Food trends come and go but hearty, delicious pasta is forever. Whether a fan of rigatoni, macaroni or fettuccine, we can all share in our love of this Italian staple.

Let’s take a step back. Do you ever wonder why there are so many varieties of pasta noodles? Chef / Partner Mychael Bonner of Saranello’s explains that each has a unique shape and size, with ridges designed to absorb different sauces and accentuate the flavors. Check out these three examples below:

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raw pasta

Linguine is a long-noodle pasta, among the likes of fettuccine or spaghetti. Its flattened shape helps it hang onto light cream or seafood sauces.

pasta extruder

Radiatori’s ridges are best accompanied by thicker sauces like ragus or gravies. 

raw pasta

Trompetti pasta tends to pair with lighter sauces which cling to the unique folds and ridges.

If making fresh pasta at home is intimidating, it may be for a good reason. Chef Bonner explains that while the ingredients are simple — flour and water — there are several different variables that make it all work. It is an artisan craft that requires some skill but the benefits are worth trying it at home! Aside from having a much softer texture, homemade pasta gives you the ability to experiment with several different styles. Once you try it for yourself, you may never be able to go back…

Here is a step-by-step guide on how Chef Bonner and his team at Saranello’s make their pasta:

pasta being made by a chef

1. The process begins with 70% durum wheat semolina and 30% (room temperature) water.

2. The dough is kneaded for 20 minutes to develop gluten within the pasta. It is then passed through a pasta extruder machine with a bronze dye. This special dye shapes and scores the dough giving the pasta its unique finished shape and texture.

3. It is then air-dried for about an hour to remove excess moisture from the pasta.

4.  When you are ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Fresh pasta cooks much faster than typically dried pastas. Cooking times can vary but are typically 2-5 minutes depending on the shape and size of the noodles.  (Linguine- 2 min, Radiatori and Trompetti- 3 min)

5. Strain pasta, add the sauce of your choice and enjoy!

Fresh pasta from Saranello's

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Check out 3 pasta sauce recipes for easy, intermediate and expert chefs.