Garlic Lime Lettuce Wraps

Ginger and garlic tempeh rice, folded into lime-spiked lettuce wraps with lots of herbs, cucumber, and carrots. A one-pan meal that comes together in no time!

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Lettuce wraps are a fave around here (and a nice change from taco night). This has become a favorite weeknight meal. Ginger and garlic tempeh rice, folded into lime-spiked lettuce wraps with lots of herbs, cucumber, and carrots. It’s a one-pan meal that comes together in no time!

Garlic Lime Lettuce Wraps

A couple of tips related to this recipe. If you find a tempeh brand you like, buy it in multiples. It freezes really well. Also, I like to make these lettuce wraps with brown rice that I’ve blended with other grains – like a little bit of millet, and quinoa. But, brown jasmine rice on it’s own is also A+! Experiment with toppings – a sprinkling of toasted nuts, or even a dollop of guacamole is always good.

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Sourdough Galette with Delicata Squash

A fully loaded winter sourdough galette topped with delicata squash, green chile yogurt, shallots, and scallions.

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What you see here is a fully loaded winter galette. I started making it a few months back inspired by a recipe in Sarah Owens’ masterful Sourdough book. Her whole-grain boosted sourdough crust caught my attention. I also didn’t need convincing related to the garlic-spiked labneh slathered beneath summery toppings. I don’t need to tell most of you, as I type this, we are a long way from summer.

Sourdough Galette with Delicata Squash
Sarah’s galette was loaded with beautiful tomatoes, but by the time I spotted her recipe, tomatoes were long gone for the year. My tart needed to be more of a winter affair, and the delicata squash and shallots I had on hand seemed a natural evolution. I’ve baked this galette four or five times since, and it’s omg-so-good. If you love savory tarts this is for you. And please don’t sweat it if you don’t maintain a sourdough starter, I’ll note a couple alternative paths you can take down below.
Sourdough Galette with Delicata Squash

Make it Easy!

This galette is a bit of a project if you start from zero at late in the evening with dinner as your intention. Pre-make most of the components when you have a few minutes here or there in the days prior, and it will come together effortlessly when you’re ready to bake the finale.

What Can you Do Ahead of Time?

You can make the dough for the crust and freeze or refrigerate. You can pre-make the yogurt spread in five minutes – total breeze. And if you roast the delicata and shallots the night before (or have them as a component of your meal that day) you can use the leftovers on the galette.

All the Toppings for a Sourdough Galette with Delicata Squash

What If You Don’t Have Sourdough Starter?

Here’a another tart crust I love – you can simply swap in this one. Alternately, you can follow the recipe below omitting the sourdough starter, and adding and extra 25g of ice water and 25g flour in its place. Adjust with a bit of extra water or flour depending on the feel of the dough. If you want to maintain your own sourdough starter, there are endless books, and tutorials on how to do that, or you might ask your local bakery if they could spare a bit of theirs instead of starting from scratch!

Garlic and Green Chile Spiked Yogurt

Kitchen Scales are the Best!

This recipe is written in weights (I meant to convert for volumes, but ran out time trying to pop off photos before it got dark! Apologies). If you bake a lot, I’m sure you’ve heard it before, a kitchen scale is a godsend. I love my Escali Primo, it costs roughly $20, and will last a long, long time. This tart dough has volume measurements if you are scale-less. Both are buttery, rich and crowd-pleasers.
Close-up Photo of Sourdough Galette with Delicata Squash
Extra credit! I love the cute, tiny seeds inside delicata squash, you can see them pictured here. Pre-roast them tossed with a bit of olive oil in a hot oven, and then sprinkle them on everything from tarts and salads, pastas and pizzas. It’s a bit of a pain to clean the gunk off them, but worth the extra effort.
Individual Slice of Sourdough Galette with Delicata Squash
I hope you all like this one, I was so excited to see how many of you made stunning braided breads! Xo to Sarah for the inspiration! 

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Hazelnut & Chard Ravioli Salad

Ravioli salads are the best! Plump raviolis tossed with toasted hazelnuts, lemony chard, and caramelized onions are at the heart of this ravioli salad recipe. The colorful platter is finished off with a dusting of cheese, snipped chives, and lemon zest.

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If you’re invited to a potluck this winter, consider bringing this. I first published the recipe over a decade ago, and still cook it regularly for a whole host of reasons. We’re talking about plump raviolis tossed with toasted hazelnuts, lemony flecks of chard, and deeply caramelized onions. You’ve got crunch from toasted hazelnuts, and brightness from a bit of zest. It’s delicious, flexible, and totally satisfying. Also, appropriately, it makes a great vegetarian main for gatherings like Thanksgiving. I’ve updated and streamlined the instructions and ingredient list here so it reflects how I make it today. For example, I used to cook the chard on the side, but now I don’t bother, and just massage it with lemon juice. Little tricks and improvements, and in this case, one less pan to clean.

Hazelnut & Chard Ravioli Salad

You can prepare most of the components ahead of time, and throw it together in less than five minutes when you’re ready to serve it up family-style. Whenever I have a window in the days prior, I wash and chop the chard (or kale), caramelize the onions, and toast the hazelnuts.

Hazelnut & Chard Ravioli Salad

Keep in mind, this whole idea is super adaptable. You can play around with the type of raviolis you use – vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.

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50 Vegan Recipes

Great vegan recipes are like gold. Especially when they feature real whole foods, and lots of plants. This type of cooking supports your health and overall well-being in important ways. No meat? No dairy? No eggs? Don’t sweat it. There are many other ingredients to get excited about.

