Stuffed pasta is a quintessential fall dish that warms, comforts, and delights and it’s easier than you think to master at home
by Chef Peter Botros
DOUGH ME A FAVOR
Like many things, crafting the perfect noodle starts with the right machine, and there is a vast array of at-home pasta makers that range in price from the uber cheap ($20 on Amazon) to highend electric machines that exceed $4,000. To get the most bang for your buck, the Imperia Pasta Machine, available at Williams Sonoma, comes in at a thrifty $89 and is fashioned after the at-home makers Italians have been using in their home kitchens for centuries. It includes two rollers, one for solid sheets (perfect for filled pastas) and the other for linguine, and it clamps firmly to the countertop for easy use. williams-sonoma.com
ON A ROLL
You don’t need to go to professional culinary school to master the romantic art of pasta making. Though an Italian cooking class can help sharpen your technique, nothing will turn you into a pasta maestro quite like trial and error, and luckily there are several easy pasta recipes online to guide you. Here’s a simple yet classic recipe for a basic pasta dough that you can use for everything from ravioli to agnolotti, fettuccine to pappardelle. You can also make it one day in advance; simply roll tightly and chill it in the refrigerator.
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Mix eggs, flour, oil, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with your hands until a shaggy dough forms. Knead with dough hook until dough is smooth and elastic, about ten minutes. Cover dough with cloth bowl cover and let rest for at least 30 minutes. Cut and roll as desired.
For chefs (at-home and professional), a pasta sheet is an artist’s blank canvas, an opportunity to let your creativity run wild and experiment with various flavors and textures. Fill the dough with whatever you fancy braised meats, cheeses, vegetables, herbs, seafood, et al. Pictured here is a soul-warming lamb ravioli with celery seed bechamel on the menu at Violette’s Cellar.
Chef Peter Botros
The Stone House / 1150 Clove Road
Chef’s Loft / 1150 Clove Road
Violette’s Cellar / 2271 Hylan Boulevard
Sofia’s Taqueria / 977 Bay Street 4370
Amboy Road (new)
Rustic Pizza & Pasteria / 97 Lincoln Avenue
Sally’s Southern / 427 Forest Avenue