Did you know that there are around 350 different variations of pasta? And on top of that, some kinds of pasta have around four different names.
The different names are due to various languages or the Italian region. Pasta cooks and manufacturers also come up with new types of pasta or give a new name to a familiar shape.
Everyone has had pasta as it's a common dish across the globe but have you ever tried fresh pasta? Fresh pasta is tastier, fresher, and healthier than mass-produced pasta. There are countless benefits of fresh pasta over the traditional dried variation.
We'll talk about how fresh pasta differs from mass-produced pasta and how you can replicate it in your kitchen.
- What is Fresh Pasta?
- How to make Fresh Pasta
- What makes Fresh Pasta better than Mass Produced?
- Why Dagostino Pasta?
What is Fresh Pasta?
Do you have water and flour in your kitchen? If you do, you have enough ingredients to make some fresh pasta.
Sometimes you'll hear the term "Semolina pasta" thrown around. It's the same thing as fresh pasta, but the flour used is made from Semolina. It's a kind of flour that's made from Durum wheat.
Durum wheat is a "hard" wheat and when it's milled, it creates a coarse flour. What differentiates it from all-purpose flour is the color and odor:
- Semolina Flour: Darken and more golden in color with an earthy aroma
- All-Purpose Flour: White and doesn't have an odor
Semolina is the preferred type of flour when whipping up fresh pasta. If you don't have Semolina flour, that's okay. You can use all-purpose flour but it'll require more prep work and kneading.
It can be intimidating to make your own pasta but it's not unusually difficult. Once you master the general technique, you can feel comfortable making it on a regular basis.
How to make Fresh Pasta
The recipe for making fresh pasta is very basic. There are some added tools that can help make the process even easier:
- Food Processor or Stand Mixer: While you can make pasta by hand, having a stand mixer or food processor can save you extra work
- Pasta Maker: A pasta maker is essential to the process but you can also buy a pasta roller attachment for your stand mixer
- Drying Rack: This is optional but helpful for drying out your pasta
Since not everyone has a stand mixer or food processor, the recipe we'll go over will be making pasta by hand. You can roll out the pasta by hand as well.
- 2 cups of Semolina flour
- 1/2 cup plus 2 1/4 tablespoons water
- Note: The water needs to be lukewarm, around 85°
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (depending upon your preference)
- On a large cutting board, pour your flour in a mound
- Note: This can also be done in a large bowl
- Use a spoon or your fingers to create a well in the center of the mound
- Pour your water into the center of your well
- Sprinkle with salt
- Begin to gradually whisk in some of the flour into the water, adding more flour until your mixture is thick
- Note: If some of the water spills out, just use your hands to add them back in
- Using your hands, fold in the remaining dough until it becomes a loose ball
- Note: You can add in more water if it's too dry
Knead your pasta dough for around 10 minutes
- Note: The dough should be smooth and elastic but you can sprinkle in some extra flour if it starts to stick to the cutting board
- Form the pasta dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap
- Leave the dough on the counter and let it rest for around 30 minutes
- Then, roll out your dough into whatever shape you desire
- Bring a large pot of water up to a boil and cook the pasta for around six to seven minutes until it's al dente
How to Roll Out Pasta By Hand
You shouldn't have to invest in expensive kitchen equipment to enjoy fresh pasta. Here are some tips on how to roll it out without any added equipment.
- Once your dough has rested for 30 minutes, use a knife to cut the pasta dough into four equal pieces
- Shape the wedge into a flat disc-shaped like an oval
- Put the disc on a cutting board and with a rolling pin, roll out the dough to around one to two millimeters thick
- Note: Add extra flour to your cutting board if it starts to stick
- Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into five-inch strips
- Roll the sections into flat and very loose cylinders
- Cut them cross-wise depending on how thick you want your noodles to be
- Swirl the pasta into small "nests" and let dry for around 30 minutes
You repeat this process with the remaining pasta dough. You can then cook it according to the instructions above.
What makes Fresh Pasta better than Mass Produced?
Mass-produced pasta is made with quantity over quality in mind. There isn't a lot of detail or thought that goes into the pasta as it's made and packaged. The highest quality ingredients aren't a priority either.
Fresh pasta, like the kinds made at Dagostino's Handmade Pasta, includes all fresh ingredients. We're focused on curating quality pasta for our customers, replicating the authentic flavors you'd find in an Italian kitchen.
The texture of fresh pasta is also different from store-bought. It has a light and springy texture, making it perfect for pairing with fresh sauces. It's able to absorb the flavors of whatever you toss it with in a way that mass-produced pasta can't.
Why Dagostino Pasta?
At Dagostino Pasta Company we make small quantities of our fresh pasta the old fashioned way, using the method that was developed centuries ago in our company. We air-dry all of our pasta in wooden cellars and each batch is made by hand. Our pasta is all-natural and preservative-free, giving you the best fresh pasta available on the shelves today.
Check out our online shop of the best fresh pasta to get inspired for your next meal.
Or browse our pasta recipes here.