Italian kitchen essentials
This issue is packed with fabulous Italian dishes, but before you get going, you might want to check you have the right tools of the trade…
A ROLLING PIN Fresh pasta is incredibly cheap to make (see page 116), but can be challenging to roll. For small batches (to create 2-3 serves), use a long straight rolling pin without handles, or a spindle. Check out good kitchenware shops or use a thick piece of dowel from a hardware store.
A PASTA MACHINE If you’ve got into the groove of making pasta, a pasta machine will make rolling the dough easy and fun. They range in price, but a basic model that attaches to the bench can be found for less than $50.
A LARGE CYLINDRICAL POT The right saucepan is key in the final result when cooking pasta. Ensure you have a large one so the water returns to the boil quickly and there is enough room for the pasta to treble in volume and still tumble. Make sure it’s not too heavy to lift when full.
A MICROPLANE Freshly grated parmesan needs a fine grater, so you dust rather than dredge the meal. Opting for a microplane-style grater means you can hold it over the plate. They range in price from $20 upwards.