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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 where you are looking for a partner with who you can practiced delayed orgasm 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.

113 replies on “Homemade Tagliatelle with a Lemon and Thyme Dressing”

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 😉

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! 🙂

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!

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!

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.

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!

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!

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.

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!

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!

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

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 ).

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 🙂

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 😉

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 🙂

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.

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!

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)

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!

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 😉

Dude, I sure hope I’m not butch or hairy. I don’t have a machine, and after falling in love with making pasta by hand, I would appreciate having one, but would also miss the amount of effort required to roll it out with a rolling pin.

Good luck with the ravioli!

We made pasta from scratch on Sunday for Mother’s Day! Not much beats homemade pasta. But, having made ravioli a time or two, I’ll agree with your guess that it’s a little more time-consuming. The lemon and thyme combination sounds delicious.

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