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Great vegan recipes are like gold. Especially when they feature whole foods, and lots of plants. This type of cooking supports your health and overall well-being in important ways. No meat? No dairy? No eggs? Don’t sweat it. There are many other ingredients to get excited about when you’re cooking and eating.


  1. Caramelized Tofu

    Caramelized strips of tofu served over sautéed shredded brussels sprouts. Caramelized Tofu

  2. Sunshine Pad Thai

    One simple trick makes this a turmeric noodle version of a classic. Vegan Pad Thai

  3. Last Minute Red Lasagna

    This is a true weeknight lasagna. No pre-cooking sauces, no pre-cooking noodles. Last Minute Red Lasagna

  4. Quick Vegan Enchiladas

    In the oven in less that ten minutes, and a healthful alternative to all the heavy cheese versions out there. With black beans, sweet potatoes, and a stealthy turmeric boost. Vegan Enchiladas

  5. Sushi Bowl

    a de-constructed sushi roll – brown rice, tofu, avocado, toasted nori and green onions served with a tangy, sweet citrus-soy dressing. Sushi Bowl

  6. Rice Porridge

    It’s a one pot, effortless, green, nutrient-packed twist on one of my favorite things to eat. Rice Porridge

  7. Chia Breakfast Bowl

    Chia Breakfast Bowl

  8. Vegetarian Paella

    Vegetarian Paella

  9. Steaming Vegetables

    Steaming Vegetables

  10. Green Falafel Bowl

    Green Falafel Bowl

  11. Ottolenghi Red Rice and Quinoa

  12. TLT Sandwich

  13. Pan-glazed Tempeh

  14. Weeknight Ponzu Pasta

  15. Soups

  16. Vegetable Noodle Soup

    Vegetable noodle soup is as simple, direct, and delicious as it gets. If you’re vegetarian or vegan looking for an alternative to chicken noodle soup, try this! Vegetable Noodle Soup

  17. Broccoli Cheddar Soup

    A simple, everyday broccoli soup made special with crusty, mustardy croutons and cheddar cheese. Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  18. Immunity Soup

    White pepper with jolts of ginger, and stabs of garlic – clear and strong topped with tofu, mushrooms, watermelon radish, and lots of green onions. Immunity Soup

  19. Simple Asparagus Soup

    A simple asparagus soup – fresh asparagus, new potatoes, a bit of green curry paste, and coconut milk are pureed to make this spring favorite. Simple Asparagus Soup

  20. Simple Cauliflower Soup

    This is the simplest cauliflower soup. Simple Cauliflower Soup

  21. Ribollita

    Ribollita is a thick Tuscan stew – dark greens, lots of beans, vegetables, olive oil, thickened with day-old bread. Ribollita

  22. Green Pea Soup

  23. Miso Tahini Soup

  24. Posole in Broth

  25. Leek Soup with Dill Oil

  26. Salads

  27. Taco Salad

    Tempeh taco salad – crushed tortilla chips bring the crunch, black beans and crumbled tempeh coated with taco seasoning brings the substance, and a strong, smoked paprika-apple cider dressing pulls everything together. Taco Salad<

  28. Rainbow Noodle Salad

    A radiant, color-flecked tangle of noodles, cabbage, shredded carrots, pickled sushi ginger, and an abundance of cilantro, basil, and scallions. Rainbow Noodle Salad

  29. Easy Tomato Pasta Salad

    Whole-grain pasta, baby kale, basil, and the best tomatoes you can get your hands on, with a generous drizzle of strong harissa dressing. Easy Tomato Pasta Salad

  30. Grilled Zucchini Bread Salad

  31. Smash-and-Toss Roasted Potato Salad

  32. Lazy Day Peanut Noodle Salad

  33. Summer Corn Salad

  34. Dips, Snacks and Appetizers

  35. Goth Hummus

    Goth Hummus

  36. Golden Beet Hummus

    Billowy and smooth, it’s a boosted hummus for everyday, all-day w/ golden beets, turmeric, and chickpeas. Golden Beet Hummus

  37. Turmeric Cashews

    Turmeric Cashews tossed with cayenne, nori, and sesame.

  38. Asparagus Tartine

    Avocado smeared across toasted day-old slabs of sesame bread, layered with arugula and garlicky caraway asparagus + toasted pepitas. Asparagus Tartine

  39. Roasted Tomato Salsa

    Deep, caramelized flavors of roasted tomatoes and onions alongside the smokiness of the chipotles equals the best salsa. Salsa

  40. Vegan Nachos

    Packed with beneficial spices, cashews, garlic, and grated sweet potatoes, and lasts up to a week refrigerated. Vegan Nachos

  41. Power Bars

    Savory power bars with toasted walnuts, crumbled kale chips, and oil-cured olives. Power Bars

  42. Muhammara

    Traditional red pepper spread originating from Syria made with a fascinating blend of red peppers, walnuts, olive oil, pomegranate molasses. Muhammara

  43. Mung Bean Hummus

    For creamy hummus, without the extra effort, I use mung beans instead. They work beautifully. Top the hummus with shallot oil, fresh chives Mung Bean Hummus

  44. Spicy Boosted Nut Butter

  45. Walnut Olive Miso Magic Sauce

  46. Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter

  47. Roasted Lemon Chutney

  48. Drinks and Desserts

  49. Rhubarb Rosewater Syrup

    Perfect on (or in) everything from yogurt, spritzers, waffles, or oatmeal. Rhubarb Rosewater Syrup

