Homemade Pasta Made Simple - Manuela Zangara

Homemade Pasta Made Simple: A Pasta Cookbook with Easy Recipes & Lessons to Make Fresh Pasta Any Night
by Manuela Zangara is an all-in-one pasta cookbook for stress-free pasta making at home.

Manuela was born and raised in Italy and shares authentic Italian food on her blog Manu's Menu. I have marked several of her blog recipes to try: Danubio, Dolci pellegrino and her Pine nut cake.

I recommend Homemade Pasta Made Simple, for a number of reasons. Most importantly, are the detailed step-by-step instructions that Manuela has carefully crafted to guide us in the various shaping of pastas including a list of everything needed in terms of equipment and ingredients before beginning the recipe. Serving suggestions for the various pasta types are provided which is helpful for novice cooks. And last but not least, I love that there are shapes and pasta that I haven't heard of before such as quadrucci and trenette.

This book also shares:

  • Know-by-heart dough recipes that will yield: durum wheat dough, egg dough, and gluten-free dough
  • Step-by-step instructions for making noodles, stuffed pasta, shapes, dumplings, and more
  • An essential guide to basic skills and techniques, as well as fundamental equipment, to get you up and running
  • Over 30 effortless yet delectable sauce recipes to mix and match with your freshly made pasta
  • 15 hand-shaped pasta tutorials - from cavatelli and orecchiette to fusilli avellinesi and garganelli
  • 15 ribbon-cut pasta tutorials - from tagliatelle and fettuccine to mafalde and spaghetti alla chitarra
  • 15 stuffed pasta tutorials, stuffing included - from ravioli and tortellini to culurgiones
  • 11 gnocchi and gnudi tutorials - from potato gnocchi and pumpkin gnocchi to gnocchi alla romana and canederli

Manuela has laid out everything we need to start making homemade pasta at home. I have many Italian cookbooks, and books that deal specifically with making pasta and I am happy to add this book into my collection.

Special thanks to the publisher, Rockridge Press, for sharing the recipe below for Orecchiette and for providing three copies of this book for our contest below.


Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

Orecchiette are a pasta shape traditionally made in the Southern Italian regions of Apulia and Basilicata. The term orecchiette literally means "little ears"-their shape is similar to the ears of a baby. Making orecchiette is easier than it seems, and you do not require any special equipment: All you need is a wooden surface, a knife, and a little bit of practice!




  • Big wooden board or big wooden cutting board
  • Table knife, round edged
  • 3 (10-by-15-inch) baking sheets
  • Large pot, to cook the pasta
  • Wooden spoon, to stir the pasta
  • Colander, to drain the pasta


Durum wheat flour, for dusting
1 batch Know-by-Heart Durum Wheat Pasta Dough (page 16) (below)
Sea salt, for cooking the pasta


1. Dust the baking sheets with durum wheat flour.

2. Work on a wooden surface to give orecchiette their traditional "wrinkled" texture.

3. Break the dough into about 3-inch balls and roll them into ⅔-inch-thick ropes using your fingertips.

4. Cut these ropes into ¾-inch-long pieces.

5. Holding a table knife at a 45-degree angle to the work surface, press and roll the dough toward you.

6. Unfurl each piece of dough over your thumb in the opposite direction to form a concave shape (Figures 4.2 to 4.5). Now you have shaped your orecchietta.

7. Put the shaped pasta on the prepared baking sheets.

8. Repeat the above steps until you have no dough left.


1. Set a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil (see page 40). Cook the pasta for about 5 minutes, or until al dente. To test this, remove a piece of pasta from the pot and take a bite. It should be cooked but still slightly firm in the center.

2. When the pasta is ready, drain it through a colander and shake out the excess water.

3. Serve immediately with the sauce of your choice.

TIP: When serving orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe Sauce (page 199), reserve the water in which you have boiled the broccoli rabe and use it to cook the orecchiette. Doing this will enhance the flavor of the final dish.

