Roll Your Own Pasta
Photo/Felix Man/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

If you love eating pasta at home, it’s time to think outside the box. Put the dried stuff aside. Grab some good flour and eggs. Skip paying $25 in a fine Italian restaurant. Make it fresh. Impress friends with the classic uovo in raviolo, a single, large ravioli filled with ricotta and an egg yolk. Internet recipes abound.

“If you’re making a small amount, it’s easy to mix by hand,” says cigar-loving, James Beard Award-winning chef Marc Vetri, author of Mastering Pasta. “Fresh pasta is customizable, supple, rich, flavorful and melts in your mouth.” After making the dough, Vetri suggests using a pasta rolling machine. 

Instead of a rolling pin, a hand-cranked machine more quickly and evenly passes the dough between roller bars, getting thinner with each click of the dial on the side. Make many shapes—fettucine, lasagna, linguine—or remember what Sophia Loren said: “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”  

Some call the manual Marcato Atlas 150 the Ferrari of pasta rollers ($81). The Imperia model 150 ($60) is similar, but not as dear. Both have cutters for spaghetti and fettucine. A motor attachment is $100-ish. The five-piece CucinaPro Pasta Maker Deluxe, a best-seller at $47, includes a ravioli attachment.

Making lots of pasta? Your may consider going motorized. The Imperia Pasta Presto Non-stick Machine ($380) has two cutters and turns out a lot of pasta fairly quickly, while freeing up your hands. If you already have a KitchenAid stand mixer, try the roller attachments ($159 or less). KitchenAid also has a pasta extruder ($139) making six different shapes, though it really needs more pressure to hold the shapes. Use only water and semolina flour here. 

Fresh pasta cooks quickly, but is never really al dente. Finish it in the sauce, but don’t drown it. Fresh pasta freezes well, so make a lot and always have some ready to go. Mangia bene!

Gourmet

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