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Home made pasta is particularly good for filled pastas such as ravioli. You can make your own filling to your own taste that way. Whether you make your own pasta buy fresh pasta or dried pasta you will need a large pan in which to cook it. When I say large I mean larger than you think. Most pans are too small to cook pasta successfully. The pan should be made of a material that is a good conductor of heat. Many stainless steel pans are not good conductors of heat and will let your pasta sit in the water going soggy. The reason that you need a big pan for pasta is that the secret of cooking pasta is to have plenty of water. That way the individual pieces of pasta are kept separate and do not stick together. The water must be brought to a good rolling boil before the pasta is added.
In order to flavor the twisted pastas for salads it is good to toss the pasta with the dressing just after draining. If you do this while the pasta is still warm they will absorb the flavor of the dressing and taste better. In addition to the twisted pastas there are shells which come in several sizes. The larger of the shells are great for stuffing with cheese or meat. They then can be served with marinara Bolognese or seafood sauce. The stuffed shells can also be arranged in a casserole covered with sauce and some mozzarella cheese and then baked. This type of dish is also great to make ahead freeze and the cook when needed. To cook a frozen pasta casserole place the whole thing while still frozen in a cold oven. Once the casserole is in the oven you can then turn the oven on to 350 degrees and let it cook.
Think about what types of pastas you usually make and how much variety you will want from your machine. Making homemade pasta with an electric pasta machine can be easy because these machines include a greater variety of attachments and will save you the work of rolling the dough through the machine however many consider the texture to be inferior to the old fashioned crank machines. They are also a little more expensive but you will easily recoup the investment on any pasta machine since buying fresh pasta is quite expensive. Another consideration when purchasing a pasta machine is to look for a sturdy model made of stainless steel and is easy to clean. A clean machine is important to prevent the pasta from sticking when rolling and cutting through the machine.