The Golden Water-To-Flour Ratio For Homemade Pasta

Making pasta at home seems intimidating, especially when you consider how readily available dried and even fresh pasta is at supermarkets across the country. In reality, though, homemade pasta is incredibly easy and inexpensive to make, and the resulting product can be so much better than store-bought. If you've never made your own pasta, pay attention, because there is a golden water-to-flour ratio that you'll want to memorize.

That ratio is 2:1, as in 2 parts flour to 1 part water by weight. That's it. You can look up a recipe for homemade pasta with eggs, you can add in a bit of salt or perhaps some chopped fresh spinach for a spinach pasta, but at its simplest, you only need flour and water in that ratio to make delicious homemade pasta. Oh, and you'll need a kitchen scale.

Simply place a bowl on top of your scale and tare it, or zero it out. Add flour, then jot down that weight and divide it in half. Did you end up using 500 grams of flour? Then weigh out 250 grams of water and use that to mix together your pasta dough. Once you've got that ratio memorized, a whole new world of homemade noodles, doughs, and more will be at your fingertips.

Become a homemade pasta master

In an essay for Bon Appetit, Food Editor Shilpa Ulskokovic notes that with this easy ratio, you can also make dumpling wrappers and all sorts of different Asian noodle styles, and by adding yeast you're well on your way to bagel dough! When it comes to pasta, if you want it to be truly Italian-style you'll need to seek out semolina flour. The ratio works the same as if you used regular flour, and in her essay, Ulskokovic notes that although the dough might seem dry at first, with proper kneading and a rest it will be soft, pliable, and ready to be cut into whatever shape you need. (Speaking of shapes, we've got a handy guide to pasta shapes and the best way to use them.) 

When it's time to cook your homemade pasta, you'll want to do so in a boiling pot of well-salted water, just as you would with dried pasta. The key difference here is that homemade pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta. The general rule of thumb for cooking homemade pasta is to boil it for around 4 minutes, although this can vary depending on the size, thickness, and shape of the pasta. Your best bet is to stay nearby as the pasta cooks and start testing pieces around the 3-minute mark until you get to that perfect al dente tenderness. With those tips, and that perfect pasta ratio in hand, you'll be a homemade pasta master in no time!