Today fresh pasta can be made using a pasta machine as is most common in the industry, though authentically it is made completely by hand on a wood work surface, rolled using a wooden rolling pin (mattarello), and shaped by hand or cut using simple tools.
It is important to understand that there is an enormous difference between the homemade pastas prepared on a cold, stainless steel surface and rolled using a pasta machine, versus those prepared traditionally on a warm and porous wood surface, rolled using a wooden rolling pin, and shaped by hand.
In hand-rolled preparations, as the dough comes together, it is then worked extensively against the wood table, which is where unique characteristics including flavor and texture are developed in the dough.
Emilia Romagna is the home of a particular variety made using farina and eggs, called “fresh egg pasta,” or “sfoglia” because it is rolled paper-thin by hand.
This is the birthplace of world-renowned pasta shapes such as lasagne, tagliatelle, garganelli, tortelloni, and tortellini.
The special skills and intuition required in knowing just how much to work the dough to achieve the desired results have been mastered by women across generations.
What women have achieved in perfecting techniques in the mastery of hand made pastas has become a unique specialization.
In order to be able to do this, however, provisions must be made for the required time, dedicated space and trained staff.