Better than store-bought: How to make easy homemade pasta (really).

I love the idea of making my own pasta, but I never do it. First, there are so many excellent dried pastas available out there—my favorites being Rao’s Homemade and Cipriani. Second, I don’t own a pasta-making machine; I generally don’t favor kitchen gadgets with very specific uses, particularly contraptions that have to be cleaned and stored.

And then I spotted Mark Bittman’s recipe for Fazzoletti with Coarse Pesto in his Minimalist column on NYTimes.com. I’ll send you there for the recipe. Bittman’s no-machine-required approach to homemade pasta means that you can simply whip the dough together in the food processor, turn it out onto a floured counter, roll it super thin and cut it into any shape you choose; Bittman suggests squares, or handkerchiefs (fazzoletti in Italian). The recipe calls for rolling the dough 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick, but I’d vote for getting it much thinner (I rolled mine to about 1/16-inch). Rolling the dough takes some effort, and in that way it reminds me quite a bit of my grandmother’s noodle recipe. Keep working, and you’ll get it. No machine required.