Pasta-Making with Kids (And No Pasta Maker!)

Two days ago my family hit a breaking point. All three of us had meltdowns and it was a bad scene in this quarantined house. I knew something had to change and the only thing I could truly control was myself and my attitude. Because Lord knows controlling a toddler isn’t always an option.

So I took on a new attitude that has been working for us ever since. After reading this article I’ve decided to focus on acceptance. Instead of trying to fight the situation we’re in, I’m accepting it and doing what I can to make our new normal not terrible. More on that tomorrow because I have a lot to say on the subject.

But for now, I want to share something that we did last night that put us all in a better mood, helped us bond as a family, kept Amalia busy for almost an hour, and ended up in a delicious meal. We made homemade pasta!

We lost our pasta-maker in the move so when my friend Victoria suggested this activity this I thought it wasn’t possible. But she convinced me it was possible and I was happily surprised that not only was I wrong, but it was surprisingly easy. Anel and Amalia both got very into it, we all laughed and got to take our mind off of things for a while, and the pasta was so good.

This is one of those activities that we would probably have never considered before this quarantine, but my mindset is different when it comes to tasks like cooking these days. It’s not just about getting it done quickly and getting food on the table, it’s about creating an experience and trying to involve Amalia both to kill time and to have some fun together.

I highly recommend trying out this homemade pasta whether you have kids at home or not. It’s so satisfying to know you can make this on your own.

We used this recipe, rewritten below for clarity. I followed the original recipe to a T.

Ingredients:
– 2 cups, flour
– 4 egg yolks
– 2 full eggs
– 1 tbsp, olive oil
– Large pinch of salt
– Rolling pin!

Directions:
1. Put the flour on your counter or a cutting board and make a well in the center that’s wide enough to hold the eggs, salt, and oil. Make the well larger than you think it should be so that the eggs don’t accidentally flow over the edges. See photo below for reference.

2. Whisk the eggs, oil, and salt with a fork then gradually incorporate the mixture into the flour. It gets messy. That’s ok!

3. Once it comes together in a big blog, knead the dough until it’s smooth and bouncy. Set a timer for 8 minutes and check at the end of that time to see if, when you poke it, it bounces back quickly. If not, knead for another minute or two. The photo below is what mine looked like before I started kneading it.

4. Cover the dough for 30-60 minutes.

5. Cut the dough into 6 triangles and roll it out with a rolling pin, flipping often. You’ll know it’s ready to cut when you can see your fingers through the dough. This is where it’s fun to include kids. Amalia got really into it!

6. Fold the dough in half twice and cut thin slivers.

7. Unroll the slivers and place them flat on a surface so that the pasta doesn’t all stick together before you cook it.

7. Cook pasta in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes.

8. Serve however you want it. We just put on some Rao’s and parm and called it a day this time around.

9. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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  1. Amy said:

    Such a fun idea! How much does this serve?

    3.26.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      About 4 servings!

      3.26.20 · Reply
  2. Liz said:

    Curious. Did you get your test results?

    3.26.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Nope! Still says pending!

      3.26.20 · Reply
  3. Lillie said:

    Oh my gosh! Did you see my comment on your last food post asking for recipes to make with Littles?? This is amazing… keep bringing these ideas!

    And here is one for you… my sister’s neighborhood organized a teddy bear hunt for the Littles in their neighborhood via Facebook. People put them in windows so the children could take a walk outside and try and find them. They found 10!!

    3.26.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I did! Thank you for the idea! And also love the teddy bear hunt. Going to text my neighbors now.

      3.26.20 · Reply
  4. Jackie said:

    Thank you for this idea! I did this with my 2.5 year old today for dinner. He loved making and eating the pasta too!

    3.26.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I’m so happy you guys had fun!!

      3.26.20 · Reply