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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: This Farfalle Pasta Recipe will give you butterfly-shaped pasta that has the perfect crevices and fluted edges to scoop up every bite of a sauce or the ingredients of a pasta salad. You can toss it with a rainbow of veggies for a colorful dish, or mix it with a creamy Alfredo. Plus farfalle is pretty, and kids love the whimsical shape. Made from scratch from eggless semolina dough, homemade Farfalle pasta is surprisingly easy to make, and it’s the perfect cooking activity to enjoy with the whole family.
This Farfalle Pasta Recipe is made from my master Semolina Pasta Recipe. I can’t wait to share each variation with you, such as Orecchiette Pasta Recipe, Malloreddus Pasta Recipe (Gnocchetti Sardi), Cavatelli Pasta Recipe, Busiate Pasta Recipe, Olive Leaf Pasta Recipe (Foglie d’Ulivo), Rigatoni Pasta Recipe, and Penne Pasta Recipe.
Table of Contents
- What is Farfalle Pasta?
- Tools You Need for Farfalle Pasta
- Key Ingredients and Why
- How to Make Farfalle Pasta
- Can I Make Farfalle Pasta in Advance?
- How to Dry Fresh Pasta Correctly at Home
- How to Store Farfalle Pasta
- Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- Italian Dessert Recipes
What is Farfalle Pasta?
- Farfalle is a butterfly or bowtie-shaped pasta with fluted edges. Farfalle is Italian for butterflies.
- Farfalle might have a fun and trendy look, but it’s actually one of the oldest pasta shapes! It originated in Lombardy and Emilia-Regina in Northern Italy in the 1600s. According to legend, housewives shaped farfalle from dough leftover from making filled pasta.
- This pasta is often served with seafood: try it with oil, garlic, arugula, and small calamari.
Tools You Need for Farfalle Pasta
- Food processor or bowl
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Pasta maker (optional)
- Pizza cutter
- Fluted pastry cutter
- Baking tray
Key Ingredients and Why
- Semolina flour
- Semolina flour is made from hard durum wheat, the species of wheat used to make pasta.
- This high gluten, high protein (13%) content gives semolina flour more durability and elasticity. That helps the pasta keep its shape while cooking and gives your pasta that wonderful al dente texture.
- It has a coarse, grainy texture, and is pale yellow in color from the carotenoids, the natural pigment found in durum wheat as well as in carrots and sweet potatoes.
How to Make Farfalle Pasta
- Make the dough from my 2-Ingredient Semolina Pasta Recipe.
- To shape the Farfalle Pasta:
- Divide the dough into quarters and work with one section at a time. Cover the rest of the dough so it doesn’t dry out.
- Working with one section at a time, pass through a pasta maker to #6, or the second from the thinnest setting. If you don’t have a pasta maker, roll out the dough as thin as you can.
- With a pizza cutter, cut the dough lengthwise into 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) strips.
- Use a fluted pastry wheel to cut the strip into 2-inch (5 cm) rectangles.
- Pick up a rectangular piece of dough, and hold it by the long sides between your thumb and index finger. Pinch the center together, then fold the outer edges in the opposite direction to create an accordion fold in the center.
- Air-dry the pasta completely for 12-24 hours, to ensure the pasta keeps its shape while cooking.
- Cook your pasta in salt water (for flavor and to prevent it from sticking) in a large pot for 6 to 10 minutes. Drain and serve.
Can I Make Farfalle Pasta in Advance?
After the farfalle is completely air-dried, store at room temperature in an airtight container for eight weeks.
How to Dry Fresh Pasta Correctly at Home
- Dry homemade pasta correctly and thoroughly before storing it away. This is a very important step: if not done correctly the stored pasta will go moldy.
- Because it will be held at room temperature and not in the fridge, removing all the moisture is critical to ensuring the safety and longevity of your pasta.
- Start by tossing the farfalle with a small amount of semolina to keep the dough from sticking.
- Next, lay the pasta in a single layer on a baking sheet. You will need to let your pasta completely air-dry.
- This can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours or longer, depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen.
- In hot countries, this step can be faster by putting the pasta in the sun, which is what I do.
