Making Pasta From Scratch

Making Pasta From Scratch

There are dozens of types or dried pastas available, in a bunch of different flavors and colors, in fact the grocery store has devoted a whole aisle just to pasta, so why bother making your own anymore.  Store bought pasta is the epitome of convenience, it stores forever and takes less than a half an hour to put a meal on the table.  Why would anyone go through the trouble of making pasta from scratch?  For a bunch of reasons and here are some of them.

The Ingredients

One of the biggest reasons to make your own pasta is because you know what is in it.  There are no preservatives or chemicals like you would find in store bought pastas, even the “fresh” pastas can have preservatives.  You can use whatever you like for fillings and sauces, for instance you can use fresh spinach and good cheese if you make your own ravioli.  Homemade pasta is easier than you think!

Do you need a Pasta Machine?

Not necessarily, however it will make your life a whole lot easier.  You can make the dough yourself and cut it on a board, but a pasta machine will take care of all that for you.  Your dough also ends up with the perfect consistency and the right thickness.  Once you have prepared the dough it will need to be rolled out and cut to whatever shape you choose.  With a pasta maker all of this is much easier to do, and you can have some fun experimenting.  Here is Gordon Ramsay showing you how to make pasta from scratch.

Which Pasta Machine is Best?

That really depends on how much you are going to be using it and how creative you want to get.  The basic hand crank machine is fairly cheap and it has been making pasta in Italian homes for centuries.  They are easy to use but the drawback is that you don’t have that many options as far as shapes go.  A basic unit will crank out spaghetti and linguine and that’s it.  If you look at the next model up it will have more attachments to make some different style noodles.  If all you ever cook is spaghetti you’ll be fine but if you want more then you will need a better machine.

An electric pasta maker does most of the work for you, including kneading the dough.  It also comes with a bunch of attachments for different cuts of pasta, but many chefs consider the pasta to be nowhere near as good as that made with a crank machine.  Electric machines are going to be pricier, but fresh pasta is expensive so you can recover your costs fairly quickly.

Even if you never invest in a pasta machine and just make some dough that you roll out by hand it is worth the time and effort to try fresh homemade pasta.  Pasta is one of the most versatile foods in the world and you can create a meal that works with any diet restrictions there is.  There are thousands of homemade pasta recipes for you to try.