Ah pasta, the carb-heavy Italian classic. Pasta is a staple dinner item in many households and while store-bought pasta is cheap and passable, there's something very satisfying in making your own fresh pasta. Learning how to make the dough and roll out all types of pasta at home will allow you to not only save money but to make pasta that fits your needs and tastes.
In terms of equipment, you're going to need to crucial items -- a food processor (if you don't have a food processor, certain types of blenders work as well) and a pasta roller. Once you have those two pieces of equipment, the ingredients you'll need are:
There are two major ways to approach rolling out pasta -- hand-rolling and using a pasta roller. How you choose to roll your pasta depends entirely on what pasta you want to make.
Hand rolling is a great option for a thicker choice of pasta such as maccheroni (macaroni that's rolled out long and thin like spaghetti rather than elbow-shaped macaroni) and gnocchi. If you choose to roll gnocchi, it's important to remember that you'll need a potato, sweet potato or squash filling, as well as some ricotta to add a creamy texture. This will all need to be added to the dough making process.
When rolling out any pasta, find a large open counter space and dust the old surface with flour. Take the pasta dough and rip off little pieces at a time and roll them out on the flour-dusted surface until they are the desired width, and then use a large knife to cut the dough into whatever length you want.
When you're done rolling out the pasta, take a baking sheet and lay some parchment paper across it. Dust the parchment with some flour and place your pasta noodles on the baking sheet, evenly spread out with none of the noodles touching each other or overlapping. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and you're done!
Pasta rollers have a wide variety of options depending on which one you buy. In general, each roller will be able to roll out your dough into very thin sheets, and then you can run those sheets through an attachment that will yield the type of pasta you want. Certain attachments or parts will turn the pasta sheets into spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, or roll them out nice and thin to make homemade ravioli.
You can boil all these kinds of pasta, both hand-rolled and from the pasta roller, straight from frozen -- just bring a pot of water to a boil and then toss in the frozen pasta noodles. You'll know they're all properly cooked when all the noodles rise to the top of the water.
Once you've learned how to hand roll pasta, you can start focusing on making delicious and healthy sauces from scratch. Gone are the days of store-bought pasta and canned sauces -- now you can make fresh and tasty pasta dishes all from the comfort of your own home!