Making your own pasta is actually very easy—it just seems like a bit of a chore when you're trying to squeeze it in between a long workday and a night on the town. It's all about the flour, and this recipe from Union's Bruce Kalman uses a mix of durum wheat and semolina.
There's a reason homemade pasta is so divine; that perfectly chewy texture just can't be achieved by the dry stuff. But hey: Use the store-bought kind if you really must.
Traditional spaghetti alla chitarra is also squared off and extra-porous, making it a magical swap for the typical round noodles. But if you don't have a chitarra pasta-cutter, feel free to use a regular pasta-maker.
Anyways, the sauce is kind of the best part. A simple, spicy mixture of tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, peppers, and olive oil, it's one you'll want to make again and again. Take your favorite marinara and hit it with a kick of Fresno chilies.
Now get a cheese grater and your big block of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and crank some Nelly while you're at it. It's about to get hot in here.