I’ve always wanted to make pasta. And for the better part of a year, I was really going to make it. I even had a growing collection of Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and Epicurious magazines stacked with their covers raving about scratch pasta and how it was worth the mess. To be honest, the mess always held me back. It seemed like a process, and being that I don’t have a gourmet kitchen (as featured in aforementioned publications), the task of making homemade pasta seemed daunting. Then came the KitchenAid pasta maker attachment. Then the subtle hints of making handmade pasta became even more obvious. Then, one (boring) day, shortly after Thanksgiving, I broke down and finally made the butternut squash ravioli I had been dreaming up and here’s what I learned.
- Making homemade pasta is a mess, but it’s also a fun process. There’s no getting around it, you’re going to get your hands dirty. Of course, I was prepared to use my KitchenAid’s dough hook, but let’s just say I didn’t have beginner’s luck. I ended up hand-mixing it and forming the dough into a ball where it sat and hung out for a few hours. This gave me time to clean up that mess and prepare myself for the next step, rolling the dough.
- Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty fun. At first, learning how to use the pasta roller wasn’t easy. Then, after a few tries, you get the hang of it. It’s almost therapeutic!
- Don’t use cornmeal on your pasta dough until you’re done cutting your ravioli. After rolling the pasta sheets, I was eager to sprinkle cornmeal on the dough, to prevent the sheets from sticking to one another, however, that trick was proven to be wasteful with excess dough (after the ravioli was formed and pressed).
- Get creative with your ravioli filling. I made a butternut squash & ricotta ravioli topped with brown butter garlic, baby Portobello mushrooms, and scallions. The dish preparation was cut in half because I had leftover butternut squash puree from Thanksgiving. It’s pasta (dough) filled with whatever you desire, have fun with it!
- You can really taste the difference. Store bought pasta doesn’t hold a light to scratch pasta. Sure, you can have your favorites (we all do), but homemade is the real deal. If you’re looking to impress your guests or take your dinner up a notch, this is what your dinner table has been missing.
Don’t know where to start with making homemade pasta? Don’t worry, Roma’s carries everything from pasta makers (imported from Italy) to Double 0 pasta flour! Simply ask the next time you’re in!