  50. Lime, Grapefruit and Ginger Juice

    Lime, Grapefruit and Ginger Juice

  51. Vitamin C Tea Blend

    Hibiscus and rose hips are both Vitamin C power houses. This is a much appreciated tea blend for when an immunity boost is needed. Vitamin C Tea Blend

  52. Homemade Strawberry Almond Milk

    Once you’ve tasted homemade almond milk it’s quite difficult to return to store-bought. Homemade Strawberry Almond Milk

  53. No Bake Energy Bites

    No-bake energy bites, my favorite alternative to energy bars. No Bake Energy Bites

  54. Two-ingredient Candied Citrus Lolipops

    Plump, juicy, citrus segments coated in thin, crunchy, sugar shells. Two-ingredient Candied Citrus Lolipops

My hope is you’ll find many ideas here to inspire more vegan meals in your home and life. The recipes listed here are vegan, or easily made vegan (with a minor tweak or two). I only list them here if I’ve actually mentioned how to make the recipe vegan in the recipe or in the head notes of the recipe. Here’s a favorite vegan recipe to start!

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Super Natural Vegan Sushi

This is homemade vegan sushi made with sweet potato fries, seasoned tofu, avocado, kale chips, and a whole grain sushi rice blend. A quick kiss of strong wasabi-spiked soy sauce is my preferred dipping sauce.

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I make this vegan sushi constantly. Especially anytime the weather is hot (read:now). It’s a recipe I planned to include in Super Natural Simple, but ended up leaving it out at the last minute. So! They’re making their appearance here where I have more room to talk through rices, rolling technique, and variations. And don’t worry, you don’t need any special tools to make it. This is homemade vegan sushi made with sweet potato fries, seasoned tofu, avocado, kale chips, and a whole grain sushi rice blend. A quick kiss of strong wasabi-spiked soy sauce is my preferred dipping sauce.
Super Natural Vegan Sushi

Let’s Talk About Sushi Rice

The key to your success here is choosing the appropriate rice. One way to be sure your sushi rolls hold together is to use white short-grain sushi rice. For this recipe you’ll combine cooked white sushi rice with other whole grains to “boost” it nutritionally. I’ve found that using a percentage of white rice really helps the rolls come together. More importantly, it helps them hold together, especially important for newbie sushi makers or if you’re having kids help out.

To cook the sushi rice, rinse the rice grains well before cooking. And if you have time to let them soak, even better. I use 2 cups of rice and 3 cups of water, and a bit of salt – scant 1/2 teaspoon. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Allow to sit, covered, for 10 minutes more. You should end up with perfect chubby, sticky grains of rice you can then combine with other quinoa, cooked grains, pearled barley, black rice, or brown rice. I’ll outline the ratio I like below, but you can experiment. This organic sushi rice is an example of the kind of rice you’re after for the white sushi rice component.

Seasoning: Traditional sushi rice also uses a vinegar and sugar mixture as seasoning. Sometimes I add it to my cooked rice, other times I skip it. I know this might be a controversial admission, but I’d encourage you to think through a range of different ways you can season, spice, or boost your rice. The rice in these sushi rolls is plain and simple. That said, once you get the hang of the basics, you can experiment if you like! Use strong broth in place of the water in your rice. You can add spices (turmeric, curry blends, etc.) or ingredients like minced garlic, ginger, or scallions. Play around!
Vegan Sushi Ingredients

No Sushi Mat, No Problem!

You don’t need to have a special sushi mat to make sushi. I tend to use parchment paper. A clean linen or cotton towel can also work. If you want to make reverse roll (where the rice is on the outside, line your parchment paper with a sheet of plastic wrap. Do a layer of rice, next add the sheet of nori followed by more ingredients and/or rice. You can see my set up for getting ready to roll sushi in the photos below. Basically this is a long way of saying, you don’t need a bunch of specialty equipment to make vegetable or vegan sushi.Tofu in Skillet for Vegan Sushi

Vegan Sushi Filling Ideas

As I mention up above, I’m highlighting my favorite “everyday” vegan sushi roll for you today. I’ve made them twice this week! I’ll talk you through the main components:

  • Seasoned Tofu: Marinate slabs of tofu in a simple soy sauce, water, sesame-chile oil mixture. You can grill the tofu or cook it in a skillet (above) until golden. Cool a bit, and use a sharp knife to slice into matchsticks. You can see the sliced tofu pictured below.
  • Sweet Potato “Fries”: Slice sweet potatoes into fry shapes. Skins on or off, your choice. Toss with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, a bake at 400F until golden, flipping once or twice along the way. I tend to use the sweet potato version of these oven fries, but Wayne sometimes buys pre-cut sweet potato oven fries in a freezer bag, and those work great too.
  • Avocado: Thinly sliced, and perfectly ripe is what you’re after.
  • Kale Chips: I like the crunch you get from adding a few kale chips. Consider adding them a bonus if you have some on hand.
  • Sesame seeds: In your rolls, on your rolls, whatever.
  • Wildcards: If I have them sometimes I add a bit of cucumber, spicy tempeh crumble, or I’ll make the sushi with this tempeh in place of the tofu. I love this all-natural wasabi paste, and mix it with soy sauce, shoyu, or tamari as a dipping sauce.

