I would venture to guess that most of us tend to use dried boxed pasta versus making fresh noodles anytime we have a hankering for spaghetti. That’s not to say that we don’t ever make our own fresh pasta, but it really is a fairly time consuming process. Fresh pasta just seems to taste better though…maybe because you know how much time and effort you put into it, or maybe because you know exactly what ingredients you put into it, or maybe it just really is better. You know that’s it.
My favorite homemade pasta to make is ravioli, and with my Marcato Atlas Pasta Roller, it’s a breeze. Jon and I made a huge batch of mozzarella stuffed ravioli and froze it into several “meal sized” bags – which translates into us being able to pull a bag out of the deep freezer and be eating homemade ravioli on a moments notice. I even find that it is less expensive to make our own ravioli than it is to buy it – which is unusual when it comes to homemade pasta. I would be hard pressed to make the amount of spaghetti noodles I just bought and come out ahead. (I love a sale. I just found Ronzoni noodles on sale for a dollar a box, and had coupons for another 50 cents off each box. I scored. Food Lion didn’t even see me coming.)
But ravioli – well, it’s a little more expensive at the store, so making your own not only costs a little less, but it tastes a heck of a lot better. Plus, you can stuff it full of whatever you like – a big bonus in my book as I don’t really like cheap ricotta cheese. try fresh mozzarella, beef, ricotta & spinach, grilled chicken – the possibilities are endless.
So, we had a big pasta day here at Casa Whetzel. Ravioli, linguine, spaghetti, lasagna – we made a ton. All using the same basic pasta recipe.
I hope seeing the fruits of our labor (around 2 hours, I would guess, start to finish, including weighing out the pasta and adding it to freezer bags or other containers.) will encouurage you to give making your own pasta a try. It will certainly help if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook (I use a Professional Series Kitchen Aid that I love) and also a Pasta Machine (again, I have the Marcato Atlas, and now that I own it I will never part with it) but you can easily make it without them. Just be prepared to knead, knead, knead and roll, roll, roll. Pasta is a workout!
Basic Pasta Dough
4 cups All Purpose or Semolina Flour
2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 large eggs
2/3 tsp Salt
Add flour and salt to mixer, whisk quickly to combine. Add eggs and oil to center of flour and mix with dough hook until well combined. You may need to add a little water or flour to get a nice workable consistancy, so have some readily available as you work.
(As a sidenote – we add dried oregano, basil, and garlic to our dough – feel free to add anything you like!)
I hope you pasta lovers will share your favorite from scratch recipes with me here – I am always eager to hear great takes on simple recipes – especially for things as scrumptious as pasta!
Above are a few of the things I used to make our pasta day a success – you should check them out! All of the above are now a part of Amazon’s 4-for-3 Promotion, meaning you buy 4 but only pay for 3. So, great sale! Take a gander and see what they have that you can’t live without!