When it comes to ambitious cooking projects like hand-shaped pasta, it's easy to use special equipment we can get—like a machine and drying rack or a wooden board—as a crutch.
These are nice luxuries, yes, but they also make the endeavor seem more daunting, more inaccessible and exclusive. And isn't the fun in creative solutions?
Leave it to Mandy Lee—whose website is Lady and Pups and who is responsible for genius 15-second magically creamy scrambled eggs, hand-cut Xi'an rice noodles, and "fradulent easy sourdough," among others—to provide us with three tack-sharp work-arounds.
Inspired by the Toronto-based Japanese pasta chef Miyuki Adachi, Mandy has presented three tools (two of which you might own, one of which you can make by hand in under an hour) for spunkier, more whimsical pasta shapes, no mail-ordered equipment necessary. And with fewer pieces of machinery to send away for and lug out of the closet, it's more likely you'll actually make pasta at home.
Here's what she's come up with!
(1) Perforated kitchen tongs (I imagine this would also work on a metal slotted spoon with small holes!)
(2) A rice spatula
(3) A hand-crafted pasta board made by gluing wooden skewers onto a small corkboard or any other sturdy surface you can find (vary the gap between the skewers to determine the depth of the ridges)
Once you've oohed and ahhed over Mandy's pasta, check out the work of Miyuki Adachi, who hand rolls pasta using all sorts of resourceful tools.
Have you ever hand-shaped pasta at home? If so, what tools did you use? Tell us in the comments!