As I mentioned, on the rice front, I like a rice blend with a good amount of whole grains in it, and have had the best results using half white sushi rice mixed well with half whole grain rice. For the whole grain rice portions, I like to cook short grain brown rice with a good amount of quinoa in it. That said, any whole grain blend should work with the white sushi rice. It’s sticky and helps everything hold together nicely.

How to Assemble Your Sushi

Sushi doesn’t have to be perfect to be delicious. Keep that in mind if you’re new to this. I thought I’d post a play-by-play photo series of how these rolls come together. Before we get into it, one thing that is helpful to know if your sushi rice is sticky and hard to work with is this. Use cold water to wet your hands or spatula. It’s a game changer.

Ready to roll: Once you have all your ingredients prepared it’s time to make sushi. What you see in the photo below is a sheet of parchment paper in place of a sushi mat. On top of that a 8×8-inch sheet of nori is placed. About a cup of rice is spread across the bottom third. Pat it down with a spatula so it holds together. Now add strips of avocado, sweet potato, tofu, and whatever else you’d like in your sushi.

Preparing Vegan Sushi on Sheet of Nori
Working from the bottom, use your sushi mat or parchment paper to start gently (but confidently!) guiding and shaping everything tightly into a roll. You can see how it starts in the photo below. 
Demonstration of How to Start Rolling Sushi
Use your extra fingers to keep ingredients in place and to pull the roll in toward the sushi mat. See photo below. The goal is shaping and keeping things tight. Keep guiding and rolling.
Demonstrating Sushi Tuck-and-Roll Technique
Once the rice and fillings have been encircled by the nori, compress and pull things tight one more time. I basically run my hands along the length of the roll making sure nothing is loose. 
Using Sushi Mat or Parchment Paper to Roll Sushi
Continue rolling to the end of the nori at this point, guiding the sushi mat or parchment paper out of the way as you go. See above and below examples.
Finished Vegan Sushi Roll
At this point you should be able cut the roll into pieces of sushi. Use your sharpest knife, and keep it clean as you go.
Super Natural Vegan Sushi Recipe
It’s a lot of fun to explore the world of vegetarian and vegan sushi. Next up on my list is to make a roll using sushi rice version of Bryant Terry’s Amazing Green Rice. Basically, I imagine it will be very similar to this roll, but using his blender technique to green-ify the rice. Or maybe as we make our way into the fall a mushroom-centric roll. Excited to see your versions!

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Grillable Tofu Burgers

Seasoned with a good amount of cumin, cayenne and mustard, these are hearty, filling, easy to make, dump-everything-in-the-food processor grillable tofu burgers.

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Wayne calls this the “1996 Veggie Burger.” It’s basically an old-school hippie burger. I love them for a few reasons. First, they’re grill-able. Second, they’re made from ingredients I understand – organic tofu, seeds, nuts, eggs, spices, and breadcrumbs. And third, they’re endlessly adaptable by switching up the spices & your burger toppings.
A Grillable Tofu Burger Recipe

The Recipe

On the cooking front, I’ve been cleaning out some drawers. Primarily going through old magazine clippings (which is part of the reason I’ve been featuring more magazine inspired recipes than usual). I’ve been finding lots of gems, and these tofu burgers jumped out at me. I’ve adapted them from a reader contributed recipe that ran in the October 2004 issue of Sunset Magazine. The recipe was sent to Sunset by Jeremy Wolf of San Francisco, and I enjoyed them so much! They were impossibly easy to make, relying on the “throw everything in the food processor” technique, and called for a quirky mix of ingredients ranging from tofu, seeds, and nuts, to mustard, cumin, and mushrooms. In the years since, I’ve done a lot of variations, and I’ll talk through a few of them below.

I will say, I suspect you’ll be tempted to tweak the seasonings, and you should! But here’s my advice. Don’t skimp on the cumin or mustard, you need some assertive flavors to kick in – keep in mind you’re dealing with ground tofu and eggs as a burger base. Whatever you do think bold!

Ingredients in Food Processor for Tofu Burgers

Tofu Burgers – How To Cook Them

One of the great things about these is you can cook them a number of ways. You can use a skillet, you can grill them, or you can bake them. The main thing you need to do is blend the mixture to a smooth-ish consistency. Then firmly shape and press the mixture into firm patties. I call for the firmest tofu you can find (extra-firm), but each tofu brand has a different quantity of water in it. If your mixture is too wet, simply blend in more breadcrumbs 1/4 cup at a time, and go from there. The mixture also firms up as it sits, so keep that in mind. You can let it rest for 10 minutes or so before shaping if you have the time.
A Grillable Tofu Burger Recipe

Tofu Burger Variations

A number of people have attempted to make these without the egg. I haven’t tested that version yet, but here’s are a few notes from the comments. From Lisa,”For the vegan, I reserved part of the batch before adding eggs, and put in a tablespoon of almond butter as a binder, plus a little extra breadcrumbs.” Jacqui says,”…although I was out of eggs, so I used 2 T of chia seeds mixed with 6 T of water as a replacement. Worked great!”

For a gluten-free option Lisa commented with this brilliance, “I make something similar to these and use masa harina instead of breadcrumbs for a gluten-free option… it definitely gives it a “southwestern” twist, and is SO delicious.”

Cooking Tips

If you’re nervous about the patties falling through grill grates, Judith says,”…my husband was in charge of the grill, started out on aluminum foil, we thought they might fall through the grates, he ended up putting them right on the grates (they firmed up while cooking on the foil for a bit) and they were wonderful!”


