A few weeks ago, I made some fuckin’ pasta. The pasta I made is right there in the image above. Isn’t it gorgeous?
There are a lot of foodstuffs that you can make, but I am here to tell you that there is nothing more satisfying than making some fuckin’ pasta. This is because there is no feeling quite like the one that comes after a successful day of pasta-making. There you are in the middle of your kitchen, your entire body covered in a thin coat of flour, the smell of fresh dough filling your nostrils. You look upon the noodles that you have just created with your own two hands, and for a moment, you are no longer in your kitchen. No, you are standing in a bustling pastificio, perhaps in Roma or Napoli. You look around and see dozens of pastai bustling throughout the shop, all working in unison to produce long sheets of beautiful, golden pasta dough. You beam, and whisper to yourself, “bellissimo.” Your name? It’s Vincenzo/a. It has always been Vincenzo/a.
What I’m trying to say is, making pasta is fun, and it makes you feel very accomplished. This is why you should do it, and also because eating homemade pasta is a far better experience than eating store-bought crap. Graduating from the latter to the former is an experience on par with ditching the dirt weed Sketchy Todd used to sell you in high school for the honest-to-God marijuana California Rob hooked you up with in college. I’m not going to lie to you: Making pasta is a pretty huge pain in the ass, but so was hanging out with California Rob, right? Sometimes it’s worth putting up with a few annoyances in order to get to the good shit.
The good news is that you really don’t need much, other than time and patience, to pull this off. What you will need to spend some money on is a decent pasta maker and a pasta-cutting attachment. You don’t have to splurge on a fancy number from Williams-Sonoma or anything; something like this will do just fine. Aside from that, all you need are eggs and flour.
You should consult a detailed recipe (like this one or this one) before you get to work, but it’s a pretty basic process. Start by mixing together eggs and flour (two eggs per cup of flour is a good ratio) until you get a nice, solid piece of dough. Press it and roll it with your hands until you can make into a smooth ball with a nice elastic feel to it. If the dough is too dry and crumbly to be formed into a solid mass, just add water a tablespoon at a time as you work it with your hands.
Then it’s time to press the dough into sheets. Tear off a big chunk of the dough ball and feed it through the pasta maker on the thickest setting. The dough will probably be a bit of a torn-up mess as it comes out the other side, but don’t get discouraged! Just fold it back together and run it back through the pasta maker; do this as many times as it takes until you have a solid sheet. Then bump the pasta maker to a thinner setting, and repeat the process. This stage will be much more mentally and physically draining than you are anticipating, but you can get through it. If making pasta were easy, every chump would do it. You are not a chump, remember? You are a pastaio/a.
Once you’ve made as many sheets as you can from the dough, adorn your pasta maker with the pasta-cutting attachment that corresponds with what kind of noodles you want, and then run your sheets through that attachment. Boom, you’ve got yourself some fuckin’ pasta. Throw a dusting of flour onto the noodles, cover them with a towel or dish cloth, and then leave them for a long time. They will need at least a few hours, possibly even a whole day, to properly dry.
Once the pasta is dry, you’re home free. The noodles should only take about two or three minutes to boil, at which point they will be ready to eat. This last part is very important, and I cannot stress it enough: Do not sully your beautiful homemade pasta with some bullshit canned spaghetti sauce. The best thing about homemade pasta is that there is some real weight to it. The noodles are thick and filling, and they are ideal for soaking up delicious pasta sauce and then delivering that delicious pasta sauce to your mouth. So call up your mom, grandma, or any old Italian lady and get a real sauce recipe from them. I’m talking about one of those authentic jams that includes a pound of sausage and two hours of cook time. You’ll have plenty of time to make it while the pasta dries.
Now get out of here. Go make some fuckin’ pasta, and learn what it means to truly live.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.