Want To Make Pasta At Home? Follow These Tips From Giada De Laurentiis - Exclusive

Not all pasta is created equal. Anyone can grab a pack of dried spaghetti from the supermarket shelf, boil it, and toss it with a jar of sauce. But fresh pasta, especially when it's homemade, takes your meal to the next level. It's a labor of love, and it requires some patience and practice to perfect. From the workspace to the ingredients, there's a lot to consider when undertaking the task of making fresh pasta. But there's nothing wrong with challenging yourself while having fun in the kitchen — and the results are almost always worth it.

If you are going to go for it, the least you can do is try to set yourself up for success by following the guidance of proven aficionadas of the sacred Italian tradition of pasta making. Well-versed in this art is Italian chef, TV personality, and restaurant owner Giada De Laurentiis. For two decades on Food Network, De Laurentiis has taught us all how to recreate classic Italian favorites and master some of the most traditional techniques. It's safe to say she knows a thing or two about pasta, and Tasting Table got the chance to channel her insight for the sake of all the aspiring pasta makers out there. In an exclusive interview, Giada De Laurentiis shared some of her top tips for making pasta at home.

Making great pasta takes good flour

Pasta making is actually a pretty simple and straightforward process. There aren't a lot of steps or ingredients, but each one must be approached with the utmost attention and care. According to Giada De Laurentiis, there are three key components that create a recipe for success when making fresh pasta.

For starters, "it's important to focus on the ingredients you're using," she tells Tasting Table. For the most part, there are only three to four ingredients in pasta — flour, olive oil and/or eggs, and salt — so you want to make sure those ingredients are pristine. Splurge on high-quality salt and olive oil; taste the difference with organic, free-range eggs; and "[invest] in 00 flour — I get mine on Giadzy," says De Laurentiis. This type of flour is made from soft wheat, ground super fine, and its chemical makeup makes it ideal for kneading into smooth pasta shapes.

Space and time

Secondly, De Laurentiis says "a big workspace" is key to making pasta you can be proud of. It's important to "give yourself plenty of time and space while cooking," says the chef, and that's especially true when taking on a project like making pasta. It's a very physical process, and if you're trying to do it in a cramped space cluttered with ingredients, or hurry your way through it, then you're going to taste the difference.

Finally, De Laurentiis insists that "weighing your ingredients" is very important to achieving a pasta that's pleasing to chow down on. The ratio of flour to fat is crucial to pasta's texture, and just eyeballing it when mixing together your ingredients can result in clumpy pasta dough that's either too dry and stiff or overly wet and difficult to shape. The extra step of breaking out your kitchen scale is well worth it when you're already putting this much effort in.

Speaking of effort, kneading and shaping pasta is no walk in the park. You best know what you're committing to. Take it from De Laurentiis herself: Make it easier on yourself and "definitely use a pasta machine your first time!"

See the latest from Giada de Laurentiis by following her on Instagram.