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Rolling and Cutting the Pasta Dough: Mastering Tagliatelle and Ravioli

Rolling and cutting the pasta dough is an essential skill for any aspiring pasta enthusiast. Whether you're craving delicate tagliatelle or delectable ravioli, mastering the art of pasta dough preparation is critical. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process, providing expert tips and techniques to ensure your pasta creations are nothing short of perfection. Prepare to elevate your culinary game as we delve into rolling and cutting the pasta dough. Let's dive in!

a person making homemade pasta

Mastering The Art of Pasta Dough Preparation

Rolling the Pasta Dough

One of the essential steps in making homemade pasta is rolling the dough to achieve the desired thickness and texture. In this section, we will explore the different aspects of rolling the pasta dough, including choosing the suitable surface, preparing the dough, using a pasta machine, and rolling the dough by hand.

Choosing the Right Surface for Rolling

A suitable surface is crucial for a smooth and successful process when rolling pasta dough. Choose a sturdy and well-floured surface to prevent the dough from sticking. Marble or wooden countertops work best for rolling pasta, providing a solid and cool surface if you don't have a dedicated countertop, a large, smooth cutting board can also do the trick.

Preparing the Dough for Rolling

Before you start rolling the pasta dough, it's essential to ensure it is adequately prepared. Begin by dusting your work surface with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Divide the dough into manageable portions, as working with smaller sections makes it easier to roll uniformly. Shape the dough into a rough rectangle or oval, and then cover it with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out while you work.

Using a Pasta Machine for Rolling

A pasta machine is a handy tool that can simplify the process of rolling pasta dough. It allows you to achieve consistent thickness and texture, particularly useful for pasta shapes like linguine, fettuccine, or lasagna sheets. To use a pasta machine:

  1. Start by setting the rollers to the widest setting.

  2. Flatten a piece of dough with your hands and feed it through the machine.

  3. Fold the dough in thirds and repeat the process several times, gradually reducing the thickness setting until you reach the desired thickness.

Rolling the Dough by Hand

While a pasta machine is convenient, you can also roll the dough by hand if you prefer a more traditional approach. Begin by dusting your work surface and rolling pin with flour. Use your hands to take a portion of dough and flatten it into a roughly rectangular shape. Start rolling the dough from the center outward with the rolling pin, applying even pressure.

Rotate the dough occasionally to ensure even thickness. Continue rolling until the dough reaches the desired thickness, considering that different pasta shapes may require varying thicknesses.

Person Flattening a Pasta Dough With Rolling Pin

Remember, whether using a pasta machine or rolling by hand, it's essential to take your time and be patient with the process. The goal is to achieve a uniformly rolled dough with the desired thickness, resulting in perfectly cooked and delicious homemade pasta.

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Cutting the Pasta Dough

Cutting the pasta dough is an essential step in the pasta-making process. It determines the shape and size of the final pasta dish. In this section, we will explore different types of pasta cuts and the techniques and tools used for cutting. Let's dive in!

Types of Pasta Cuts

When it comes to pasta cuts, the possibilities are endless. Here are some popular types of pasta cuts you can experiment with.

  • Tagliatelle: Long, ribbon-like noodles, perfect for pairing with rich, hearty sauces.

  • Fettuccine: Wide and flat noodles, similar to tagliatelle but slightly thicker.

  • Spaghetti: Thin and round strands, a classic choice for tomato-based sauces.

  • Penne: Short, cylindrical shapes with angled ends, versatile and ideal for holding chunky sauces.

  • Farfalle: Butterfly-shaped pasta, great for catching and holding onto creamy or light sauces.

  • Ravioli: Square or round dough parcels encasing flavorful fillings, perfect for a satisfying bite.

Using a Knife for Cutting

A knife can cut the dough into desired shapes if you don't have a pasta cutter. Here's how:

  1. Roll out the dough: After preparing the pasta dough, roll it into a thin sheet using a rolling pin or pasta machine.

  2. Fold the dough: Fold the dough sheet into a neat rectangle or square to make it easier to handle.

  3. Slice the dough: Using a sharp knife, cut the folded dough into strips of the desired width for the specific pasta cut you want to create. For example, for fettuccine or tagliatelle, cut the strips around 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide.

