Reasons to make your own homemade pasta:
The pasta tastes so much better!
Compared to store-bought pasta, homemade noodles seem heartier and richer. Plus, you are in control of the taste – add salt or herbs, stuff it with cheese or chocolate… you can make it taste however you want!
It feels so much better on your stomach
I don’t know about any of you, but as I get older, I notice that more and more foods affect my stomach. Too much milk or cheese, too many carbohydrates – all leave me feeling sluggish, bloated, or achy.
Interestingly, I have noticed a difference when I travel. This past summer, I went to Rome for work and I worried about my stomach. I loaded up on digestive teas and herbal supplements before I left, but didn’t end up needing any of them. As much as I ate in Italy (and I ATE – pastries with cream for breakfast, breads and cheese at lunch, pasta with more cheese for dinner), I didn’t once feel sick! The way food is prepared in Italy – everything fresh, using local ingredients with no preservatives – it truly makes a difference. Returning from that trip, I vowed to pay more attention to what I eat. I don’t need to punish myself by avoiding dairy and gluten, but I do need to eat the purest forms of these. Homemade pasta is a perfect solution!
It takes some time (especially if you don’t have a pasta press), but making pasta is fun! Flour is everywhere, as are drying noodles. But for as long as you’ll be cleaning, you’ll be kneading even longer! You’ll be rolling dough for what seems like eternity! Ok, I know I’m not really selling it, but really it’s pretty cathartic! It’s a great time to listen to your favorite songs and get a little workout in before dinner!
Impress your friends and family
Oh come on, we all know this is one of the best reasons. Bring homemade pasta to a family gathering and you’ll definitely get the best Christmas present this year! Making it for a date? Don’t even get me started! (Just make sure you actually want to impress that person. If you’re trying to keep things casual, I’d stick with the boxed pasta and Ragu – fair warning!)
Acknowledge where your food is coming from
This is a goal I’m working on currently in my life – to be more mindful of the food I’m eating and where it’s from. There’s no better way to appreciate your food than to make it all from scratch. Seriously. And then, the crazy part, is that you’ll be more aware of other foods you’re eating, too. So, even if you’re not eating homemade pasta one night, you’ll suddenly be wondering how many ingredients are in the frozen mac and cheese you’re stuffing into your mouth and will appreciate even more when you get the opportunity to eat the real stuff. (Maybe you’ll even start to imagine buying a cow and making your own fully homemade mac and cheese one day…)
My mom and I used THIS BOOK to guide us in making our pasta:
We followed the most basic recipe, using mostly just flour and egg, sprinkling a little water or oil on the dough as needed. In this book, the rule of thumb is:
300 grams flour + 3 eggs + 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp water
In terms of ingredients and actually combining everything, it’s way easier than it should be. We used about half semolina flour and half all purpose flour. Even if you don’t really measure and just go by look and feel, you’ll probably figure it out! (That’s my kind of cooking!)
We mostly made pappardelle-style noodles (the long, wide ones), but also experimented with some ricotta-filled ravioli, which were amazing. We didn’t have a great place to let everything sit, so we laid chopsticks on top of books to hang the pasta! Points for creativity?
I don’t love tomato sauce, so instead we sauteed some garlic, onion, and broccoli in extra virgin olive oil and drizzled that on top, followed by a sprinkle of Parmesan.
Honestly, we made way too much, but ate every bite! It was delicious and well worth the time to make. I definitely plan to keep this up and experiment with more flavors and styles. Trying to get on the family’s Favorites List, after all!
For photos and videos of our process, you can check out my story on Instagram, or watch the clips below: