The Equipment

The Old World Pasta Maker
Use this hand-powered steel machine to turn basic dough into ethereal noodles. If you lack the biceps of an Italian grandma, spring for the motor, too.
Atlas Pasta Machine by Marcato, $75; Electric-motor attachment by Marcato, $85;

The Smokin'-Hot Pot
The 109-year-old Italian cookware company Lagostina makes a pot with a stainless-steel insert that lets you extract pasta from hot water—via the stay-cool handles—so that all that starchy water doesn't go down the drain.
Pastaiola pot by Lagostina, $200;

Drink Up: Beverage Pairings for a Perfect Night

Beer as the water boils, wine at the table, and grappa after you've gorged.
From Left:
Via Emilia
A crisp, slightly hoppy pilsner from the Italian microbrewery Birrificio del Ducato.
Nardini Bianca
Since 1779, this distillery has offered a smoother answer to grappa's throat-searing reputation.
Fontana-fredda Barbera Piemonte "Bricco-tondo"
Flavorful enough for tomato sauces, this red features touches of spice and tartness that go with just about anything.

The Shopping List

Three products you can find in any grocery store:
BRAND: Arrabbiata by Rustichella d'Abruzzo, Marinara by Silver Palate, Vodka sauce by Rao's
SELLING POINT: Why must tomatoes, onions, and garlic become so sickeningly sweet when sold by the jar? These options buck the trend and are legitimately delectable.

BRAND: De Cecco
SELLING POINT: Big-name chefs have served you awesome dishes made with staples from this well-known brand—and you weren't the wiser.

BRAND: Roland
SELLING POINT: These economical canned fish have alchemic powers comparable to those of their fancier brethren.

Three Splurge-worthy Ingredients:
Grown in rich volcanic soil, San Marzano tomatoes are so good that making a great sauce is as easy as opening a can, simmering the contents until nice and thick, then adding salt and a hunk of butter. To be sure they're genuine, look for D.O.P. or Denominazione d'Origine Protetta ("Protected Designation of Origin") on the can.
Fresh pasta is always good, by prepackaged varieties--made from high-quality durum wheat and slowly dried at low temperatures--can deliver on deliciousness too. Here, in addition to those mentioned in the sauce recipes, are the brands to buy:
Faella, Benedetto Cavalieri, Martelli.
Plucked from the Gulf of Salerno and cured in oak barrels, Nettuno anchovies pack a powerful Sicilian-sea-salt flavor that mellows into a savory background note.
$19.50 for a 14.8-oz jar;