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Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Apples with Tofu

A Brussels sprout recipe for people who think they might not like them. Shredded Brussels sprout ribbons, apples, garlic, pine nuts, and tofu in a skillet with a hint of maple syrup.

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I bought a three-foot stretch of Brussels sprouts the other morning at the farmers’ market. For those of you who’ve never encountered the spectacle of Brussels sprouts still on the stalk, it is something to behold. A thick, stick-straight center stalk is punctuated by tight, green Brussels sprout pom-poms. It looks fantastically prehistoric. And while it doesn’t fit very nicely in my market basket, once I get it home the sprouts will keep nicely this way – seemingly longer than off the stalk.
Brussels Sprouts on Stalk
I buy sprouts on the stalk whenever I can, and typically get three or four sprout-centric meals out of each, breaking off the buds as needed. In this case I combined shredded Brussels sprout ribbons, apples, garlic, pine nuts, (and tofu if you like) in a skillet with a hint of maple syrup.
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Apples with Tofu
I know not all are Brussels sprout fans, but based on some of the emails you’ve passed along to me, this golden-crusted Brussels sprout recipe seems to be a well-received gateway recipe for people who thought they didn’t like Brussels sprouts, but really do. You could start there, and then make the jump to this recipe if you’re at all apprehensive. Or, I highlight a few other ideas down below….

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Homemade Pasta

Everything I know about making homemade pasta. Four ingredients! If you have flour, two eggs, a splash of olive oil, and a bit of salt, you can do it right now.

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Let’s make homemade pasta! If you have flour, two eggs, a splash of olive oil, and a bit of salt, you can do it right now. You don’t need special Italian pasta flours to make great homemade pasta, and you don’t need to worry if you don’t have a pasta maker. You can make pasta by hand with a basic rolling pin. I make pasta at home all the time, and this has become my go-to “everyday” recipe. It makes a wonderful, versatile dough that you can roll out into a range of noodles and shapes.

“How to Make Homemade Pasta

What you’ll find here is my basic pasta dough and process. The basics. Beyond that, I’m going to give you an earful. I’ll walk you through a number of variations and considerations down below. And I’ll include step-by-step pictures of the process of making pasta dough. You can do it by hand, with a stand maker, or with a pasta maker. Homemade pasta is absolutely one of my favorite things to make and I’m consolidating everything I’ve learned about it over the years into this one post along with links to my favorite resources. It’s an ongoing journey for me, so I’ll continue to update this. Enjoy and happy pasta making!

Homemade Pasta Equipment

Let’s start with equipment. I have opinions related to some of the pasta equipment out there and have purchased and used quite a range over the years. My takeaway? In the end, you don’t need much. Certainly not to get started. Start by making your pasta by hand first, and if you’re into it, buy an Marcato Atlas 150 hand-crank pasta maker. I’ve had mine for nearly twenty years, and with a little TLC it should last a lifetime. I make my pasta dough by hand, roll it out with the Atlas.

  • Rolling Pin: If you’re starting out and making pasta by hand, a rolling pin (and a sharp knife to cut the noodles) should do the job. In a pinch, if you’re short the rolling pin, a tall water bottle could do the trick.
  • Pasta Maker: My Atlas 150 pasta maker is a workhorse. You can collect different attachments over time to experiment with different pasta shapes. With a bit of practice it makes rolling pasta dough to uniform thickness a breeze. You’ll need a counter or tabletop to clamp it to. An alternative? A lot of people like to mix their dough in a stand mixer, and use the KitchenAid Pasta Roller & Cutter attachment to finish their pasta. I’ll cover how to use that down below as well.
  • Pasta Drying Racks: Let me be honest, I have a range of them. Rarely use any of them. If I want to save pasta for later I freeze it (details down below). I did buy a stack of these Eppicotispai drying racks, but use them for herbs and chiles more than anything else.
  • Beautiful Pasta Tools: I have a soft spot for beautiful pasta tools, and have assembled a bit of a collection. Some favorites are a traditional garganelli board, and I ask for a new LaGondola brass tool or pasta stamp each Christmas. My fantasy is that I will someday be able to use a mattarello to roll out a perfect sfoglia of uncut pasta. But my reality is that I love my Atlas, my sfolglia adventures are frustrating, and that’s where I’m at in my pasta journey.
  • Spray Bottle & Dough Scraper: I’ll put these two items in the bonus category. They’re nice to have, but not necessary. I like the spray bottle to control the amount of water in my pasta dough. You don’t want your dough to get too wet, the spray bottle allows you to mist it, if necessary, to add hydration a bit at a time. The dough scraper is great for cleaning flour off countertops, wrangling run-away liquids when they break through flour walls, and cutting dough into pieces.

