5 Ingredients: Fresh Pasta and Sauce

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, April 26, 2011
Five ingredients is all you need to make this sauce and pasta.

A healthy and from-scratch Italian feast is only 5 ingredients away! Homemade pasta is a little time consuming, but the results are well worth it. An effortless sauce and a sprinkle of cheese finish off the dish. Happy Italian Week!

Fettuccine Marinara
Yield: 6 Servings


For the pasta:
3 ½ cups “00” flour (or all-purpose flour)
5 large eggs

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1, 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes (San Marzano recommended)
Large chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (rind removed, but do not discard), grated (1 ½ cups)

Additional items and equipment:
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pasta water (reserve after cooking pasta)
Equipment: Pasta roller and cutter

The ingredients: Flour, eggs, Parmigian0 cheese, olive oil, tomatoes

“00” Flour
This classic pasta flour has a finer texture and lower protein content, which helps make for tender pasta. Look for this type of flour in large grocery stores or Italian markets. If you can’t find it, use all-purpose instead.

Eggs are the only other ingredient you need for perfect pasta. They add some fat, liquid and also give the pasta its yellow tint. If the eggs are on the smaller side, the dough might seem dry. If so, add a small amount of warm water (1 tablespoon at a time) to add some extra moisture.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Since the sauce only has 3 main ingredients, you want them to be the highest quality. Use the best EVOO you can find to give the sauce texture and flavor.

Canned Tomatoes
The San Marzano variety of tomato are said to be the best of the best. Tender and slightly sweet, with just enough acid, they make a mean tomato sauce.

Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
This pungent and tangy Italian cheese is the secret ingredient. Sprinkle over cooked pasta but also add the rind to the sauce while it cooks  to infuse extra flavor– a trick from my beloved Italian grandfather.

For the pasta, (*see note) mound flour on a large cutting board or countertop and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and scramble gently with a fork, slowly incorporating more and more flour into the eggs. Once the dough starts to come together, use hands to mold in into a ball (dough will be very loose and messy at first). Knead well, for approximately 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and firm. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for at least 20 minutes while you prepare the sauce.

For the sauce, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Crush tomatoes with clean hands and add tomatoes along with all remaining liquid in the can to the hot oil.  Season with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly-ground black pepper; mix well to combine. Reduce heat to low, add Parmesan rind and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the sauce is cooking, roll out dough and cut into fettuccine or other desired shape following the directions on your pasta maker.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling and salted water for 3 to 4 minutes until just cooked through. Transfer cooked pasta to sauce and toss gently to combine. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and add to the sauce as desires. Top each serving of pasta with 1/4 cup grated cheese and serve.

*Note: Some electric mixers have their own instructions for dough preparation. Check the users manual on your machine.

Nutrition Info Per Serving (2 cups of cooked pasta with sauce &  1/4 cup cheese):
Calories:  457 calories
Total Fat: 15 grams
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 54 grams
Protein: 22 grams
Sodium: 629 milligrams
Cholesterol: 198 milligrams
Fiber: 3 grams

TELL US: Have you ever made fresh pasta?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (83)

  1. Zoey says:

    Is there an alternative to a pasta maker if you don't have one? Like, is there someway/shape to roll/form the pasta dough into without a pasta maker?

    • Sara says:

      Just roll it out thin with a rolling pin and slice with a knife or pizza cutter. I do this when I'm making ravioli becaus I don't have a ravioli shaper. This can work with thin noodles too.

  2. ChefJosie says:

    Both of my Italian Grandmothers and my Mom, made pasta noodles this way.____Roll dough out thinly on a lightly floured surface (wooden or percelain kitchen tables in their cases) into an oval or rectanglar shape. Sprinkle top surface with a bit of flour and brush it over the dough with your clean hand, to cover entire surface, (to keep if from sticking to itself.) Taking one edge of the dough, roll up jelly roll style-to the center of the whole piece. Then take the opposite edge and roll up, until it meets the first roll in the center.

  3. ChefJosie says:

    Continued from previous comment…
    Now, slice through both rolls, as thinly or thickly as you wish your noodle thickness to be… When all has been cut, Slide a clean yardstick or a sanded piece of broomstick (saved for only this use by my Grams. One even used the broomstick as her rolling pin…), under the center of the dough, where the dough had come together. Lift the stick, and the rolls unroll revealing your noodles. Hang the stick to have the noodles dry.

  4. ChefJosie says:

    Continued again…..
    OR, slide them off the stick onto a lightly floured dish towel (Grams used flour sacks they had saved for this purpose, (when 25 lbs. of flour came in a cloth sack.) Toss them around a bit so they are not all on top of each other. Let set a few minutes while your water comes to a boil. Cook as much as you need in the boiling water for about 5 min. (al dente) and serve with favorite sauce and Parm. If you have not used all the noodles, let the rest dry where they sit and then store in plastic bag or glass jar until needed… ENJOY!

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