Pasta is usually made by mixing flour with water or eggs and shaping the resulting dough into noodles by flattening it and cutting it. Pasta is traditionally made using semolina flour, which is made from ground hearts of durum wheat.
The amount of liquid required to make pasta varies depending on the desired texture of the noodles and on the type of flour that is used. Pasta dough should be moist enough to hold its shape while being flattened, but not too wet that it is sticky. SeriousEats.com recommends using 1 whole egg plus 2 egg yolks for every 5 ounces of all-purpose wheat flour.
Some cooks choose to add finely minced vegetables such as spinach or tomato to the dough. This helps add flavor and color to the finished pasta. It is also possible to add herbs and spices such as garlic, basil or parsley. Kneading the dough properly until it forms a smooth ball is an important step in the pasta-making process because it develops the wheat gluten, allowing the pasta to bind and hold its shape. Over-kneading the dough may result in tough pasta.
Homemade or fresh pasta may be cooked as soon as it is shaped into noodles. Store-bought dry pasta is dried in a chamber that circulates hot air over the course of several hours.