Homemade Pasta Ingredients

  • Flour: You can make homemade pasta with many different flours. Experiment! It’s half the fun. When it comes to pasta I tend to think of flours on a spectrum of silky and fine to hearty and substantial. The type of flour you use will help dictate the personality and “grip” of your noodles, but the idea that you need super specific flours to start making wonderful, beautiful, delicious pasta is no good.
    • All-purpose Flour: There’s seems to be a stigma against using all-purpose flour for homemade pasta, but I actually think it’s a great place to start. Especially if that’s what you have in your pantry right this minute. You end up with silky smooth pasta noodles that I love a number of ways. I like to pair pasta made with all-purpose flour with super simple tomato sauce, drop them into a feisty broth, they’re also great as a curry component (cook them, drain, and ladle curry broth over them). And now that you have a baseline with the all-purpose flour, you can start experimenting by using different ratios of “00”, semolina, and/or whole grain flours. And you’ll notice the differences.
    • “00” flour: Powder-fine grind made with low gluten, soft wheat flour. This is what is used in most of the traditional egg pastas you encounter. It looks and almost feels like powdered sugar.
    • Whole Grain Flours: Each whole-grain flour has it’s own flavor, texture, protein profile, and personality. Play around, starting with a percentage of your overall flour. I generally experiment with flours that will develop gluten – rye, spelt, farro, kamut, or whole wheat. Try 1/2 cup, or if you’re feeling bolder, go for a full cup. The recipe below calls for 2 cups of flour, so that would be half of your overall flour. See how you like it, make notes, adjust. Repeat.
    • Semolina Flour: Made from durum wheat, a hard wheat, using semolina results in a stiffer pasta dough. I like this when I want my pasta to be more toothsome, textured, or more rustic. Track semolina flour down if you want to make the egg-free pasta dough (below). I’ve noticed the grinds can be subtly different between brands, for example Bob’s Red Mill Semolina is a bit sandier when compared to the more powdery Hayden Flour Mills Semolina. I’ve made delicious pasta with both, just note what you like so you can develop your own style and personal preference! When you increase the amount of semolina flour in your dough you’ll need to increase your cooking time.
  • Eggs: My basic, everyday pasta recipe (the one we’re working with today) calls for two eggs. I’ve made lots of pasta with a higher ratio of eggs, and I sometimes make pasta with no egg (see below) — I like two eggs. It lends little richness, color, elasticity and durability to the dough that I find makes the pasta quite versatile. Especially if I’m making a good amount of pasta for freezing later. Meaning, I’m not sure what sort of sauce or preparation I’ll do. Good quality eggs matter here.
  • Extra-virgin Olive Oil: Not everyone uses olive oil in their dough. I use a touch. I feel like it helps keep the dough hydrated, and helps facilitate smooth rolling through the pasta maker rollers if you’re going that route.
  • Fine-grain Sea Salt: You want to salt your pasta dough and your pasta water.

How to Make Pasta with No Eggs

I know a number of you will want to know how to make pasta with no eggs, or vegan pasta dough. No problem. I actually use a dough like this for one of my favorite pasta shapes – pici. You basically cut 1/4-inch strips of dough and roll out by hand. Eggless doughs like this aren’t typically used for pasta noodles like the other ones we’re primarily focusing on today, but for shapes like pici, cavatelli, trofie, and orecchiette. To make a pasta dough with no eggs: Combine 200g “00” flour, 200g semolina flour, 200g warm water, and 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt. Use these ingredients and proceed with the “How to Make Pasta By Hand” instructions in the recipe section below. There is also an egg free fresh pasta recipe in Rosetta Costantino’s My Calabria made with all-purpose flour.

How To Make Pasta Dough By Hand

This is covered in the recipe below, but I wanted to include some reference pictures and step-by-step information. Start by making a mound of the flour directly on the countertop. Make a deep crater in the top and add the eggs, olive oil, and salt.
“How to Make Homemade Pasta Dough
Use a fork to break up the eggs without breaking through the walls of your mound. You want to try to keep the eggs contained, but don’t worry if they break through – use a spatula or bench scraper to scoop them back in. Work more and more flour into the eggs a bit at a time. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of cold water across the mixture and keep mixing until you’ve got a dough coming together.
How to Make Homemade Pasta Dough
If you’re exclusively using all-purpose flour, you might not need more water. Some of the other flours are a bit thirstier, you can drizzle a bit more at time as you go if you feel like your dough is too dry. It should look like the pictures, you want to avoid having a wet dough. With some of the other flours I typically end up using 4-5 tablespoons of water total.
Homemade Pasta Dough Before Kneading
I’ve found that a spray bottle is my favorite way to add water to pasta dough without adding too much, but drizzling works too. Use your hands to bring the dough together into a bag and knead for 7-10 minutes, until the dough is silky smooth and elastic. You can see the difference in the doughs. The one pictured above hasn’t been kneaded yet, and the one below is pictured after kneading by hand for about ten minutes.
Homemade Pasta Dough After Kneading

How to Roll and Cut Fresh Pasta By Hand

To roll out pasta dough by hand, make sure your dough is at room temperature. Cut the dough into four equal pieces. Choose one piece to work with, and immediately wrap the rest so they don’t dry out. You’ll need a floured surface, and you’ll want to keep the pasta floured a bit as well, so it doesn’t stick to itself. If the dough is sticking rub with a bit more flour. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to your desired thickness. I tend to go thinner than I think I’ll want because the pasta swells a bit as it cooks. Once you’ve rolled the dough out flat, to cut the dough into fettuccine (or whatever width you like), loosely fold/roll the dough into a cylinder, and cut with a sharp knife.

Transfer the cut pasta to a floured baking sheet, swirled into little nests. Repeat with the remaining dough.