Serving Suggestion: Orecchiette are traditionally served with Broccoli Rabe Sauce (page 199), Spicy Pork Ragù (page 212), Crudaiola Sauce (page 176), Sun-dried Tomato Sauce (page 181), or Arugula and Tomato Sauce (page 196). All these sauces are very common in Apulia and Basilicata, where orecchiette were born. However, I particularly like them with Kale, Gorgonzola, and Green Pesto (page 210).

Know-by-heart durum wheat pasta dough

Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

  • 14 ounces durum wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water (about 7 ounces), plus up to 3 tablespoons if needed

To make the durum wheat pasta dough:

Weigh the flour and mound it on a board or in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add 3/4 cup of lukewarm water to it.

Using the tips of your fingers, mix the water with the flour, incorporating it a little at a time, until everything is combined. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of water, a little at a time, if required.

Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Make into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out, and let it rest for 30 minutes before turning it into pasta.


The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. Eat Your Books is offering one copy to members outside the US. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index (besides the recipe shared today) would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on February 12th, 2018.


  • kgmom  on  1/4/2018 at 7:15 PM


  • heyjude  on  1/4/2018 at 7:20 PM


  • Kristjudy  on  1/4/2018 at 7:36 PM


  • katehenderson  on  1/4/2018 at 7:41 PM

    Cicatelli looks yum!

  • Ginnytad  on  1/4/2018 at 8:24 PM

    the filled pasta. I can't make it and want to learn how....

  • ebs  on  1/4/2018 at 8:56 PM


  • stepspior  on  1/4/2018 at 9:38 PM

    Hand-shaping pasta

  • trudys_person  on  1/4/2018 at 10:50 PM

    Walnut Sauce, over Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi sounds delightful!

  • eileen2015  on  1/5/2018 at 1:11 AM


  • starrie143  on  1/5/2018 at 5:01 AM

    Cacio e pepe triagolini

  • vickster  on  1/5/2018 at 7:49 AM

    Potato Gnocchi

  • Siegal  on  1/5/2018 at 9:16 AM

    I want to try cacio e Pepe sauce

  • sarahawker  on  1/5/2018 at 10:42 AM

    Cacio e pepe triagolini

  • BudgieLover59  on  1/5/2018 at 11:45 AM

    I'd try the Fettucini first.

  • contest718  on  1/5/2018 at 11:46 AM

    Gluten-free pasta dough

  • lpatterson412  on  1/5/2018 at 1:13 PM

    Broccoli Gnoche!!!

  • ktwalla  on  1/5/2018 at 1:51 PM

    Goat's Cheese and Chive Cuori

  • janv  on  1/5/2018 at 3:23 PM

    lasagna sheets

  • lean1  on  1/5/2018 at 5:38 PM

    Pici. I ate it in Siena and would love to be able to recreate the recipe.

  • kmn4  on  1/5/2018 at 6:27 PM

    Pumpkin and sausage sauce

  • NancyLynn  on  1/5/2018 at 10:36 PM

    ANY ravioli that have ricotta in them!

  • sugo  on  1/5/2018 at 11:17 PM

    Prawn and zucchini sauce is my choice

  • bettinab  on  1/6/2018 at 12:50 AM


  • MJMarvin  on  1/6/2018 at 4:07 AM

    Beet gnocchi

  • lapsapchung  on  1/6/2018 at 4:33 AM

    Farfalle - probably with sun dried tomato sauce

  • Dannausc  on  1/6/2018 at 4:45 AM


  • Livia  on  1/6/2018 at 6:41 AM

    It has got to be the Aglio, olio, e peperoncino sauce

  • dbielick  on  1/6/2018 at 9:10 AM


  • mcrimmins  on  1/6/2018 at 11:42 AM


  • Angryyew  on  1/6/2018 at 1:39 PM

    I've always wanted to make my own ravioli.

  • jifar  on  1/6/2018 at 1:47 PM

    Pork ragu.

