Making Homemade Pasta Is Easier Than You Think With A Few Simple Kitchen Tools

cavatelli on cheese grater
cavatelli on cheese grater - Alvarez/Getty Images

Making fresh pasta can be a relaxing way to spend creative time in the kitchen while also getting dinner on the table. Looking at the huge variety of shapes that are possible, you might assume there are special tools needed -- but with a good basic dough recipe and a handful of things you've got in your drawers already, you can create lots of special shapes for your next pasta night.

Hand-shaped pasta is actually easier than rolling out long sheets of dough for traditional pasta like linguini, especially if you don't have a dough roller, and you won't need a big countertop to work on. Little hand-shaped pasta can be made with simply your fingers and a table knife, but also with repurposed items that have the right textures and shapes, no need for more gadgets. We also love the flexibility of working with pasta this way, if the shape didn't come out as you hoped, roll it up and try again!

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Shapes And Tools To Try

fork shaped cavatelli
fork shaped cavatelli - beats1/Shutterstock

One of the easiest shapes to start with is called cavatelli, meaning "little hollows" because of the dimple that's created, perfect for holding sauce. To create the hollow, a small bit of dough is pushed with a finger or the tip of a table knife, dragging it along the surface so it rolls up. For a fancier cavatelli, you can change up the surface that the dough is pushed on, creating ridges on the outer side along with the dimple. A fork makes great ridges, just place the dough on the back of the fork and pull it down with a finger. A sushi rolling mat, a cheese grater, and even your colander have fun textures to try for cavatelli.

Another interesting shape to try just requires a round skewer. Roll a marble-sized piece of dough between your hands to create a long, very thin rope shape. Then start at one end of the skewer and roll the rope along the skewer, pressing very lightly to make a coil. Slip the skewer out, and you've created busiate, a specialty of Sicily! Many other shapes can be created from the starting thin rope – circle the rope around your fingers and twine together to create lorighittas, a wreath-shaped pasta. You can pair any of these shapes with a simple red sauce or a classic basil pesto, either way, your pasta dinner will be a hit with some new fun shapes.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.