Contrary to popular belief, pasta was not discovered by Marco Polo during his trip though China. The Etruscans were likely making pasta in 400 B.C., as evidenced by a bas-relief carving north of Rome that includes the needed tools -- a flour bin, pastry wheel and a rolling-out table. Whatever its origins, pasta has become a staple of the U.S. diet. Although worldwide more than 600 pasta shapes are available, many cooks are turning to their own kitchens to create simple strands of spaghetti and fettuccine. Fresh pasta can be made with basic ingredients and tools, but needs a drying rack to hold it until the moisture is gone. The design is simple: a vertical pole with horizontal arms to hold the pasta and a base to hold the pole.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 1-inch dowel
- Measuring tape
- Drill and drill bits
- 8- by 8-inch board of soft wood (1-inch thickness recommended)
- Wood glue
- 3 1/4-inch dowels
- Rubber mallet or hammer
- Hand saw
Sand the dowels and the board.
Mark the locations on the 1-inch dowel where you will be drilling 1/4-inch holes. Beginning 2 inches from the top of the dowel, make three marks with your pencil that are 2 inches apart. These holes will hold the horizontal arms of the pasta rack, and the large dowel will be the vertical pole.
Using the marks as a guide, drill three 1/4-inch holes in the pole.The holes should be staggered around the pole, so when the arms are inserted, they will form a small spiral pattern in the pole.
Drill a 1-inch hole in the centre of the 8- by 8-inch board. This piece will be the base of the pasta rack.
Insert a 1/4-inch dowel into each of the pole's three holes.
Put a generous dab of wood glue on the bottom of the 1-inch dowel and insert it in the hole of the 8- by 8-inch board. Allow to dry overnight.
Tips and warnings
- Pine works well as the wood for the base.
- The length of the arms will be determined by the amount of pasta you will be drying at any one time, but 18 inches is recommended.
- For a larger rack, drill one more 1/4-inch hole and insert one more dowel in it.
- The arms of the rack can be removed and the pieces put in a bag for easy storage.
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