How To Roll Out Pasta with A Pasta Maker

Sprinkle a baking sheet generously with flour and aside. When you’re ready to roll out the pasta, make sure your dough is at room temperature. Cut it into six equal wedges, and squish one of them flat-ish with your fingers. Re-wrap the remaining dough immediately so it doesn’t dry out.
Homemade Pasta Dough Cut into Wedges
Feed your flattened wedge though the pasta make on its widest setting. Run it though 2 or 3 times. You want to get it into a rectangular shape if possible, so at this point fold the dough in thirds so you have a rectangle. Feed it though the pasta maker 2-3 more times on the widest setting.
Pasta Sheet Rolled to 4 on Pasta Maker
Continue to feed the pasta dough through the pasta maker, decreasing the width as you go. I run the pasta through a 2-3 times on each width, and dust with a bit of flour on both sides if I’m getting any sticking. The pasta you see pictured here (above and below) was rolled out to 4 on my Atlas 150.
Homemade Pasta Fettuccine
Once your pasta sheet is ready, attach whatever cutter attachment you like, feed the pasta through as you steadily crank. Avoid stopping once you start, and crank steadily. Transfer the cut pasta to a floured baking sheet, swirled into little nests. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Homemade Pasta Shaped into a Nest

How To Make Pasta In A Stand Mixer

First, make the dough. Add the flour, eggs, olive oil, salt and 2 tablespoons of water to the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the dough hook to knead on medium speed for 6-7 minutes. You’ll likely need to add more water, a small splash at a time, just until the dough comes together, you want to avoid an over-wet or sticky dough. See the pictures up above. Mix until the dough looks silky, elastic, and smooth.

Form the dough into a ball and place in a plastic bag. Alternately, you can wrap in plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Use Immediately, or refrigerate for up to a day. You might be able to get away with two days, but the dough will start to discolor.

When you’re ready to roll out the pasta, the method is basically an automated version of the hand-cranked traditional pasta maker. Connect the pasta roller attachment to your mixer, and set the adjustment width to its widest setting.

Feed the pasta through a few times at each width, decreasing the width until the pasta reaches your desired thickness. You’ll want to pat the pasta with a bit of flour now and then as you’re working through the thicknesses to avoid any stickiness. And if your pasta is getting too wide, simply fold it in half or thirds and start over at the widest setting again.

Once you have your pasta sheet, swap out the roller attachment for the cutter attachment and feed the dough through the cutter. Transfer the cut pasta to a floured baking sheet, swirled into little nests. Repeat with the remaining dough.
How to Make Homemade Pasta

How to Cook Homemade Pasta

When you’re ready to cook the pasta do it in a large pot of well-salted water. Depending on the thickness and shape of your pasta, this might just take a minute or so. Pasta made with a high percentage of semolina flour or whole-grain flours will take a bit longer to cook than pasta made with “00” flour. Reserve a cup or two of the pasta water (in case you want to use it for a sauce), drain the pasta, and use immediately.

How To Take Care of Your Pasta Maker

With a bit of care, your pasta tools should last a lifetime, your pasta maker in particular! I use a pastry brush to dust any flour and dough off my pasta maker ofter each use. It allows me to get into all the creases, seams, and crevices. A slightly damp cloth can help any stubborn spots, but be sure to dry completely before storing. Same goes for any of my wood handled brass stamps and cutters.

How to Freeze Homemade Pasta

Freezing is my preferred method of storing any homemade pasta I’m not using immediately. Arrange freshly made, uncooked pasta across a floured baking sheet. If you’re working with shapes like trofie, garganelli, raviolis, cavatelli, etc. – make sure they’re in a single layer. For longer noodles, fettuccine, pici, spaghetti, etc. – arrange them into nests. Freeze for a couple of hours, and then transfer to double layer plastic bags. You can freeze for up to a couple of months. And you can cook straight from the freezer. No need to thaw, just dump the pasta into boiling salted water, and increase the cooking time a bit.

Cookbooks with Great Information on Making Pasta

I thought I’d list off a few books in my collection that have good chapters or sections about making homemade pasta or inspiration for what you might make with it. I’m sure Im missing a lot (apologies in advance), so if you have a favorite please list in the comments!

Recipes to Make with Fresh Pasta

A few favorite recipes that really sing when you use fresh pasta.

Variations on the Basic Pasta Recipe

Simple Beet Fettuccine: An easy way to make flavor variations is to swap out the water in your pasta recipe with vegetable juice. I love this beet juice-spiked fettuccine, the beets lend a beautiful pink color, and you can play around with how pale or saturated your noodles are by adding more or less beet juice.
Homemade pasta Beet Fettuccine
You can, of course, substitute other liquids, or use yellow (or orange) beets. If you have success with these noodles, use the recipe as a jumping off point for other flavors. The ratio of eggs to flour in this recipe is slightly different – you can use that, or the one I’m highlighting here. The ideas is the same, swap in strong juice for water in the recipe.

Cavatelli Recipe

Cavatelli: Simple, homemade cavatelli pasta is one of the most fun shapes to make. You can use a basic dough, or do something more along the lines of what is pictured here. Cavatelli spiked with turmeric and black pepper, and topped with roasted winter vegetables and Parmesan. I use a special cavatelli machine to crank out the shapes pictured in short order, but it is also possible to shape them without special equipment. 

“Homemade Pasta Rye Noodles
Rye Pasta: And here’s and example of a rye pasta I did a few years back. It’s a nice option for the colder months, it freezes well (so I can make a lot in one go), and you can drop tangles of the noodles into a range of restorative broths.

Shape: Play around with different shapes! You could make pasta ever day for a year, and never have to repeat.
How to Make Homemade Pasta
I hope this post has been helpful! Making fresh pasta at home is a simple pleasure that everyone can enjoy whether you’re 8 or 88! xx, -h

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Spaghetti with No-Cook Sauce

A tangle of spaghetti, olives, nuts, vegetables, and torn mozzarella in a no-cook, lemon-zested tomato sauce. A recipe for a hot night when tomato season is at its peak.