How to Store Farfalle Pasta
- Store leftover cooked farfalle in the refrigerator for up to three days. Drizzle a little olive oil on the pasta to keep it from sticking.
- Or dry the dough in a single layer on the baking tray for several hours before transferring to an airtight container to be stored at room temperature for up to 8 weeks.
- Alternatively, freeze raw fresh semolina pasta for up to eight weeks.
Can I make this pasta without a pasta maker?
Yes, you can. Roll the pasta sheets by hand if you don’t have a pasta maker but be sure to roll the dough as thin as you possibly can.
Can I cook the pasta without drying it first?
You must dry pasta so it keeps its shape while cooking. Additionally, it might be sticky if you try to boil it without drying it first.
Can I use my food dehydrator to dry my farfalle?
Homemade farfalle pasta is generally air-dried, however, you should be able to dry pasta in a single layer in an oven or dehydrator at 135°F for about four hours, checking it at two hours to test it. The timing depends on the thickness of the pasta.
How will I know if my farfalle is properly cooked?
Cook the pasta until plump and expanded, and the center no longer looks chalky or raw.
What are the most popular farfalle dishes?
- Farfalle with Pesto: Richly-flavored, gorgeously green sauce clings beautifully to farfalle.
- Pasta Freda (Cold Pasta Salad): In Italy, farfalle is often tossed with cheery tomato, mozzarella, olives, and basil.
- Farfalle with Aurora Sauce: This creamy tomato sauce is named Aurora because of its rosy, sunrise hue.
- Farfalle with Peas and Parmesan: Kids love this straightforward and tasty presentation.
- Farfalle with Salmon and Cream Sauce: This simple but elegant blend of salmon, cream, onion, and white wine is one of the most popular Italian farfalle dishes.
- Vegetable Primavera: Use your favorite veggies: asparagus, zucchni, tomato, and yellow squash are all great choices.
- Farfalle Bolognase: The famous rich meal sauce is from Bologna in Emilia-Regina, just like farfalle.
- Farfalle with Shrimp: Seafood is a favorite match for farfalle.
- Farfalle Alfredo: Add chicken and veggies to this indulgent, velvety sauce.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- Make the dough from my 2-Ingredient Semolina Pasta Recipe.
- This dough dries out quite easily so be sure to always keep the dough covered in an airtight container (or in plastic wrap) when you are not working with it.
- You can roll the pasta sheets by hand if you don’t have a pasta maker but be sure to roll the dough as thin as you possibly can.
- This pasta must dry completely before cooking for it to retain its shape.
- Even if thoroughly dried, this pasta must be stored in the refrigerator and cooked within two days.
- Store-bought fresh pasta often cooks in a few minutes but this heartier handmade version can take longer. Be sure to cook thoroughly!
- Pair this pasta with Roasted Garlic and Herb Compound Butter, Blue Cheese Compound Butter, or Sun-Dried Tomato Compound Butter, you’ll be grand!
Italian Dessert Recipes
Farfalle Pasta Recipe (How to Make Farfalle Pasta)
- 1 recipe 2 ingredient Homemade Pasta Dough
- Divide your 2 ingredient Homemade Pasta dough into quarters and work with one portion at a time, leaving the rest covered to keep it from drying out.
- Working with one piece at a time, roll through a pasta roller to #6 or the second from the thinnest setting.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 1½ inch (4cm) wide lengthwise strips.
- Using a fluted pastry cutter, cut each strip into 2 inch (5 cm) long rectangles.
- Holding a rectangle by the straight edges, pinch the center together, then fold the outer edges in the opposite direction to create an accordion fold in the center. The shape should look like a bowtie with zigzag ends from the fluted cutter.
- Give the center fold a firm pinch to keep it together, then transfer to a baking tray dusted with semolina to dry while you shape the remaining dough.
- Allow the dough to dry in a single layer on the baking tray for several hours to dry before cooking or transferring to an airtight container to be stored at room temperature for up to 8 weeks. (See my note above on ‘How to Dry Pasta Correctly at Home’)
- When ready to cook, bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender and fully cooked through, about 6-10 minutes. Cook time depends on thickness and shape so check for doneness before removing from the pot.