  • rchesser  on  1/6/2018 at 3:31 PM

    Pumpkin ravioloni quadrati!!

  • Mariaannette  on  1/6/2018 at 4:19 PM

    I don't know that I've ever made homemade pasta, so I would start with "making pasta dough" either egg or wheat durum.

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  1/6/2018 at 4:30 PM

    I would like to make the Cavatellini first.

  • antpantsii  on  1/6/2018 at 4:33 PM

    gluten free pasta!

  • matag  on  1/6/2018 at 9:27 PM

    Lemon and ricotta stelle

  • dduvall  on  1/6/2018 at 9:27 PM

    Orecchiette, because the way the shape is made looks interesting.

  • celestin  on  1/6/2018 at 11:50 PM

    Garganelli - it looks like it would be fun to make

  • AnnaZed  on  1/7/2018 at 12:23 AM

    Know-by-heart egg pasta dough

  • Littlebirdchoc  on  1/7/2018 at 5:00 AM

    I make handmade pasta all the time. I’m so curious to try the different pestos!

  • clairew137  on  1/7/2018 at 5:22 AM

    Lemon and ricotta stelle

  • parisiansummer  on  1/7/2018 at 5:56 AM

    Kale, Gorgonzola & green Pesto!

  • ant1  on  1/7/2018 at 10:11 AM

    For starters (pun intended), I'd probably try the ravioli (filling tbc!)

  • artmarcia  on  1/7/2018 at 11:04 AM

    Making stuffed pasta—I’ve always loved eating stuffed pasta, so of course I want to learn how to make it.

  • sushimaven  on  1/7/2018 at 11:05 AM

    definitely ravioli

  • RSW  on  1/7/2018 at 12:31 PM

    Know-by-heart egg pasta dough

  • jmay42066  on  1/7/2018 at 6:51 PM

    Potato Gnocchi

  • hibeez  on  1/8/2018 at 11:16 AM

    Oh my, I want to try all new kinds of pasta! but here is one specific recipe that sounds cool: Smoked salmon and ricotta mezzelune.

  • sgump  on  1/8/2018 at 1:29 PM

    I love orecchiette but have never imagined making them at home. Perhaps I need to think again!

  • lozzle77  on  1/8/2018 at 2:24 PM

    Potato Gnocchi

  • SheenaBatey  on  1/8/2018 at 4:06 PM


  • jd5761  on  1/9/2018 at 2:43 PM

    Potato Gnocchi

  • lebarron2001  on  1/9/2018 at 4:23 PM

    I would make the Artichoke Sauce

  • skipeterson  on  1/9/2018 at 6:34 PM


  • EmilyR  on  1/9/2018 at 7:36 PM

    Lemon and ricotta stelle

  • percussion03  on  1/9/2018 at 8:48 PM

    Broccoli gnocchi!

  • Yarnia  on  1/12/2018 at 5:52 PM


  • kitchen_chick  on  1/12/2018 at 7:29 PM


  • Julia  on  1/12/2018 at 11:03 PM

    Gluten free pasta dough.

  • stitchan  on  1/13/2018 at 7:44 AM

    Pumpkin ravioloni quadrati

  • camerashy131  on  1/13/2018 at 7:49 AM

    Italian chicken broth

  • LaurenE  on  1/13/2018 at 3:10 PM

    Walnut Sauce over Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi

  • Laura1  on  1/14/2018 at 6:57 AM

    the egg pasta dough

  • Steben  on  1/14/2018 at 11:47 AM

    Pumpkin ravioloni quadrati

  • PennyG  on  1/14/2018 at 5:02 PM

    Aglio, olio, e peperoncino sauce

  • Shelley.b  on  1/15/2018 at 10:32 AM


  • amandabeck  on  1/15/2018 at 1:35 PM

    Sun-dried tomato sauce....and to learn how to shape all the different types of pasta!

