This week, I had the epiphany that everything is better homemade. From piping hot buttery biscuits to perfectly cooked flapjacks, Sarah Lee and Betty Crocker just can’t compare to good ole’ blood, sweat, and tears in the kitchen. I love whipping up homemade versions of dull convenience products, and my do it yourself journey never seems to end.

My homemade pasta adventure began last Christmas, when my grandmother gave me a pasta maker. Who cares that I picked it out two days before, the point is, it was time to transport my kitchen to Tuscany. My first attempt was whipping up a summer vegetable pasta for dear old dad before I left home for the summer. The sticky mess ended in disaster, and I, who doesn’t respond well to failure, decided to take a break from all things pasta.

Last week I found Chef Mario Batali’s Potato Tortelli recipe. It challenged me to scuff-off store-bought boxed pasta and make it from scratch. I came face to face with my fear of failing, and warned my roommate that if this didn’t work, I might not leave my room for days.

Fortunately, the recipe and I were a match made in heaven. I mixed, kneaded, rolled, cut, and loved the dough. The results-- perfection, the filling was delicate and fluffy, while the buttery sauce was aromatic heaven. Needless to say, I’m never going back. Who needs store-bought pasta when you’ve got your very own pasta maker?

A simple pasta maker is all that’s needed for great pasta. While browsing great deals on the Internet, I came across a pasta maker from Sears that’s cheap, and it has all the necessary gadgets. If you’re a bargain hunter, I encourage you to check out Home Goods, TJ Maxx, or Ross. I found my pasta maker for a mere 6 dollars at Ross during the holiday season. Happy Eating.

For a great beginner homemade pasta recipes try:
Chickpea Ravioli with Basil Pesto and Hazelnuts