6 Essential Tools To Make Pasta At Home
Silvana Lanzetta Artisan Pasta Maker
When looking for tools to make pasta at home, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the arrais of choice that are now available everywhere. But do you really need to invest in all these tools? Here’s a quick guide of my essential pasta making equipment.
In Italy we have been making pasta since the dawn of time! Making pasta at home is one of the most relaxing activities you can engage in. However, there’s a lot of confusion on what you should buy to get started: and when you go into a shop, the tools proposed are so many, which does not help!
I have created this list of 6 of my favourite must-have tools to successfully make pasta at home, to help you getting started with this amazing art
My must-have tools to make pasta at home
This is the ONE TOOL I can’t do without. I can make pasta on any surface, I can make pasta without a rolling pin or pasta machine, I can make pasta with just using my fingers… and a dough scraper.
This versatile and handy tool helps me with scraping the dough from the table, but also cut it and form a few shapes, such as orecchiette, foglie d’ulivo, and cencioni. I even use it to help me mix the flours with the eggs. If you want to buy only one pasta making tool, then it must be a dough scraper.
This is the second must have pasta tool. You don’t need anything fancy. A wooden rolling pin is best to roll our perfect pasta sheets. The best rolling pin for pasta are straight, with no handles. You should get a lenght of at least 44cm (17 inches). You don’t need any longer, unless you know you are going to make large quantities of pasta.
“Tools help you making pasta easily and give a professional finish”
Wooden Pasta Board
If you are a serious home pasta maker, then you need a wooden pasta board. It make my pastaia life so much easier, and it helps me creating a pasta of superior quality.
The best ones are made of oiled birch wood, and have a ledge that will keep the board from moving as you knead.
It’s of the utmost importance that the wood is not lacquered: you need the rough surface for traction, and to allow the finished pasta to have the coarse texture that catches the sauce so well!
Gnocchi and Pasta Stripper
This little paddle is very useful to make ridges on pasta and gnocchi. A ridged texture allows for more sauce to be trapped in the pasta, therefore exalting the flavour of your meal.
You will need this board to make garganelli, rigatoni, malloreddus, and gnocchi.
Use your imagination to add texture to any pasta shape you like!
Multi-wheel Pasta Cutter
This invention is a life and time saver! When making pasta that needs to be shaped into PERFECT squares (yes, you will need to channel your inner geometrician when making pasta), this tool will save you lots of grief! Just set it to the width required, and cut stripes, squares, and rectangles at your heart content! No more misshapen pasta, and wave goodbye to tons of pasta scraps!
And did I mention that it’s sooo satisfying to use?
Stackable Pasta Dryer
Many people tend to buy a hanging pasta drier, however I do not recommend it. The best pasta dryer is a tray, where you can place any kind of pasta shapes, from the smallest to the larger ones. Best feature is that these trays are stackable, so you don’t have the pasta taking over your home!
To dry spaghetti, tagliatelle, and other long ribbon pasta, just fold them into nests and place delicately on the dryer.
What are the two basic tools needed in making fresh pasta?
At the most basic, you will need a kitchen knife and a wooden rolling pin to make egg pasta such as tagliatelle, and just a knife to make vegan pasta such as orecchiette and cavatelli. If you want to spend a little money, then invest in a dough scraper for the knife, and a longer rolling pin.
What is a pasta knife?
A pasta knife, or more correctly, pasta cutter, is a wheel made in either brass, plastic, or aluminium, similar to a pastry wheel or a small pizza wheel. It comes in two main variations: the smooth blade cuts straight lines, the zig zig blade cuts crinkly lines. Many pasta cutters are designed to also seal filled pasta.
Can you make pasta on a cutting board?
You can definitely use a wooden cutting board to knead your dough and cut your pasta. Obviously, it needs to be a good size, not a tiny one.
How much should I spend on a pasta maker?
It depends how serious you are on making pasta. The cheapest ones cost about £30 ($40), up to £5000 ($6000) for a fully automated one
To start, I would go for a low middle range, anything between £50 ($60) and £80 ($95) will give you a good solid machine that will last you many years. The best on the market is Marcato (This is my favourite)
Is a gnocchi board necessary?
My mum never used a gnocchi board when she made her gnocchi: she would usually use a fork, and sometimes other implements, such as a cheese grater. Surely, the gnocchi boards give a clean and professional finish, but a fork will do as well if you just want grooves.
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