is you don’t have to fancy it up with complicated sauces. A simple white or red sauce, maybe some shrimp or chicken, and you have yourself one delicious meal to be proud of!

Photo by Kristen Doyle

Recipe: Fresh Homemade Linguine Noodles

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2-3 Tablespoons water (more if needed)
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Create a well in the flour mixture.
  2. Crack the eggs into the flour well. with a fork, begin mixing the eggs and the flour mixture until a stiff dough begins to form. Add the water and continue to incorporate until a ball forms.
  3. Place the ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for 5 minutes and pasta is smooth and free of air pockets.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough until you reached desired thinness. Remember, if your dough wants to spring back, allow it to rest in between rolling sessions.
  5. Once the dough has been rolled out, trim the edges and roll it up in a jelly roll shape. Slice the roll into small rounds based on the width of noodle you desire. After each slice, unroll the cut pasta noodle and lay flat.
  6. Cook your fresh pasta in a large stock pot of boiling water for approximately 4 minutes, or until al dente. (Tip: Your pasta is done when it begins to float to the top of the water). Drain and serve with a simple sauce, such as the whiskey cream sauce shared below.

Recipe: Whiskey Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons whiskey
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly add the brown sugar and whiskey to the saucepan and cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
  4. Whisk in the flour and stir for 2 minutes or until well incorporated.
  5. Add the chicken broth and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the heavy whipping cream, salt and cracked black pepper. Stir until heated through then serve over fresh pasta noodles. Toss with cooked shrimp or chicken for additional protein.

Link Love: More delicious pasta recipes

What is one goal you hope to mark off your culinary to do list in the next year?

About Kristen

Kristen Doyle is a mom of 4 young children and the face behind the food blog, Dine & Dish. Sharing recipes that are quick and simple to get on the table, Kristen’s goal is to provide a resource for others looking to simplify their lives in order to reconnect with their family, one meal at a time.

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Comments

  1. I make our own pasta and we love it. But it’s with all white flour and everything else we eat is whole grain – I don’t like making pasta the unhealthy choice for dinner. Anyone have success with an at-least-partially whole wheat pasta recipe?

    • Ellen – I experimented with whole wheat pasta and didn’t have a lot of luck with it… it kept coming out too dry. I know that it can be done successfully – I just haven’t found the right combination yet!

      • Ellen – I added this below, but thought I would add here the ratios of ingredients I’ve been playing with for the wheat pasta. I wonder if I did, like you said and used partial white and partial wheat if I’d be more pleased with the texture. Either way, this is a start:

        2 cups whole wheat flour
        2 eggs
        1/4 tsp salt
        6-7 Tbs of water

  2. What beautiful photos. I make homemade pasta sometimes too, and the kids just love seeing how it gets created. It’s like magic! Such simple ingredients, such incredible results!
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)’s last post: Simple Garlicky String Beans and Eat Live Be WEEK 12

    • I almost used those words in my post.. “it’s like magic.” It’s amazing how such simple ingredients can make something so delicious! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I make homemade pasta regulary since I found this recipe :

    http://bloggingoverthyme.com/2010/09/03/the-new-pasta-on-the-block/

    It’s really simple, tasty, vegan and so much easier to work with than pasta with eggs.
    Nora’s last post: Gebrandte Mandelbutter

  4. Ah, so that’s how you get those long noodles, you roll it up into a jelly roll shape and slice them off!
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen’s last post: chocolate blueberry truffles a sweet surprise

  5. Totally bookmarking this… I have been wanting to try homemade pasta forever…and I think you have finally provided all the tips and encouragement I need to do it!! GREAT post!!!

  6. You had me at whiskey. You really did. I’ve never made my own noodles, but I think you’re absolutely right that the flavor is well worth it.
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies’s last post: Mini Fruit Pizza for Amanda’s Baby Shower

  7. tiffany sexton says:

    Thank u so much for this recipe! Alot easier for a single set of hands than trying to roll/catch pasta from my tabletop roller. Quick ? Can this be frozen and if so the best method. Thanks!

  8. I think you should have a pasta making party weekend and teach all of us how to make the perfect pasta. I’ll sign up!
    Amy | She Wears Many Hats’s last post: “B” is for Boy

  9. This is cool! I now see how you make those long noodles; roll it up! I will definitely be trying this sometime soon!

  10. Love this tutorial, Kristen. I’m with Amy! I’ll sign up for your class, too!!!
    Robyn | Add a Pinch’s last post: Green Smoothie Recipe

  11. Wonderful tips! I never knew it was so easy. And, two of my fav bloggers in one place…what’s not to love? :-)

  12. I love fresh pasta! I have started buying it over the dried, but have never tried making it for myself. Thanks for this simple recipe… you could customize it so easily to your family tastes by adding ingredients… like mushrooms ;)
    – Brittany
    Mushrooms Canada’s last post: Guest Post- Mushroom Ravioli by Guilty Kitchen

    • Thanks for stopping by, Brittany! You’re right, mushrooms and pasta go hand in hand. My mom adds a handful of wild morels to her pasta dishes. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it now!

