Some things are well worth the wait. It's still debatable whether Cronuts or losing your virginity fall into that category, but one thing that certainly does is homemade pasta.
Yeah, yeah, the dried stuff is fine. Put it in some perfectly salted water for just the right number of minutes and you can still enjoy toothsome al dente noodles. But homemade pasta has a magical texture that can't be easily replicated through store-bought stuff. It's why a quality Italian restaurant will be proud to tell you that their tagliatelle is made in-house.
Marc Vetri, for one, knows the importance of a properly made plate of pasta. The guy is at the center of the Vetri family restaurant empire, and he's even written an expansive cookbook on the subject called Mastering Pasta.
So, most important, he'll tell you, is the flour. Cut it out with the crappy bagged stuff from that Horrible Supermarket Down the Street. Know your wheat.
Make your dough. Use one of those antiquated kitchen tools known as rolling pins. Then slice it or cut it or roll it or extrude it into the shape of choice: pappardelle, capellini, linguine, cavatelli, or even bucatini—those long, skinny, hollow noodles.
Inspired by the sesame noodles at Han Dynasty, this bucatini with spicy toasted-almond pesto will make your night into a creamy pasta dream. Garlic, olive oil, Parmesan, and jalapeños make for a super-simple sauce that nails Italian with a kick. (Hell, for all its sophistication, the sauce is the damn easy part.)
Sometimes there's the easy road, and sometimes there's the road to true pasta-making majesty. Which will you take?