Pasta (the Italian word for dough) was brought to the Americas by Thomas Jefferson in 1789 when he was still the American Ambassador to France. He brought over a pasta machine, crates of macaroni, and Americans have been carbo-loading on over 600 different shapes of pasta ever since.
A Pasta Perfect Celebration
On October 17, celebrate National Pasta Day at home with these nationally shipped products or by making your own pasta with the help of these internet chefs. Whether you prefer easy-to-store dried pasta or fresh, soft noodles, National Pasta Day is the perfect excuse to ask for seconds on spaghetti night.
Sfoglini Pasta opened in Brooklyn in 2012 with the goal of reviving classic, Italian pasta in New York City. Using organic semolina flour and other unique, local ingredients like spent grain from Bronx Brewery, they are creating innovative pasta that they ship to all 50 states. They offer a line of 16 different semolina flour pastas as well as pastas made from other New York grains including rye and spelt. Their seasonal pastas are made from ingredients found in New York green markets and other local purveyors. Their recipes link has more than 35 different recipes from classic pasta favorites to original pasta salads and chilled dishes. Alternatively, join their pasta of the month club and receive one box of their signature organic pasta and another box of their seasonal pasta along with recipes and pairing suggestions from co-owner, Chef Steven Gonzalez.
Family-owned since 1987, Pasta Sonoma has been creating conscientiously crafted pastas using heirloom wheat and old-world milling processes. They’re 100% Kosher and also have a line of certified organic products. They currently offer 15 different styles of pasta as well as variety packs of customer favorites all of which ship nationally. The recipes link on their website is full of the best ways to show off their delicately nuanced dried pasta at dinner parties and casual meals. Try the lemon pepper pappardelle with chicken and French green beans or keep it classic with the spaghetti alla chitarra with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and goat cheese.
ProtoCooks with Chef Frank
Dried pasta from a box is easy. Boil water, add pasta, strain, serve. But, making pasta from scratch can be a daunting idea. Chef Frank has a YouTube channel dedicated to teaching cooking basics to home chefs of all skill levels. His Fresh Pasta 101 video walks beginners through making basic pasta with easy to find ingredients, rolling it out (with a pasta roller), and how to cook it. His channel also has a sizeable backlog of videos with other pasta recipes including lasagna, pasta e Fagioli, pasta with sausage and broccolini, and risotto. His tutorials are easy to follow and casual, almost like getting a cooking crash course from a favorite uncle.
Want to up your handmade pasta game to something fancier? Check out the Bon Appétit YouTube channel for a master class with Chef Luca D’Onofrio (head pasta maker at Eataly NYC) on how to create intricate pasta shapes by hand out of four different kinds of dough. Using doughs made from egg, spinach, squid ink, and semolina, Chef D’Onofrio narrates and demonstrates how to make more than 20 different specialty pasta shapes. He describes what shapes pick up even the silkiest of sauces and the common errors first-time pasta makers fall into and how to avoid them. Follow along and learn to make farfalle, cavatelli, orecchiette, trofie, tagliolini, and so much more. Chef D’Onofrio’s Instagram page is also a wealth of knowledge for anyone starting their homemade pasta journey.
While pasta can be made, rolled, and cut by hand, there are several tools available to help home chefs craft the perfect pasta consistently. Standing mixers are a great way to knead dough without getting egg and flour all over your kitchen. There are also attachments available for standing mixers that roll and cut dough into specific pasta shapes. Hand crank pasta makers easily attach to countertops for perfectly rolled and cut lasagna, fettuccine, and spaghetti noodles. There are pasta rollers available for every budget and most models can make pasta in a variety of thicknesses or come with attachments to help fold more intricate pasta shapes.