Pasta Making Tools
Pasta comes in hundreds of varieties and variations. But, getting the perfect shapes, cuts, ridges, and rolls can be a major headache if you don’t have the right tools for the job. However, since most home cooks won’t be trying to make every single type of pasta, you don’t have to break the bank trying to get the latest and greatest pasta tools to make a delectable meal that your family and friends will love.
One thing that should be stressed is that the tools on this list are optional. The most essential tools to making homemade pasta are a rolling pin and a knife (or some other utensil to cut the pasta dough). If you want your pasta-making session to be more efficient, consider some of these tools.
A pasta machine is used to make the rolling process easier. The pasta machine easily rolls the dough into perfect, thin strips, so it can be easily shaped, formed or cut. Some pasta machines also have cutters to make cutting a breeze. Higher-end pasta machines will have more bells and whistles, like motors for automated rolling/cutting and attachments for specialized pasta shapes/cuts.
There are many different ways to make well-formed ravioli. Specialized rolling pins, metal stamps and sheet molds all help make this easier to do. In addition to forming the perfect ravioli, these tools help to make more decorative designs for your pasta.
A drying rack is used so that your fresh, homemade pasta can be preserved and stored for later use. Drying racks come in all shapes and sizes and in a variety of materials. Common drying racks are made of wood dowels that provide the perfect place to hang strands of pasta.
Pasta Board/Pastry Board
A pasta board is used to provide a large work surface, allowing you to easily handle the pasta dough and roll it out in long lengths. Pasta boards come in a variety of sizes, and the higher-end boards are made of silicone or marble, so the dough won’t stick to your work area.
Also called a bench knife, this tool is used to easily handle dough. It can help you cut, pick up or portion the dough. When you’re finished, this tool works well to get rid of little leftover bits. Perfect for many uses, the bench knife is a favorite tool in many kitchens.
Traditional Italian Pasta Tools
If you want to make pasta the “real” way, there are many kinds of traditional pasta cutting and shaping tools. A well-known tool is the chitarra (AKA pasta guitar), which looks like a wooden harp. Aided with a rolling pin, the chitarra is used to cut pasta into strands. Other traditional boards, rollers and combs can also help your pasta look perfect.
Making homemade pasta shouldn’t be torture. It also shouldn’t cost you a fortune in tools. While these tools will help to make your pasta-making session go faster, speed isn’t everything. Your pasta session should also be fun! With enough ingenuity (No drying rack? How about a chair back or a hanger?), your passion for great food will get you farther than any machine!