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You can tell by the streak of tomato recipes here lately, I’m in the thick of it. And today is no exception. I made this for dinner last night, and if you have a box of spaghetti and some good tomatoes you’re half way there. What you see is a tangle of spaghetti, olives, nuts, vegetables, and torn mozzarella in a no-cook, lemon-zested tomato sauce. It’s bright, summery, colorful food, easy to adapt based on what you have on hand. The key? Make it on an extra hot night when tomato season is at its maximum. And don’t even mess around if your tomatoes aren’t on point.

Spaghetti with No-Cook Sauce

So Many Variations!

This is a quintessential pantry meal. I added olives, pine nuts, and a bit of cheese to the base ingredients of spaghetti and tomatoes, but you can experiment with endless other directions. I love the pine nut component here, but toasted almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, or cashew would all be great. You could do a spicy version by adding a dollop of harissa to the sauce, or some chile flakes, or a tablespoon of toasted sesame chile oil. On the vegetable front, you see string beans pictured (because that’s whats coming out of my garden right now), but load up on anything from broccoli and cauliflower florets, or asparagus – basically, any quick cooking veg that you can throw in the pasta water at the last minute.

Tomatoes from the Garden

The Spaghetti

Use your favorite spaghetti noodle here. I love a traditional spaghetti noodle, don’t get me wrong, but one of the big surprises to me over the past few years is how good some of the whole grain and pulse-based pastas are. There is a wide range of brands around, so you’ll need to experiment. My advice on this front is to “date around” until you find a few brands and shapes you like. For day to day pasta eating when you compare nutritional labels, the noodles made with more whole ingredients can deliver significantly more vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and the like. So it’s worth it to play around.
Spaghetti with No-Cook Sauce
If you’re looking for more tomato-centric recipes — I posted this tomato tart recently. Try a fresh version of this tomato sauce. Make this favorite salsa. Or add them into a summery coleslaw. And you can never go wrong with gnocchi or classic bruschetta. If you’re just looking for summery favorites, try this Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad, this Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream, or this Zucchini Bread.

And if you’re looking for a real treat, make this with homemade pasta. It’s incredible.Enjoy!

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A Favorite Rice Noodle Stir Fry to Make with Whatever Green Veg you Have

A favorite noodle-based stir fry with silky rice noodles, bright and crunchy broccoli, toasted cashews, quick-marinated crumbled tofu, and pan-seared onions tossed in a feisty chile-boosted soy sauce.

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If you messaged me this week after I posted a badly lit photo of an exceptionally tasty stir fry on Instagram, this is 100% for you!  It’s the kind of stir fry I pull together often, a catch-all of things needing to be used up. You’ve got silky rice noodles, bright and crunchy broccoli, toasted cashews, quick-marinated crumbled tofu, and pan-seared onions tossed in a feisty chile-boosted soy sauce. I added mushrooms the second time I made it (for these photos), but you don’t have to. I used broccoli, but you can use asparagus, shredded brussels sprouts or kale. I’ll talk more about that down below. I definitely tend to do that thing you’re not supposed to do here – overload the pan- but it’s the kind of one-pan meal I love. Enjoy!

A Fave Rice Noodle Stir Fry Recipe
A couple things before we get to the recipe. If you make a lot of stir fries, consider investing in a wok. The cast iron wok I bought with Grace Young from The Wok Shop in San Francisco years ago is one of my prized cooking vessels (this is the one). It’s the kind Cantonese home cooks swear by to impart the coveted taste of wok hay. I’m not saying I’m there yet, but I aspire. And if you don’t have a wok, don’t let it deter you – grab your largest skillet and use it for your stir fry.
A Fave Rice Noodle Stir Fry with Whatever Green Veg you Have on Hand

A Few Stir Fry Variations

I’ll put most of this in headnotes of the recipe as well.

Green Vegetables: I’m writing this recipe up using broccoli as the green vegetable here, but you have lots of other options. Use an equivalent amount of asparagus (1 1/2-inch segments), or 4-5 big handfuls of , chopped kale, pre-cooked artichoke hearts are fair game, or peas, (or pea shoots!). You see where I’m heading? This is all really adaptable based on what you have on hand.

Make it a Little Creamy: A splash of coconut milk toward the end is nice.

Citrus is Good: One of my favorite finishing touches here is to throw something citrusy in at the end. I have a market lime tree on the patio, so I often sliver a couple leaves razor thin and add them at the end. Lemon zest, Meyer lemon zest, and/or orange zest is equally welcome here. Totally not necessary, but it really is a nice touch.

A Fave Rice Noodle Stir Fry Recipe

Boil versus Soaking the Noodles

I’m having you boil the noodles here to get them just the right amount of tender. It’s what I did to get dinner on the table quickly the other night, and works great. The common alternative is to soak them, but there is such a wide range of noodles out there, and I’m sure you’ll all use quite a range of them, so I think boiling them is the safest bet for consistency across the board. Depending on the noodles, sometimes the soak technique doesn’t work, and you end up boiling them anyway.

Recipe Journal Entry of a Stir Fry with Handwriting and Photo
Here’s the photo I posted taped in my recipe journal along with notes about how to make it after dinner the other night. I do this when I want to remember something I liked so I can make it again at some point. You can see the size of the noodles I used (left-hand page), and I also like to leave “next time” notes to myself (down in the corner) – ways to tweak, flavors or ingredients to add or explore, etc. Enjoy!

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