Chef Michael White's Best Tips For Making Fresh Pasta At Home - Exclusive

Making fresh pasta from scratch might not be a project for everyone, but for those who don't mind covering their aprons (and kitchens) with flour, the results are unlike anything dry and store-bought. In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, Chef Michael White shared advice for home cooks looking to try making homemade pasta. The chef's menus, restaurants, and expertise lean strongly toward Italian cuisine, and he's no stranger to making pasta. In fact, he recently hosted a pasta-making master class at the Nassau Paradise Island Wine & Food Festival, proving he's the perfect person to answer pasta queries.

Central to the pasta equation are patience and precision, according to White, who adds, "The practice of making pasta is a labor of love." The process shouldn't be rushed, and quality ingredients in the right proportions are essential to the results. Whether you're looking to impress someone with a homemade bowl of pasta or want to deep dive into one of your favorite meals, pasta is an art that deserves your dedicated time.

The components to achieving successful homemade fresh pasta

Using the right ingredients is essential for many recipes, especially those with a limited number of elements. Pasta relies heavily on flour, which comes in many quality levels and styles. "You can make pasta with all-purpose flour, but there's a reason why they use 00 flour for egg pasta: it's much softer and, therefore, has a different texture," White says, adding that it is easy to distinguish the two in a side-by-side comparison. Finer flour is of particular importance for optimal dough hydration when using a pasta machine.

Egg pasta requires large eggs vs medium to obtain the ratio required for the best consistency, White also notes. He always weighs ingredients to ensure total precision, which he points out is unlike some traditional Italian recipes that vaguely call for "a glass of water" and other subjective measurements.

Having recently opened Paranza at the Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas, White continues to train his pasta prowess in a range of environments. Due to the island's high humidity levels, he says, "We have a climate-controlled room that we're working in to make the pasta." Although the multitude of factors at play for successful pasta might seem daunting, it's worth it. As White remarks, "If it were that easy, everybody would do it, right?"

Paranza is now open at Atlantis Paradise Island, with a menu featuring innovative Italian regional cuisine in a fine dining setting.