It all started a bunch of years ago when I boldly ventured into a cook shop and laid out fifty bucks for a pasta machine having barely enough room in my apartment for storing winter socks in summer let alone a pasta machine year-round. I was bet ten more bucks that I'd never use it. Unlike most kitchen gadgets purchased on a whim, this one gets used so I won the bet.
A few years later, in culinary school, I got to play with a professional-sized one that would crank out 8.5-inch wide sheets of pasta with the turn of the wrist. Maxwell and I were making our own pasta at least once a week during that time because I was so jazzed. Then there was the summer time my friend Amy and I were riffing off Mario Batali's Goat Cheese Tortelloni with Dried Orange and Fennel Pollen just about every weekend when we'd cook for friends in a big old barn.
This is just to say that you can and should make your own pasta and you might even get as excited about it as I still get. Just this weekend Ursula and I made orecchiette together (see photo above) and that shape, along with many others, doesn't even require a pasta machine. All you need is a strong arm.
Homemade pasta is a totally different creature from dried, or even fresh store-bought pasta.
To get you started on a egg-based pasta dough, which is pretty darn easy, check out Emma's big pasta post.Recipe: Raw Kale & Pig Cheek Salad, You Know You Want It