8 unexpected benefits of making pasta from scratch

Apr 28, 2023 | Blog, Cooking School

Silvana Lanzetta

Silvana Lanzetta

Hi, I’m Silvana, a 4th generation artisan pasta maker from Naples. I have been holding pasta making classes in London since 2014. I want to share with you my knowledge and passion for pasta making and Italian cuisine.

Beyond the scrumptious end product, the art of pasta making offers so much more than meets the eye (and the taste buds!). From fostering mindfulness and boosting creativity, to promoting social connections and even improving our physical well-being, there’s a whole world of unexpected benefits awaiting us as we dive into the wonderful world of pasta making. So join me as we discover 8 unexpected benefits of making pasta from scratch.

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β€œMaking pasta from scratch is not only a fun and rewarding experience but it also offer several surprising benefits.”

Silvana

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Growing up in a family of pasta makers, I’ve been immersed in the rich culinary traditions of my homeland for as long as I can remember. Today, I want to share with you the mindful, social, and holistic aspects of pasta making that have been such a significant part of my family’s story. Join me as we discover the 8 unexpected benefits of making pasta from scratch. It will have you reaching for your rolling pin and apron in no time!Β 

What are the 8 unexpected benefits of making pasta from scratch?

1. Mindfulness in Pasta Making:

Pasta making is an immersive sensory experience that invites you to slow down and connect with your food. The process of mixing, kneading, and shaping the dough requires your undivided attention. This allows you to be present and appreciate the transformation that unfolds as you craft your pasta. I always find it amusing to see my students go from groaning when I announce the kneading time to the serene expressions that emerge as they actually begin the process. The repetitive, almost dance-like movements are incredibly soothing.
Then comes the delicate art of handling a thin pasta sheet, folding it into intricate shapes that resemble tiny masterpieces. It never fails – someone will invariably exclaim, “oh, this is so cathartic,” with everyone else nodding in agreement. The magic of pasta making lies in its ability to relax and unite people as they create delicious culinary art.

2. The Social Side of Pasta Making

Italian pasta making goes beyond being a solo endeavor; it’s truly a social and community-centered experience. I can’t help but fondly recall those sun-soaked days spent with my family. We gathered around the table, shaping pasta, and chatting about anything and everything. Oh, the neighborhood gossip we’d share! Nobody was safe from our lively conversations! Those moments of bonding in such a carefree atmosphere were priceless.
I see this same social magic unfold in my pasta-making classes. Strangers who walk in quickly become friends as they unwind, engage in lighthearted banter, and learn together. It’s incredible to witness beautiful friendships blossoming around my kitchen table.
Truly, there’s something about making pasta from scratch that unites people. It fosters an unique sense of connection and camaraderie very quickly.
My favourite pasta tools gnocchi striper

β€œThe repetitive motions of kneading, rolling, and shaping pasta can help you focus on the present moment, allowing your mind to relax and find a sense of calm. This practice of mindfulness can reduce stress and anxiety”

Emily and Harry having a blast at making pasta. 8 unexpected benefits of making pasta from scratch.

Emily and Harry having a blast making pasta

5 wooden spoons filled with different gluten-free flours
mother and young daughter gathering trash from a beach

3. Nutritional benefits of pasta making

Creating pasta from scratch empowers you to take charge of your ingredients and tailor the recipe to suit your specific dietary requirements. Are you vegan or have an egg allergy? No worries, you can whip up egg-free fresh pasta! Looking for a more nutritious option? Opt for whole grain flours or even add extra bran to your dough.
If you’re on a high-protein diet, you’ll be happy to know that some durum wheat flours boast a 22% protein content. So go ahead, indulge in that high-protein pasta! Need a low-gluten alternative? Ancient grains like spelt, with their lower gluten content, are your answer. And for those who require gluten-free pasta, making it from scratch is indeed more challenging but absolutely doable.
By selecting whole-grain or alternative flours, you can craft a healthier, more nutritious meal that caters to your unique needs – all while enjoying the satisfaction of making pasta from scratch.

4. Environmental benefits of pasta making

In a world where preserving our beautiful planet is a growing concern, we’re all striving to play our part in protecting the environment. One way to be more eco-friendly is by making our pasta from scratch. Homemade pasta eliminates the need for plastic packaging and reduces transportation associated with store-bought pasta.
While you’ll still need to purchase flour and eggs, these ingredients are typically packaged in paper – a material that is both recyclable and compostable. To further minimise your environmental impact, consider sourcing ingredients locally. Chances are there’s a small miller or farmer nearby who can provide what you need. By supporting local and sustainable agriculture, you’re not only helping your community but also reducing your carbon footprint. So go ahead and embrace homemade pasta – it’s a delicious way to show love for our planet!