    • I agree with both of you – mushrooms go perfect with any pasta sauce! I actually was going to use them in this recipe but needed to use the mushrooms I had on hand for the stuffed mushroom recipe I just posted about on my blog.

  13. This looks great and super easy! Thank you

    Do you have a recipe for a basic white sauce? Alfredo? Sans wiskey?

    Thank you
    Amy’s last post: Safeway- 3-23 – 3-29

  14. This looks great and super easy! Thank you

    Do you have a recipe for a basic white sauce like Alfredo? Sans wiskey?
    Amy’s last post: Safeway- 3-23 – 3-29

  15. I have never made homemade pasta but I have wanted to for a long, long time. Maybe I need to add the kitchen aid attachment to my birthday wish list. Looks delicious!

    I recently made baguette which I have had as a culinary goal for quite some time.
    Katie | GoodLife Eats’s last post: Buttermilk Poppy Seed Citrus Scones

  16. I don’t know what captured my attention first, the homemade linguine or the whiskey cream sauce! “Wow” on all fronts. This is a magical looking meal! Great job, Kristen.

  17. I also would love a whole wheat recipe (although the vegan recipe with chickpeas sounds fabulous too!) but one thing I love about homemade is that I can make organic pasta for pennies. I never thought of rolling it into a tube and cutting it, instead of cutting strips. Duh! :) Thanks for the great recipe and ideas!
    Alicia’s last post: How many nuclear power plants are in Minnesota and how safe are they

    • Alicia –
      This is the recipe I’ve been playing around with, but I just am not 100% satisfied with the texture yet. I’m not giving up yet, but if you end up playing with it and are successful, let me know :)
      2 cups whole wheat flour
      2 eggs
      1/4 tsp salt
      6-7 Tbs of water

  18. I have made homemade pasta, but it’s been over 10 years since I did. I have a hand crank machine, which is wonderfully satisfying to use. This makes me want to take it out of its hiding place!! Lovely linguine, Kristen!
    Brenda @ a farmgirl’s dabbles’s last post: i am baby cakes

  19. One of the best tips I learned in a cooking class in Bologna, Italy, on making fresh pasta: Once the pasta is cooked, keep a small tureen of the hot pasta water on hand. Fresh pasta continually absorbs liquid even after it’s cooked, and so if your sauce (especially cream-based sauces) is getting to tight, just drizzle a little pasta water over to rehydrate as you eat.
    Sean’s last post: Lavender Jelly with Orange-pith Pectin

  20. Great tips in making pasta. I can’t wait to try this recipe :)
    Kiran’s last post: Poha

  21. Remember that time you made me homemade pasta and we ate it together with big huge glasses of wine and it was so yummy and fun?

    Oh yeah…that hasn’t happened.

    But it totally should.
    Cookbook Queen’s last post: Gnome Cupcakes

  22. I’m in love with homemade pasta, and that sauce? Be still my heart.
    Shaina’s last post: White Pizza with Shrimp on Naan

  23. I just love homemade pasta… This recipe looks fabulous :)

  24. How awesome, Kristen! And just takes the scary out of the whole homemade noodle thing. Never made my own successfully, but this looks like it will work! That rolling up and then cutting is just brilliant.

  25. Steph (The Cheapskate Cook) says:

    Yay for homemade pasta! I used to make it, but haven’t in several years (kids, moving, work, all that). I’m beginning to wonder of maybe having a pasta making party with some foodie friends would be fun (not to mention frugal).
    Thanks for tips! I’ll have to keep them in mind.
    Before getting married, I invested in a heavy duty pasta maker only to discover that it was easier to simply roll the pasta out with rolling pin.
    Lesson learned.
    Steph (The Cheapskate Cook)’s last post: Foodie Failure- Chocolate Fondue

  26. Intrigued by use of “whiskey” in a pasta sauce. Here in KY we call it bourbon…and every brand has a different flavor profile. What brand of bourbon did you use?

  27. Quick and easy pasta recipes, like pasta bake, lasagne, spaghetti Bolognese and more: http://goo.gl/MlG6h

  28. I have never made my own pasta because my kitchen is just not big enough. But I am going to try the sauce!

    Found your recipe on Pinterest!
    Making Our Life Matter’s last post: Menu Planning On Monday: Week of February 3rd

  29. ShadowMan says:

    That is just fiendishly clever – rollin’ it up and snippin’ off bits from the end! Simple and elegant – you can’t beat that in any field of endeavour. Nicely done. And here, I’ve gone off and bought a bloody machine!

  30. This looks like a great fresh pasta recipe and very well explained! I’m looking forward to trying it soon!

  31. This recipe looks great! about how many servings does the sauce make?

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