Reinventing the Wheel

Using a pastry wheel is a great way to cut your fresh pasta, and something that will open a window for much pasta creativity, if you wonder what will be the right wheel to cut fresh pasta, well there are many options, here are some that I found most useful.

For many years I used to make pasta with a pasta maker only, I never had a pastry wheel in my kitchen even,  and when I finally got one I didn’t think much of it at first. One day I remember, I was going to make angle hair spaghetti and I realized that running the dough through the pasta maker on such a low thickness level really makes the dough very long, perhaps too long to handle, so I used the pastry wheel to cut it in half (which resulted with perfect angle hair pasta length), quickly I found myself playing with the pastry wheel cutting different shape of pasta, and what was planed to be an angle hair spaghetti ended up being something much more interesting and creative Continue reading

Pasta Bike

The way you ride (cut) your pasta says a lot about who you are, The pasta bike will give your fresh pasta the style flavor and cut you often see in restaurants. now you too can give your pasta a stylish cut.

Many people ask me whats the best way to cut fresh pasta dough, the truth is that there is no one way, as there are so many pasta styles out there, some people like to cut their pasta with a pasta bike, some like to use a pastry wheel and some like to use the pasta bike.

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Keep On Rolling

Rolling pin

Rolling pin

When making fresh pasta dough, just like in any other dough, a rolling pin may play a crucial part, while you can’t really go wrong with a rolling pin, there are certainly ways you can get better when you use the right one.

I already have a food process – I don’t need a rolling pin.

Even if you are using a food processor to make your dough, you still need to work it out for a few min with a rolling pin (or by hand), this will inject more air into your dough and will give your pasta a lighter feel, rather than a condensed and heavier texture which you normally get with mass produced pasta.

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Fresh Pasta Recipe

Good dough is the first step in making any fresh pasta. after many experiments and research, I am happy to reveal the best pasta dough recipe I found. This is a simple formula but there are crucial parts in order to get make it successfully.

The ingredient for making fresh pasta dough are very basic, as pasta is a simple dish yet a very versatile one. all it takes to make fresh pasta is eggs, flour, salt and olive oil.

Warning: Not all eggs are created equal!

Eggs: If you made fresh pasta before you already know that not all eggs are created equal, and when it comes to pasta if your eggs are not as flavorful you’ll most likely need to come up with a different strategy. First you’ll need to identify the quality of your eggs. This is the pasta maker official take on eggs in one word: FRESH. what makes a good egg is its freshness and where it came from, make sure you are using organic or at least cage free eggs, if you can get eggs directly from a chicken you know and trust that is the best you can do, but like most of us you’ll have to compromise on using fresh (check the date) organic egg.

Half & Half

Flour: You can use regular all purpose flour, though to maximize the flavor I recommend using a mix of semolina and all purpose flour. The core formula is actually very simple, for what ever amount you are making use half semolina and half all purpose flour.

This is pretty much it to know about the ingredients, as for the equipment, you can use the old school technique of making a mountain of flour on a big table and slowly mixing the eggs in, but to be honest with you even the oldest grandmother had already switched to something more advance – using a food processor. While you will finish your dough with a good hand job with a rolling pin, using the food processor will save you around 15-20 min of hard work. any food processor with a dough hook will do the work, If you do not have a food processor I recommend looking into getting the kitchenaid one, I find it to be an amazing food processor which does great work making doughs not only for pasta but for breads and many other type of pastries.

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Pasta Col Cavolofiore

Cauliflower is a key ingredient in Italian cooking, and though most people know if from different antipasti combinations, this dish will prove you that it is also on the pro-pasta agenda. Like many other pastas it is simple and easy to make yet its flavor goes a long way. I specially like the combination of the cauliflower with the anchovies. It is a great summer pasta but you can also serve it in winter, you just can’t really go wrong with it. it will go well with both red or white wine. I love how this dish capture a lot of somewhat complex flavors in such a simple way. it is another pasta classic in the making! Continue reading

Beyond Pasta

Discover the world of flavor beyond the traditional pasta shapes. with fresh gnocchi and cavatelli, you basically expend your pasta world into an area where many advance flavors and cuts. the beauty of fresh pasta appear just when you think you had enough of it, this is when you discover that there are other types of pasta you have not even had a chance to try. if you have a family this gets even better, I can tell you from my own experience that kids love surprises when it comes to pasta.

