Making pasta from scratch may sound laborious and time-consuming. But any homemade food is rewarding and delicious, making all that effort worth it.
Here are the other reasons you should try making fresh pasta at home.
Fresh, Healthy Ingredients
Homemade noodles are better than store-bought because you’ll be using simple ingredients. It is also better for your body since you know what’s in it. There are no additives, either.
Making pasta from scratch also requires minimal fresh ingredients: flour, water and eggs. Using eggs in your fresh pasta dough naturally makes the end product a good protein source.
Fresh noodles have better taste and texture, too. Also, they are not as bland as the dried noodles you buy from the grocery.
And that means you can enjoy your dish without too much sauce or add-ons. It also makes your homemade dish more budget-friendly.
Just thinking about fresh ravioli tossed in butter and herbs makes my mouth water!
Perhaps, the best motivation to start making pasta from scratch is the creativity involved. After learning the basics, you’ll want to experiment and add a new ingredient or flavouring next.
Changing the basic recipe allows you to enjoy other fresh pasta creations. For example, you can remove the egg and add baking soda instead to make ramen.
You can adjust the nutritional value of your homemade noodles, too. For instance, you can use vegan, organic or gluten-free ingredients to satisfy different dietary needs.
Whole-wheat and semolina flour are ideal substitutes for plain flour for higher nutrient content. I also like mixing beets, tomatoes or spinach into the fresh pasta dough for colour and extra vitamins, minerals or fibre.
You can try adding squid ink, too.
Some are not too keen on making pasta from scratch because of the work involved. But believe me, creating homemade food is therapeutic and fulfilling.
It’s an excellent way to slow things down and tune out from the news or social media for a while. Standing in the kitchen for a few hours is good exercise, too!
However, a busy work week or heavy workload can still get in the way. In that case, plan it on weekends or your days off.
And to make the most of your noodle-making time, I suggest doubling the recipe. Dry your noodles well, then store them in an airtight container.
Now, you have lots of ready-to-cook pasta whenever cravings strike. You can also freeze your homemade pasta for longer shelf life.
A study suggests that cooking is good for our mental health. It is a relaxing activity and a productive way to pass the time. It takes your mind off stressful thoughts, too.
Making pasta from scratch, for example, keeps you in a goal-oriented environment. Trying a new pasta dish, swapping ingredients or learning a new pasta maker feature also encourages creativity and positivity.
Home cooking teaches life values as well, like patience and being orderly. Best of all, it boosts your confidence.
Fun and Educational Family Activity
The kitchen is the place to be when you want to spend time with the family. Rolling out your fresh pasta dough, cutting noodles and cooking the sauce are perfect bonding activities that I’m sure your kids will love.
If your little one is a fussy eater, teaching him how to cook can help solve this problem. Cooking will also help develop fine motor skills, literacy and food safety know-how.
Also, most kids love pasta. Tossing your freshly made noodles in with bits of carrot, broccoli, or asparagus is one way to make them love their veggies!
You can check this list of age-appropriate kitchen activities to see how the kids can help during your pasta-making time.
Plastic is often the packaging of choice for store-bought noodles. And so, buying raw ingredients in reusable or compostable packaging can help reduce waste.
A bag of all-purpose flour can also make a lot of fresh noodles, which further limits packaging waste and trips to the grocery.
Making pasta from scratch may be time-consuming. You might also need specialised kitchen tools to speed up the rolling process and make the task easier.
And so, store-bought dried noodles will likely remain our go-to, especially during busy weeknights.
Still, nothing compares to the enjoyment of making food with your hands and having your family join in the fun. It truly is rewarding and, in a way, comforting that you are serving them good and wholesome meals.
So, when you do have extra time, make some noodles! Put your pasta machine to work and get busy in the kitchen.