All of the restaurants are closed, and maybe you’ve stocked up on pantry staples, like dried pasta. While dried pasta is excellent in a pinch, now is the perfect time to start making your own pasta. That’s right, you can and should make your own pasta. It’s what I’ve been doing to pass the time, and hopefully, when this is all over, I’ll be an expert. Making the dough is super easy, all you need to do is beat together 2 cups of flour, 3 egg yolks, and 2 eggs and knead until combined. But once you’ve got your dough, the real fun starts. There are so many pasta shapes to make, one’s I’d never heard of that are absolutely delicious. Besides flour and eggs, here’s what you need to become a pastaio from the comfort of your home.
You need a nice, sturdy, workspace for kneading and rolling out your dough. I recommend getting a butcher’s block from Made In for this (among other things). Since it’s so thick, it won’t slide or glide around as you knead, and the wood is great for dusting with flour so your dough won’t over moisten in your hands.
The original way to roll out your dough is with a rolling pin. This set is great, since it’ll help you see when the dough is at ¼ of an inch thick, which is where it needs to be for shapes like cavatelli and orecchiette. This also works in tandem with a pasta extruder if you decide to go that route, so you can get your dough in the right shape before laminating.
You don’t need this to make pasta, but it’s really helpful. It flattens the dough out incrementally until it’s thin enough to form into shapes. This extruder also comes with an extension that lets you make spaghetti in a breeze, too. It also comes with a drying rack, which you’ll need to use once you’ve formed your pasta into shapes.
Global Chef’s Knife
Once you’ve gotten your pasta into a thin sheet, you need to cut it. The type of cut you’ll do depends on the shape you’re planning to make, but whatever that is, you’ll want an excellent knife. The Global Chef’s Knife is a great addition to any kitchen and will treat your hand kneaded dough with the respect it deserves.
I actually just ordered this. I’ve been using a knife for a while now, and while you still need one for certain shapes, like cavatelli and fusilli, a pasta wheel will exact your practice. Instead of misshapen squares and rectangles, this will ensure your cuts are precise so your shapes can be too. It also has two different kinds of cuts, a smooth wheel for shapes like penne or rigatoni, and a festooned wheel so you can give your ravioli or farfalle that serrated look.
Ever wonder how penne and cavatelli get their ridges? The answer is a garganelli board, which has ridges so it gives your pasta a perfect texture. It also comes with a little dowel so you can roll penne up into a tube and across the board so it gets the exact right shape and texture.
Even with the proper basic tools, getting the perfect formula for delish ravioli can still be tricky. Make sure nothing goes wrong with this ravioli mold. All you need to do is layer a pasta sheet over it, put in your filling, and layer another pasta sheet on top. You’ll get congruent little squares every time.
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