Two of the most famous edition of fresh pasta are the gnocchi (pronounced nee-yo-kee) and cavatelli, they are both very easy to make, and perhaps even more accessible since you don’t really need a pasta maker or a food processor to make them. here is one of my favorite potato gnocchi recipe. one thing that I would recommend if you are new to the world of gnocchi and cavatelli (or want to step up your game here) is using cavatelli maker, you can make gnocchi by hand, but in order to get nicer round shapes this machine will make your life much easier. Continue reading

Pasta Tripod

Using a pasta drying rack is something that will help you take your home made pasta making to the next level, and help you avoid having your fresh pasta stick and had to be redone, drying your pasta right is a very important part of making pasta at home. If you made fresh pasta at home before you already know how crucial it is to let your pasta dry in the right way other wise your freshly cut pasta will dry on top of each other and stick back into another form of dough.

I used to dry my pasta on a traditional pasta drying rack made from wood, which is the way pasta had been dried for many generations in my family, and indeed I find nothing wrong with using this method, until a friend of mine gave a gift  the Marcato Atlas Pasta Drying Rack, which comes from another family who been making fresh pasta for many generations (perhaps even longer than my heritage :)), at first this looked to me like some kind of a toy I do not need in my kitchen, when I opened the packaged the thing looked like a tripod, a pasta tripod, I wasn’t sure if this is the right pasta gadget for me. Then one day I was invited to make fresh pasta at another friend kitchen where he also had the same fancy pasta drying rack, that was the night everything changed. Continue reading

Pasta Pot

There are two types of pasta pots which are used for two different things, one to cook the pasta and one to make the sauce, for the pasta pot you want a nice 8 quart pot that will hold the temperature when you drop the pasta in, so just to get the definition right, the pan that you’ll be cooking the pasta sauce in is not a pasta pot, this may be any  french skillet or  saute pan, when we are talking about pasta pan, we are talking about the pan you’ll be cooking your pasta in, but before we get in to the pan, there is one more thing you need to know which is crucial when it comes to making fresh pasta, There are two ways which most people get the pasta out of the pan, but only one of them is the right way to make fresh pasta. Continue reading

The Pasta Library

Mastering the art of fresh pasta, may not be an easy tast, but it is certainly an enjoyable one or at least tasty in my case, many readers ask me if there is a book which I recommend for people who wants to get started with fresh pasta (aside to the official pasta maker book which you can get on the top of this page)

Here are some of the books I encountered on my journey to the best pasta recipe. Continue reading

The Best Pasta Maker

What’s the best pasta maker for home use? Like in anything else its pretty much up to your standard, I love using the marcato pasta maker, the same machine which been used by my mother and grandmother.

Getting a pasta maker is the first step you’ll take in to the world of home made fresh past. If making fresh pasta is new to you, Like many people who write me with the ultimate question “I want to make fresh pasta at home, which pasta maker should I get?“, well as usual there is not just one answer. as I mention earlier I been using the marcato pasta maker 180 which is very similar to the Marcato 150 – the more popular model. Here are some of the thoughts which led me to buy the marcato pasta maker rather than other pasta machine out there. Continue reading

Fresh Pasta DIY

Fresh Pasta DIY, Master the secrets of making fresh pasta at home, with this simple yet sophisticated formula for fresh pasta recipe. Warning: this is a great pasta once you had it, you can’t really go back!
Making fresh pasta at home is an easy and fun thing, but there are a few things you got to get right, first being your pasta dough, at this point when you have your dough ready to be made into pasta you basicly have two options:

  • You can flat it with a rolling pin and cut it, something which will take much effort and will be very challenging to get a consistence level of thickness.
  • You can roll out your pasta maker, set it up to the desire thickness and cut it to your favorite shape (Note: if you don’t have a pasta maker already, read this post first and get one)

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Salad Spinner

Drying herbs is a crucial steps in any any recipe, if you chop your herbs when they are wet, the result will be a muddy mix of your produce, therefor a salad spinner is one of the best ways to get your herbs and garnish dry and ready to be chopped.

Yes, this may seem as a unrelated topic, but a salad spinner is sometime crucial for making fresh pasta at home, garnishing is one of the most important things when it comes to fresh pasta, and good garnish could only be done with dry herbs.

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