Homemade Tagliatelle with a Lemon and Thyme Dressing

A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriend bought a pasta machine. It was really inexpensive – around £20 – and of surprisingly good quality. So, since the machine itself was rather economical and pasta making is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while, I decided to write an entry on the process. Firstly, it must be said that although the process can get a little fiddly, it is relatively easy. Strangely, it feels more like an activity than any other type of cooking in which I’ve ever partaken. As such, though it takes a little time and ample dedication, it never really feels like a chore. In fact, you almost forget that any end product will come of your efforts.

The first thing I noticed about pasta dough is how different it is from bread dough or pastry dough. It is so much tougher; one can see why a pasta machine is a necessity for all but the most butch and hairy of Italian housewives. However, it is also far more forgiving in that you can manhandle it almost as much as you like – it contains no butter. As such, making simple pastas, such as tagliatelle, shouldn’t intimidate you one little bit. Though, I’ve been warned that making ravioli is a lot more time-consuming and frustrating. There will be more on that a little later on this week.

I’m sorry if this post is a little short and lacking in the humour department – I haven’t the time to properly dedicate myself to food bloggery at this particularly instance in time. A few chauvinistic quips came to mind when writing this post, but such things are inadvisable in a world populated entirely by the opposite sex. It appears as though I’m finally learning a little self-control, though how long this development will last I cannot say. Perhaps I shall revert to my former self upon re-entering Aberystwyth next week – it’s the sea air that does it. People blame the sea air for everything in Aberystwyth.

Homemade Tagliatelle

Serves 2


• 200g “00” grade flour

• 2 medium eggs

• A little splash of water if necessary


1. Tip the flour onto a spacious work surface, make a well in the centre and crack in the eggs. Split the yolks a little with a fork and begin to work the flour into the eggs, working from the outside in. Bring the dough together with your hands and knead for a few minutes. The dough should be pretty tight, but not particularly dry – one may need to add a tiny splash of water. Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.

2. Once the dough is chilled stretch it and fold it in on itself several times. Cut it in half and feed through the thickest setting on the pasta machine 7-8 times, folding it in half each time, it should start to feel silky smooth. Now begin to reduce the thickness of the press, do it once on each setting until the dough is roughly 1-1.5mm thick. Repeat the process for the other half.

3. Cut the sheets of pasta into strips roughly 1cm thick using either the supplied attachment or a knife. You may want to cut each sheet in half before doing this, but it’s up to you. The tagliatelle should be cooked for no more than 2 minutes in boiling water.

Lemon and Thyme Dressing:

Serves 2


• The juice of 1 lemon

• A pinch of salt

• A pinch of black pepper

• 3 tbsp olive oil

• A sprig of thyme


1. Bash the thyme in a pestle and mortar. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix and drizzle over the pasta.

Cost: The entire dish, dressing and all, should set one back no more than £1.20. Not bad! It would be much cheaper if one was to make one’s pasta with water instead of egg, but the flavour and consistency probably wouldn’t be at the same level.

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113 comments on “Homemade Tagliatelle with a Lemon and Thyme Dressing

  1. jobakes
    May 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Ooo lovely piccies! I love homemade pasta, it’s only made for special occasions in Italian homes (or so my Italian foodie friends tell me) but for me, it makes an occasion special. I love cracked black pepper tagliatelle – in fact, you’ll find a post on my blog for that very recipe 😉

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm

      Thanks! Yes, it’s the best. I intend to try black pepper tagliatelle myself soon.

    • Maribel
      January 31, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Hello Jobakes,
      please visit Bologna, Italy where fresh pasta is an everyday affair. If one does not have time to make it then there are plenty of shops selling it.
      And Frugal feeder… you made me laugh when I read your comment about butch and hairy Italian women. Nothing further from the truth!
      best to both! 🙂

  2. Sara
    May 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I’ll have to follow your tip to run through the thick setting 7-8 times first. I do it several times, but certainly not that much. Your pasta looks like such a lovely, perfect square sheet. (Mine is more, well, “rustic”?). I’ve had trouble in the past but I seem to be better at getting the consistency right/the hydration level, which seems to be key. I admit to making the dough in a food processor as I always seem to make a mess with the eggs-in-the-well-of-flour approach. I wonder if I have the same machine; I picked mine up in the UK!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      Do, it’s necessary in my opinion. There’s nothing wrong with rustic :D. You may well do… they all seem to be EXACTLY the same.

  3. divaofdelicious
    May 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Wow! I was just looking at pasta machines on line…you’re reading my mind 🙂 Cool tool! You and your new machine make really neat work and the recipe is delightful. Now I’ll have to go back and put the machine in my cart. Cheers!

  4. Peter - The Roaming GastroGnome
    May 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I think pasta’s like bread, once you start making your own and find it’s not so difficult (and better tasting) you rarely go back to buying it int he store. And ravioli aren’t hard to make. First time is tricky but I’ll admit, one of those forms/press things makes it much easier.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      I think it’s much more pleasing to do it by hand. My ravioli post will be going up sharpish.