  • lauriesk  on  1/15/2018 at 8:21 PM

    Pumpkin and sausage sauce

  • RoseMGenuine  on  1/15/2018 at 10:05 PM

    Pici with spicy pork ragu

  • topdawg11  on  1/16/2018 at 8:21 AM

    Ricotta gnocchi

  • bettinab  on  1/16/2018 at 2:29 PM

    Pine nut cake

  • VeryVigario  on  1/16/2018 at 8:09 PM

    The Gorgonzola Sauce. (btw- i accidently entered my EYB name as vtangerine17 and don't know how to change it!)

  • ljsimmons  on  1/17/2018 at 2:40 AM

    Pumpkin ravioloni quadrati

  • iza27  on  1/19/2018 at 1:11 AM

    Smoked salmon and ricotta mezzelune

  • Teruska  on  1/19/2018 at 6:27 AM

    Smoked salmon and ricotta mezzelune sounds delicious to me!

  • Scotsman61  on  1/20/2018 at 12:22 AM

    Potato Gnocchi

  • FireRunner2379  on  1/20/2018 at 4:09 PM

    Homemade Pasta is on my culinary bucket list, the recipe for Making pasta dough sounds like a place to start!

  • davisesq212  on  1/20/2018 at 4:22 PM

    OMG...the gorgonzola stuffed potato gnocchi sounds incredible.

  • Karla123  on  1/20/2018 at 5:05 PM

    Potato gnocchi with tomato and basil sauce would be the perfect anytime meal.

  • Elledale1  on  1/21/2018 at 8:39 AM

    Sooo many recipes of sooo many different pastas in one book. Makes you want to have a “Cook in Pasta Party” ❤️

  • v.t  on  1/21/2018 at 12:01 PM

    Cacio e pepe triagolini

  • jc214a  on  1/24/2018 at 5:22 PM

    Sagne seems interesting.

  • PennyBarr  on  1/26/2018 at 2:21 AM

    I’d try the Orecchiette and probably the broccoli rabe sauce to go with it. Yum!

  • luccio  on  1/26/2018 at 5:48 AM

    Flavouring & colouring pasta dough - 'cos it's something I've never tried...

  • fbrunetti  on  1/26/2018 at 10:24 AM


  • kennethjohngilmour  on  1/26/2018 at 5:48 PM

    never done so, so I guess I would start at the beginning with making pasta dough found on page 12

  • sugo  on  1/26/2018 at 10:00 PM


  • FuzzyBee  on  1/27/2018 at 9:08 AM


  • Jenamarie  on  1/27/2018 at 10:06 PM

    Pumpkin and sausage sauce

  • rachael_mc  on  1/28/2018 at 5:21 PM

    Pappardelle first!

  • Maria.luiza  on  1/30/2018 at 2:39 PM


  • Sfgordon  on  1/30/2018 at 5:54 PM

    cacio e pepe triagolini

  • DeepCreekKitchen  on  2/2/2018 at 11:21 AM


  • KarenDel  on  2/3/2018 at 10:51 AM

    I'd like to make Cacio e pepe triagolini

  • t.t  on  2/4/2018 at 12:04 AM


  • cambridgecook  on  2/5/2018 at 3:01 PM


  • maria411  on  2/5/2018 at 6:23 PM


  • soffner  on  2/10/2018 at 8:49 PM

    Prawn and leek caramelle

  • choppergirl  on  2/11/2018 at 10:12 AM

    Prawn and leek caramelle

  • Sharmiro  on  2/11/2018 at 11:01 AM

    Hand Shaping Pasta..I need help on orrechette.

  • verorenee  on  2/11/2018 at 1:31 PM

    I want to learn how to color all the pasta

  • NaomiH  on  2/12/2018 at 9:37 AM


  • GillB  on  2/12/2018 at 11:38 AM

    Love t have a go at Raviloli

  • ampsmom  on  2/12/2018 at 8:33 PM


  • littleminxgirl  on  2/12/2018 at 10:36 PM

    I'd love to make the ravioli

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