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In less than an hour (including 30 minutes of pasta dough resting time), you can make delicate, silky homemade lasagna noodles.
My food processor pasta dough recipe is the fastest, easiest way I know to whip up a batch of fresh pasta dough. The machine does all of the mixing and kneading and requires just 4 ingredients and 5 minutes of your time (recipe below). And though you can roll the dough by hand, a manual pasta machine makes this lasagna noodle recipe quick and easy.
Ingredients You Need to Make Homemade Lasagna Noodles
- Flour: All-purpose flour.
- Salt: Kosher salt or half the amount of fine sea salt.
- Eggs: Large eggs
- Olive Oil: Ideally good, extra-virgin olive oil
Lasagne is arguably the king of comfort food and one of the heartiest dishes in the Italian pasta repertoire. The layered, cheesy dish goes back to the Middle Ages in Naples, also the birthplace of modern day pizza, and may even be based on a similar dish enjoyed in Ancient Rome. So every time you make lasagna, you're part of the stacked dish's history!
Lasagna recipes can vary greatly, from decadent meaty, cheesy versions like my Lasagna with Cottage Cheese to light and creamy vegetarian versions where vegetables are the star. What they all have in common is thin, supple, al dente pasta sheets, and that's just what these are. So use them in any and all of your favorite lasagna recipes.
Rolling Pasta Dough by Hand
If you don't have a machine for rolling your pasta, you can absolutely roll it out by hand with a rolling pin. You may even find it cathartic! If you go this route, I recommend letting the dough rest for 1 hour (instead of the standard 30 minutes) to allow the gluten to relax making the dough softer and easier to work with.
Manual Pasta Machine Tips for Success
- As you roll the noodles thinner and longer, you'll want to gently support dough as it emerges from the pasta machine rollers.
- Note that thickness settings vary on different pasta machines. My instructions are for an Atlas machine (here's the one I use), please adjust to suit the brand of machine you're using.
- Use flour as necessary, but don't overdo it as too much flour can toughen your pasta.
You don't need to pre-boil fresh lasagna noodles. Just make sure that there is enough moisture in the sauce to soak into the noodles. Baking your lasagna covered with aluminum foil will retain more moisture than baking it uncovered.
If you prefer to pre-boil your homemade lasagna sheets, do so in boiling, salted water for 1 minute. Drain and gently rinse with cold water and arrange noodles flat in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel.
If you're using fresh noodles, covering your lasagna while baking will hold in moisture to ensure that your noodles cook properly.
You'll want your noodles to be very thin as you won't be pre-boiling them before layering into the lasagna. Use the second to last setting on a manual pasta machine (on most machines it's #6) or 1mm thick.
You can refrigerate homemade noodles for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month. To dry your noodles, arrange in a single layer on a lightly floured surface or clean kitchen towel. Let them stand at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, depending on the humidity and temperature of your kitchen. (A fan set to low speed directed at the noodles will speed this process.) When a noodle snaps instead of bends, you know it's properly dried. Dried fresh pasta will last 2 months or more when stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
More Must-Try Italian Pastas
- Lasagna with Cottage Cheese
- Pappardelle Bolognese
- Ragu Sauce
- Pasta Aglio e Olio
- Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
- Pasta alla Norma
How to Make Lasagna Noodles
Step 1: Pulse flour and salt together in food processor bowl then add egg and oil mixture and pulse until there is no dry flour. Process about 1 minute, or until mixture gathers up into a ball and breaks up a couple more times. Turn the machine off and gather the dough into a smooth ball with your hands. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
Step 2: Divide fresh pasta dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll one piece a few times at the thickest setting, feeding the narrow edge through and folding into thirds as you would a letter between rolls for crisp, straight edges. Then roll one setting at a time until you reach the second thinnest setting (likely #6). Cut noodles to desired length and place in a single layer on a lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough (be sure to dust noodles with enough flour between layers so they don't stick together).
Step 2: Assemble your lasagna right away or store noodles as directed above.
Homemade Lasagna Noodles
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 272g
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Add flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor; pulse a few times to combine.
- In a medium bowl, mix eggs and olive oil with a fork until just combined. Pour over flour mixture in food processor. Pulse several times until no dry flour remains. Process for about 1 minute, or until dough has gathered into a ball then broken into bead-like fragments and gathered into once or twice more. (This will both mix and knead the pasta dough.) If the dough gets stuck at any time, turn off the food processor and nudge the dough slightly and continue to process.
- Remove the pasta dough from the food processor and shape with your hands into a smooth small and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour at room temperature (the longer it rests, the softer and easier to work with it will be). (Roll out immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day.)
- Dust a rimmed baking sheet generously with flour.
- Divide dough into six equal pieces on floured work surface and cover five pieces loosely with plastic wrap. With your palm, flatten one piece into a rough rectangle about ½-inch thick; rub all over with flour. Feed one end through a manual pasta machine, beginning at the widest / lowest setting (1). Fold rolled dough into thirds, as you would a letter and roll it through again, feeding the narrow end through the machine; repeat this folding / rolling process three times, dusting with flour as needed.
- Now you'll run the dough through progressively narrowing settings without folding. Turn dial to the next setting (2) and, feeding the narrow side first, run dough through again. Repeat at the next four settings (3, 4, 5, 6), stopping on the second to last setting. (For a shorter ramen noodle, cut the dough in half crosswise before running through the pasta cutter.) Cut noodle into 2 equal pieces or your desired length and place in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Lightly dust with flour. Repeat with remaining dough portions.
- Use noodles in your favorite lasagna recipe!
To Cook Noodles (Optional)
- Cook fresh lasagna noodles in two batches in a generous amount of salted water until just tender, about 1 minute. Carefully transfer cooked sheets to colander and rinse briefly with cold water. Lay sheets flat in a single layer on clean, dry kitchen towels. Use immediately or keep covered for up to 1 hour at room temperature.
To Freeze Noodles
- Arrange in single layers separated by parchment paper on a parchment lined, lightly floured baking sheet and freeze for up to one month. Thaw pasta for several hours in refrigerator before using.
- Here is the manual pasta machine I recommend. I've had mine for a couple of decades and it still works beautifully.
- As with all fresh pasta, the dough will start to oxidize and turn a green / gray if left in the refrigerator for more than 1 day. So be sure to make the noodles and use or freeze before then, as directed in the post.
- This recipe serves 10-12 if you're making a lasagna in a standard 9 x 13 x 3 baking dish.