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10 essential tools to make fresh pasta

pasta making

Making pasta is an art and a tradition throughout many generations in Italy.  Eating pasta is a pleasure and is enjoyed all over the world! 

As pasta is so popular worldwide, then why don’t you think about trying to make your own? 

Making fresh pasta  is not difficult and it tastes better than the store bought dried version. Once you understand how to knead and roll the dough, you will  never look back. 

Making your own pasta you can add whichever flavour you like and make it to your own taste. It is a lot cheaper than buying it and it is a fun activity, especially with kids.

The great news is that you don’t have to be Italian to make great pasta. Even if you have never attempted to make pasta or if you have never heard about a pasta bike, a drying rack or a ravioli tray then this is not a problem. Today, there are plenty of tools to help you make different kinds of pasta. We’ll make it easy for you and sum up the best tools available. We are using affiliate links, this will however not affect the prices in any way.

1. Pasta machine

Although you can roll out the pasta by hand, we recommend investing in a good pasta machine. If you have the space, then the electric Kitchen aid has several extra tools for flattening and shaping pasta. 

We don’t have the space and so we have the smaller manual version. They are inexpensive so it shouldn’t break your budget. Like the electric versions, they make the preparation of the pasta easier. The pasta will be ‘rolled’ out evenly and most manual machines also have the extra tools that cut pasta in different shapes. The manual stainless-steel pasta makers are a good choice because they are easy to maintain and durable. They are usually also stable enough to keep the machine in place while using it.

2. Rolling pin

A rolling pin will do if you don’t want to invest into a pasta machine. Anything round which enables you to roll out the dough evenly is perfect. We have a nice white bottle that does the trick for us. You will need more practice, but you can surely also achieve good results.

3. Pastry board

Those with a food processor can prepare the pasta dough in it. If you need to knead the dough yourself, a pastry board is a good platform but not essential as you can use the kitchen counter top like we do. It’s perfect as this area is more spacious, and the marble-like surface is cold, and this prevents the dough from sticking. Another good option nowadays is a pastry mat

4. Knives

Once the pasta is rolled out, it needs to be shaped. Electric and manual pasta machines usually come with extra cutting tools. If yours doesn’t have these, use a sharp knife to cut ribbons from the flattened dough. If you don’t have a pasta machine, your knives will be your best cutting tools. Use a chef knife, it will be easier to make neat cuts.

5. Kitchen scale

If you are cooking often, you know that estimating ingredients is not the best way to achieve consistency.  A perfect pasta dough needs precision and using a scale will help with this.

6. Pasta scraper

Making fresh pasta can be messy and might create an untidy kitchen.  A pasta scraper is usually made from plastic and will help you to keep ingredients together or mix them. It is also a useful tool to scrape dough from the counter top or pasta board, and that is why we call it a bench scraper too. It’s easier to scrape all the dried pasta away first before cleaning with water as this will make the pasta sticky.

7. Pasta cutter and pasta bike

Pasta cutters are well worth the investment as they are also used for baking. They usually have waved edges for cutting the various pasta shapes such as bows or butterfly-shaped farfalle. 

A pasta bike is a multiple wheel cutter which makes cutting the pasta more convenient. This gadget does not always work consistently and it’s less of a cutter and more of a scorer. We recommend a single cutter.

8. Ravioli cutters, stamps and ravioli trays

If you are a ravioli fan, stamps or cutters come in different forms and will help you to make perfect neat and identical shaped ravioli. The beauty of ravioli stamps and cutters is that they cut and seal the ravioli all in one go.

Ravioli trays make the preparation even more convenient. You can make plenty at once which is less time consuming. 

9. Pasta drying rack

Pasta strips need to be hung to dry or else they will stick together. You can organise them on a tray, however this is not the best way as they won’t dry evenly on all sides.  A wooden drying rack is ideal, especially if you have little space in the kitchen. It is easy to rest or dry the fresh pasta without it sticking together. Most drying racks are folding and easy to store.

10. Pastra stripper or gnocchi stripper

A pasta stripper is needed for textured pastas. It allows you to roll the dough over the ridge surface to create texture.  Using this pasta stripper is great when making garganelli, a handmade form of penne. This pasta tool is easy to store.

Summary

Making pasta at home is fun but you will need to practice. Time and practice will help to improve your skills and create an evenly rolled dough and cut. Remember that fresh pasta is tastier but you still need to cook it correctly. If you prepare it directly after it is made, fresh pasta will only need 3 to 5 minutes of cooking. 

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