5. Cost cutting benefits of pasta making

Making pasta from scratch can be a budget-friendly option, as the ingredients are generally inexpensive. It’s true that dry pasta can be cheap too, with packets sometimes costing less than Β£0.5 ($0.6). However, the quality of such low-cost pasta can be questionable at best. Consuming processed foods, potentially tainted with contaminants like rat droppings and hair, insects, or toxins, is certainly not something anyone wants.
Few people realise the downsides of opting for cheap food. So, let’s do some maths. A 500-gram (just over 17 oz) packet of pasta typically costs around Β£1 (or $1.2). A packet of good quality flour costs about Β£3 (or $3.77) per kilo. With a kilo of flour, you can make 1.5 kg of pasta. This means that for the same price as a questionable store-bought pasta, you can enjoy high-quality, fresh, egg-free pasta made by hand. Plus, you’ll reap all the additional benefits of making your own pasta.
If you prefer egg pasta, you’ll need to factor in the cost of eggs. For a kilo of flour, you’ll need 10 eggs. Fresh eggs from a local farmer can be quite affordable, and you’ll know you’re getting a good quality product.

6. Skill devolpement benefits of pasta making

Diving into the world of pasta making is not just a delightful journey, but it also sharpens your culinary prowess. As you practise and dabble with various techniques, you’ll notice your confidence in the kitchen soar and your range of dishes expand. Before you know it, you’ll be a whiz at pairing flavours as you experiment with infusing your pasta creations.

You’ll find yourself taking extra care with your dishes, knowing the time and effort you’ve invested in crafting them. Trust me, your cooking will level up in no time as your skills continue to improve. And guess what? Your fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination will get a boost too!

hands holding a supermarket recipt, with vegetablesin the background
two children mixing ingredients in a bowl
woman's hands kneading a pasta dough
coffee cup and croissant on a table overlooking a venice cana

7.Β  Health benefits of pasta making

As I knead and shape pasta dough, I can’t help but think of how this wonderful activity engages so many muscle groups in my upper body, including my forearms, biceps, triceps, and shoulder muscles. It reminds me of my pasta maker, Grandma Rosa – bless her. She was a tiny lady, but boy, she was incredibly strong! Even in her 80s, she managed to beat me, a fit teenager, in a game of push. Talk about strength!

Let me share a quick rundown of the key muscles that I feel working during kneading:

  1. Forearm muscles – They’re in charge of those wrist and finger movements.
  2. Biceps and triceps – They team up to flex and extend my elbow joint.
  3. Deltoids – They’re my arm and shoulder joint stabilisers.
  4. Pectoral muscles – They help with those crucial pushing and pulling motions.
  5. Latissimus dorsi – They hold my shoulder joint steady and assist with pulling and pushing movements.
  6. Trapezius – They keep my shoulder blades stable and support my shoulder and neck movements.
  7. Core muscles – They look after my posture and body stability as I knead.

So, not only do I get to enjoy the process of making delicious pasta, but I also get a workout that contributes to my overall well-being. How brilliant is that?

8. Cultural appreciation benefits of pasta making:

Whipping up traditional Italian pasta from scratch doesn’t just taste fantastic; it also offers a unique opportunity to truly immerse yourself in Italian culture and its rich culinary heritage. Many of the lovely people who join my classes are already smitten with Italy and everything it represents. Spending a couple of hours together, chatting away, asking questions, and even observing me as I prepare a coffee, opens up a fascinating window into lesser-known traditions.

This informal cultural exchange is genuinely enriching for everyone involved – and that includes me! Connecting with these age-old traditions can add a little something special to your life and might even inspire you to delve into the culinary worlds of other cultures. So, why not give it a go? Who knows what delightful discoveries await!

king pasta from scratch,Making Italian pasta from scratch is so much more than just a delicious meal. It’s an opportunity to connect with our senses, to embrace mindfulness, and to engage with others in a social, heart-warming environment. By choosing to create pasta from scratch, we not only contribute to our well-being and health but also help the environment and immerse ourselves in a rich cultural tradition. So, now that you have discovered the 8 unexpected benefits of making pasta from scratch, why not give it a try? Roll up your sleeves, gather your friends and family, and let the magic of pasta making bring you closer to the vibrant world of Italian cuisine. Buon appetito!

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