Like contortionism and flying planes, making pasta from scratch seems like something we should leave to the pros. But according to blogger duo and power couple Nicoletta and Loreto Nardelli, DIY pasta doesn’t have to be daunting. “The key is not to stress out,” they say. “Have helpers and laugh a lot€”making pasta in company is a great way to bond, especially with partners and kids.” When the Nardellis realized they both loved cooking, starting their blog Sugar Love Spices felt like a natural thing to do: “We both had a passion for cooking and entertaining, with plenty of memories that we wanted to share” says Nicoletta.

You can catch their in-person demo of squash risotto at the Edmonton Fall Home Show this weekend€”they’ll be demonstrating exactly how to make the Italy-worthy dish on October 19th at 6:00 p.m. and October 20th at noon. Until then, read on to get their top tips for making pasta from the comfort of your own home.

1. What’s Inside Counts

An obvious first step to making pasta (after psyching yourself up, of course) is gathering the right ingredients. The Nardellis suggest using good quality ingredients like free range eggs. They also recommend 00 flour (also known as double zero flour), which is finer than all-purpose flour and makes a silkier dough and chewier pasta. The bloggers also advise making the most of prep time: “Have all your ingredients measured and ready to go,” they say.

2. No Knead For Speed

The Nardellis note that a couple of common at-home pasta mistakes are not working the dough enough and not letting the dough rest. But they also warn not to let the dough rest for over 30 minutes. “The most difficult part of making homemade pasta is the rolling of the pasta sheets,” they say. The duo suggests cutting 1/4 inch slices of dough, flattening it, and coating it with semolina. On a hand crack pasta machine, gradually increase the roller size from thickest to thinnest to make sure your dough doesn’t crack.

3. Order in the Court

What comes first, the pasta or the sauce? Turns out, it depends. “If it is a lengthy sauce, like a slow simmering ragu, you would start your sauce first then do the dough, make the pasta sheets, cut the noodles, and finally eat,” say the Nardellis. For a sauce you can whip up, like a quick tomato basil, they suggest making the dough first and then preparing the sauce while the dough is resting.

4. Sticky Situation

“don't overlap the sheets after making them,” warn the Nardellis. They suggest selecting a spacious area on which to prepare your pasta, such as a clean wood, marble, or granite surface. If your situation is the opposite of sticky, you can also add a touch of water to cure dry dough.

5. Practice Makes Perfect

Your first pasta may not be perfect, but so what!” say the Nardellis. “You can always try again.” Homemade pasta isn’t easy, and even these spaghetti-savvy bloggers admit it. “Be proud that you had the courage to begin.” Is is just us, or should the Nardellis branch out into motivational speaking?

See the Nardellis in action at the Edmonton Fall Home Show

October 18-20
Risotto demo on October 19th at 6:00 p.m. and October 20th at 12:00 p.m.