      • Peter - The Roaming GastroGnome
        May 15, 2012 at 11:49 pm

        It’s extremely pleasing to eat them! Nice. I must say, you inspired me last week to make some. Came up w leek and mushroom ravioli. Good combo.

        • frugalfeeding
          May 18, 2012 at 11:16 pm

          Fantastic. I’m so glad. My ravioli is up now 😀

  5. Real Mom Time (RMT)
    May 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Making pasta isn’t just a fun couple’s activity, but a fun family/ kids’ one, too! Looks delish&easy, too, and nice&light for the warmer months upcoming!

  6. Willow
    May 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Ha! I’m not a hairy Italian housewife, but I have rolled pasta by hand before… really works those muscles between the shoulder blades! Needless to say, I have a pasta machine now, and what a wonderful invention it is. Congratulations on your first homemade pasta, it looks great!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      Haha, I didn’t mean to suggest that you were! I bet it does – I can’t be bothered…

  7. Cathy
    May 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I made ravioli yesterday and it is a little tricky. Next time I will try putting the dough through the machine 7-8 times – as you suggest – before reducing the thickness setting, as it may be easier to handle then. Thanks!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      ye do. It is tricky – my ravioli post should be going up soon!

  8. my sleepy kitchen
    May 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Mmmm, I love lemon pasta – so simple but so good! (and great on a night when you are feeling lazy… that is if you’ve already made the pasta!)

    • frugalfeeding
      May 24, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      Isn’t it such a perfect combination?! It freezes very well.

  9. Seattle Foodshed
    May 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    A pasta machine will change your life in a very good way.

  10. cookinginsens
    May 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Nice plate. Congratulations on your first homemade pasta.

  11. Advnturesspirit
    May 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    That looks great! I have never had homemade pasta and I would love to one day make my own all I need is buy a pasta machine 🙂

  12. TheSuburbanSoapbox
    May 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I LOOOOVE homemade pasta….now I have to go purchase, yet, another kitchen gadget/appliance for my microscopic kitchen with no storage space. It looks like it will be worth it though!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Haha, dreadfully sorry – it would be! they’re relatively small too.

  13. amuseyourbouchecookery
    May 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    That pasta looks absolutely flawless!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 24, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      Thanks! People keep saying that – it was only my first go 🙂

  14. Heather
    May 10, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Beautifully done – your pasta is perfect, I loved the simple way you prepared it, brilliant!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 24, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      Thanks – lots of people have been saying that. I’m so pleased they think so.

  15. oiyoufood
    May 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    How cute is the transformation from dough to tagliatelle? I can’t help but make a few excited, childish noises when the shredded sheet’s coming out of the machine! (I am guessing that you are not suffering from the same syndrome) . I have Gino D’acampo’s pasta machine, happy with it.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Very – I agree, it’s rather exciting and pleasing. I’m not suffering from quite the same syndrome though.

  16. lorrielorrieb
    May 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I have to say, that is a VERY impressive sheet of pasta coming out of that machine. Ours always look kind of beat up!

  17. Juls
    May 10, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I’ve had to develop biceps like a butch and hairy housewife on moving into this abode since there is no sufficient ledge for me to clamp my machine on! I tell you, it’s been the best thing for getting rid of bingo wings; rolling pasta by hand! It’s also such a soothing activity and I hope you do a lot more of it!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 11:09 pm

      Haha, well, at least you’ve done so. Luckily, I’m without bingo wings – I’m glad you are too.

  18. promenadeplantings
    May 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Looking good! I’ve yet to enter the depths that is pasta making but I can hear it calling…… Like the simple Lemon and Thyme too.
    And yes I’m a fan of Aberystwyth Mon Amour series 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      Thanks! Oh yes, enter into it, Claire. It’s so worth it. I’ve never read them, my Dad has, they’re not really my sort of thing.

  19. mylatinnotebook
    May 10, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    My friend gave me her pasta maker because her mixer has a pasta-making attachment. These photos have certainly inspired me to finally give it a try!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 24, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      That was nice of her! Yes, you must – really.

  20. Conor Bofin
    May 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I m suffering pasta machine envy. It’s on my list. Home made pasta is so tasty. Nice post and nice plate too in the first picture.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      Get one – so cheap. They’re my fave plates.

  21. budgetcookingblog
    May 10, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I also just acquired a pasta machine. It is my new favorite toy! Thanks for your great post!

  22. Chica Andaluza
    May 10, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Perfect pasta and exactly how the butch and hairy Italian aunties in my family make it..and yes, they have machines 😉

  23. theplumpalate
    May 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    That pasta dough is absolutely perfect looking. My husband has been making us fresh pasta and I’m so grateful – nothing like anything store bought and packaged. Lovely post – once again!

  24. egg me on
    May 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Awesome job, man! I’ve been wanting a pasta maker myself. You really make it look easy. The dressing sounds perfect.

