Cooking Tips
How to Make Fresh Pasta Without a Pasta Maker
No pasta maker? No problem.
America's Test Kitchen

If you think the only thing standing between you and fresh pasta is a pasta maker, think again. You can make pasta with nothing more than the dough, a rolling pin, and some elbow grease.

In this video, part of the “Kitchen Smarts” series on America’s Test Kitchen’s YouTube channel, Cook’s Illustrated test cook Lan Lam demonstrates our technique for preparing pasta dough without a pasta maker. To do this, we had to rethink the pasta recipe as much as the tool we used to make it. Here are some of our findings:

  • Olive oil and extra yolks keep the dough malleable: Olive oil adds the hydration level of the dough and keeps it supple. Egg yolks contain about 50 percent water, but they’re also loaded with fat and emulsifiers, both of which limit gluten development. Adding extra yolks produces a soft, easy-to-work dough that also boils up nice and tender.
  • The dough deserves a long rest: It allows the gluten to relax, and will make rolling out the dough much easier.
  • Roll and lift to avoid sticking: A rolling pin does the job of the pasta machine. With the help of some flour, you’re able to roll this dough until it’s slightly transparent and measures roughly 6 by 20 inches, the perfect size for lasagna or cutting into ribbon-style pasta.

Watch our step-by-step tutorial:

Featured Equipment


The Best Food Processor Cuisinart Custom 14 Food Processor

With a powerful, quiet motor; responsive pulsing action; sharp blades; and a simple, pared-down-to-basics design, our old favorite aced every test, surprising us time and again by outshining pricier, more feature-filled competitors.


The Best Rolling Pin J.K. Adams Plain Maple Rolling Dowel

This pin’s gentle weight and slightly textured surface holds a dusting of flour for less sticking. Its long, straight shape made achieving even dough thickness (whether it’s pie or pasta) and rolling out larger disks easy.

The Best Stock Pot Cook N Home Stainless Steel Stockpot with Lid 12 Quart

Our winner excelled in comfort; it was light and maneuverable, with rubbery grips on both the pot and the lid. This model's minimal heft and comfortable U-shaped handles made it easy to carry and pour from.