Using a Pasta Cutter for Cutting

Using a pasta cutter can make the process of cutting pasta dough much faster and more efficient. Here's how to use a pasta cutter:

  1. Roll out the dough: Roll out the pasta dough into a thin sheet, as mentioned earlier.

  2. Attach the pasta cutter: Depending on the type of pasta shape you want, attach the appropriate cutting attachment to your pasta machine or roller.

  3. Feed the dough through: hand feed the pasta through the cutter, automatically cutting the pasta into the desired shape. Different attachments create different cuts, providing versatility in your pasta-making endeavors.

Cutting Different Pasta Shapes

Different pasta shapes require other cutting techniques. Let's take a look at how to cut some common pasta shapes.

  • Tagliatelle and Fettuccine: For long, ribbon-like cuts, roll out the pasta dough and use a knife or pasta cutter to cut wide strips.

  • Spaghetti: Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and use a pasta cutter with a spaghetti attachment to create thin, round strands.

  • Penne: After rolling out the dough, cut it into rectangular sheets. Then, using a knife, slice the sheets diagonally, creating angled ends to form penne shapes.

  • Farfalle: Cut the dough into small squares using a knife or a square-shaped pasta cutter. Pinch the center of each square to give it the classic butterfly shape.

  • Ravioli: Roll out the pasta dough into a thin sheet. Place spoonfuls of filling on one half of the sheet, leaving space in between. Fold the other half over the filling, press to seal, and use a ravioli cutter or a knife to cut into individual shapes.

Remember to dust the cut pasta shapes with flour to prevent sticking before cooking or drying.

That's it for cutting the pasta dough! Now that you're equipped with knowledge about different cuts and techniques, you're ready to explore the world of homemade pasta. Happy cooking!

Making Tagliatelle

Tagliatelle is a traditional Italian pasta variety known for its long, flat ribbons of pasta that are commonly served with rich sauces. In this section, we will explore the process of making tagliatelle from scratch, including rolling the dough into sheets, cutting the dough into thin strips, and some helpful tips for cooking tagliatelle. So let's get started!

Rolling the Dough into Sheets

To begin making tagliatelle, roll the pasta dough into thin sheets. That can be done using a pasta machine or with a rolling pin. The goal is to achieve a uniform thickness throughout the dough.

  1. Start by dividing the pasta dough into smaller portions to make it easier to work with.

  2. On a lightly floured surface, take one part of the dough and flatten it slightly with your hands.

  3. If using a pasta machine, adjust it to the widest setting. Pass the dough through the machine, folding it in half and passing it through again several times. That helps to develop the gluten and create a smooth texture.

  4. Gradually decrease the width setting on the machine and pass the dough through each time. Repeat this process until you reach the desired thickness for your tagliatelle.

  5. If rolling by hand, use a lightly floured rolling pin and roll the dough into a thin, even sheet. Take your time and ensure the thickness is consistent throughout.

Cutting the Dough into Thin Strips

Once you have rolled the dough into sheets, it's time to cut it into thin strips to create the classic tagliatelle shape.

  1. Dust the rolled-out dough lightly with flour to prevent sticking.

  2. Fold the dough sheet in half or roll it loosely into a cylinder shape.

  3. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into strips. Aim for a width of around ¼ to ½ inch, depending on your preference.

  4. Carefully unfold or unroll the cut strips to reveal the tagliatelle ribbons.

Tips for Cooking Tagliatelle

Now that you have prepared your tagliatelle, you must know how to cook it perfectly to achieve that al dente texture.

  1. Boil a large pot of salted water. Use approximately one tablespoon of salt for every 4 quarts of water.

  2. Add the tagliatelle to the boiling water and gently stir to prevent sticking.

  3. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions or until it reaches an al dente consistency. Al dente means the pasta is firm to the bite but not overly soft.

  4. Taste the pasta a minute or two before the recommended cooking time to ensure it is cooked to your liking.

  5. Once cooked, drain the tagliatelle well, but avoid rinsing it with water, as this can remove the starches that help the sauce adhere to the pasta.

  6. Immediately toss the cooked tagliatelle with your favorite sauce to prevent it from sticking together.

Remember, timing is crucial when cooking pasta, and it's always better to undercook it slightly and let it finish cooking in the sauce.

