On Making Your Own Pasta

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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.

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Emma, one of our writers, declared that at the top of her list of New Year's resolutions was a promise to make pasta. I loved watching her go through the process. Here are the results. I think she's caught the bug.

To get you started on a egg-based pasta dough, which is pretty darn easy, check out Emma's big pasta post.

More on fresh pasta:
Best Pasta Roller?
Choosing a Pasta Maker
Word of Mouth: Al Dente
Dry Pasta vs. Fresh Pasta: What's the Difference?
Video: Italian Grandmothers Know How To Make Pasta

(Pasta rolling image from Flickr member kiloindiatango licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.