  25. soffiagudrun
    May 10, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    And your list of ingredient for the dressing sounds perfect. You don´t need to drown such a lovely home made pasta with heavy sauces, but let the pasta shine with just a little bit of seasoning, a very good olive oil ….and maybe some FRESH Parmigiano Reggiano.

    Next time I recommend to mix beets with the dough, that´s very good and it becomes pretty pink 🙂 (Even people who hate beets are gonna love it ).

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      Thanks! You really don’t, it spoils the pasta. I’ll give it a go, but I’m sceptical – I really hate beets.

  26. Kelly
    May 11, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Great recipe and homemade pasta is something that is so easy and definitely underutilized. The real constraint is SPACE!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 24, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      Thanks! Exactly. Yes, you do need space, but one can manage.

  27. Amuse Yo Bouche
    May 11, 2012 at 12:29 am

    I have been meaning to use my pasta machine for the purpose it was made for! I initially bought it for sugarcrafting Came in quite handy for my cake making business! Your post inspires me to bring it back out for some pasta making 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      May 24, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      Haha – that’s really cool though. I hope you do, it’s so satisfying.

  28. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    May 11, 2012 at 12:58 am

    This looks amazing and I am always so envious of those eggs.

  29. baconbiscuit212
    May 11, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Looks wonderful! I always had this idea that pasta machines were really expensive. That’s a great find by your girlfriend. Sounds like everyone looking out for cool kitchen gifts for you 🙂

    Now I will keep my eyes open for an inexpensive one of good quality. I’m sure getting a pasta machine is much less trouble than getting a butch and hairy Italian housewife 😉

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      Thanks, Daisy. Haha, they are. It was a great find! Go by the weight of it, if it’s heavy it’s probably worth it.

  30. debbrunson
    May 11, 2012 at 5:15 am

    Awesome post, and your dough looks perfect. I’m impressed 🙂 Pasta scares so many, but it truly isn’t difficult. I think ravioli is FUN to make, so I’ll be curious to see what you think once you post 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      Thanks – it really isn’t. It’s the same as bread baking, in that it isn’t hard once you have the knack. I’ll be posting it soon.

  31. thelittleloaf
    May 11, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I first learnt to make pasta in italy when I was about six years old but haven’t made any for years! Really want to invest in a pasta machine…thinking maybe next Bank Holiday I’ll roll up my sleeves and get stuck in.

  32. bakedcottonstar
    May 11, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Great, thank you for this recipe, I’ve always wanted to make my own pasta


  33. Spoon Feast
    May 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Nice pasta Frugal, love the sauce. So simple yet flavorful. Please try ravioli; just don’t over fill them and moisten all the edges and press the air out.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      thanks! I have done ravioli, shall be posting it soon.

  34. Jesse Joy
    May 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    This is great! 😀

  35. Anna
    May 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    YES! You did it! Fantastic to see the results. I am amazed at how perfect you got your pasta on the machine. We never got it quite so straight!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      Thanks, Anna. I got a little frustrated doing it.

  36. peasepudding
    May 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Homemade pasta is the best, look at the precision of your pasta making. I don’t think I have ever managed straight lines, must be a guy thing ;0)

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Haha – I doubt it, I’m so bad at perfection in cooking.

  37. annesturetucker
    May 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    That pasta dough is done to perfection!! Looks so good!!!

  38. cookbooksandpattycakes
    May 12, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Well done guys, very impressive – the results looked absolutely perfect! Such an easy dressing too – yum.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Thanks! I had a good instructor so the method should be spot on.

  39. Michelle
    May 12, 2012 at 2:25 am

    That’s some beautiful pasta!

  40. Aimee@clevermuffin
    May 12, 2012 at 3:40 am

    Was this your first go?? If it is I think I’m going to cry. Pasta making has always intimidated me and I’ve not really heard anyone else refer to it as easy. I am well impressed. And 20 quid is a steal!

  41. Korena in the Kitchen
    May 12, 2012 at 5:03 am

    This is just beautiful! I acquired a pasta machine myself recently, and yesterday I made pasta with it for the first time – but my pasta sheets certainly didn’t look as good as yours does! I’ve got some practicing to do 😉

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      You’ll get the hang of it – this was my first time but I had a little help.

  42. dottylizzy
    May 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    This looks and sounds completely delicious! You pasta looks beautifully thin and straight! Making my own pasta is something I really want to do one day …

  43. Maya Oryan
    May 12, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I love home made pasta and simple recipes! Thyme is one of my favorite ingredient! yummm!

  44. Chung-Ah (@damn_delicious)
    May 13, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Homemade pasta has been on my bucket list for so long! I already have the pasta dry rack (the architect-to-be boyfriend built me one recently) but I still need to buy the kitchenaid attachment so I can make this awesome recipe!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 24, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      then you must try it! I need to make myself one of those (I love making things :)) You must get it!

  45. Bam's Kitchen
    May 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Great photo shots and amazing recipe. Thanks for sharing.