Bowl of Spaghetti and meatballs with homemade pasta

For more detailed information about making homemade pasta, you can visit This Link, a comprehensive resource on pasta, including various recipes and techniques.

Now that you have mastered the art of making tagliatelle, you can explore other types of pasta, such as ravioli, tortellini, or spaghetti. Stay tuned for our next section on making ravioli from scratch.

Did you know? Tagliatelle originated in the region of Emilia-Romagna in Italy, and it's one of the signature pasta types often paired with rich meat-based sauces like Bolognese.

Making Ravioli

Ravioli is a delicious and versatile pasta dish that is loved by many. Making your homemade ravioli allows you to customize the filling and create a truly unique culinary experience. In this section, we will guide you through making ravioli from scratch.

Rolling the Dough into Sheets

To start making ravioli, roll the dough into thin sheets. Begin by dusting your work surface with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Take a portion of the pasta dough and use a rolling pin to flatten it into a rectangular shape. Roll the dough out evenly until it is about 1/8 inch thick.

Anonymous woman making dough for Ravioli  standing at table with vegetables and eggs

Adding the Filling

Once you have rolled out the pasta dough, it's time to add the filling. The filling can vary depending on your preference, but popular options include cheese, spinach, meat, or various ingredients. Spoon small portions of the filling onto the pasta dough, leaving enough space between each mound to allow for sealing.

Sealing and Cutting the Ravioli

After adding the filling, you need to seal and cut the ravioli. Gently fold the pasta dough over the filling, creating a pocket-like shape. Press the edges together to seal the ravioli tightly. You can use a fork to create a decorative pattern along the edges or use your fingers to ensure a secure seal.

Once the ravioli is sealed, use a sharp knife or a pastry cutter to cut it into individual pieces. You can make them square or use a ravioli cutter to create decorative shapes. Place the cut ravioli on a floured baking sheet or tray, ready for cooking.

Raw Ravioli on a Parchment Paper

Cooking and Serving Ravioli

To cook the ravioli:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

  2. Gently drop the ravioli into the boiling water and cook until they float to the surface, usually in about 2-3 minutes.

  3. Using a slotted spoon or a pasta strainer, remove the cooked ravioli from the water and transfer them to a serving dish.

Ravioli can be served with various sauces, such as a classic marinara sauce, a creamy Alfredo sauce, or a rich butter and sage sauce. Sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped herbs for added flavor and presentation.

Making your ravioli is a rewarding experience that allows you to unleash your creativity in the kitchen. Whether you choose a traditional filling or experiment with unique flavors, homemade ravioli will impress your family and friends.

Now that you know how to make ravioli, let's explore other pasta shapes and techniques in the upcoming sections. Stay tuned!

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  • Ravioli making requires rolling the dough into thin sheets.

  • The filling can be customized based on your taste preferences.

  • Properly sealing and cutting the ravioli ensures they hold together while cooking.

  • Boil the ravioli until they float to the surface for perfectly cooked pasta.

  • Serve the ravioli with your favorite sauce and garnish with cheese and herbs.


In conclusion, mastering the art of rolling and cutting pasta dough is essential for creating delicious homemade pasta dishes. Whether making tagliatelle or ravioli, the process requires precision and practice. By following the proper techniques and using the right tools, you can achieve the perfect thickness and shape for your pasta. Remember to be patient and take your time working the dough, ensuring it is evenly rolled and cut.

With experience, you will develop a knack for creating beautiful, flavorful pasta that will impress your family and friends. So, roll up your sleeves, dust off your rolling pin, and prepare to embark on a culinary adventure with homemade pasta!

Savory Sojourns Chef | Food Blogger | Restaurant Owner | Affiliate Marketer!





Savory Sojourns Chef | Food Blogger | Restaurant Owner | Affiliate Marketer!

About the Author:  Savory Sojourns and Delicious Affilates

I am a seasoned food expert with over 20 years of experience as a chef,  a seasoned affiliate marketer, 10 years as a successful restaurant owner, and 5 years as a dedicated food blogger. My journey in the culinary world has been shaped by a passion for flavors, creativity, and innovation. Visit Our facebook page WagonWheelEats And Our facebook Group Kitchen Magic Alliance

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