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; surlatable.com. Electric-motor attachment by Marcato, $85; fantes.com


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; williams-sonoma.com

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.
($12)
Nardini Bianca
Since 1779, this distillery has offered a smoother answer to grappa's throat-searing reputation.
($50)
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.
($11)

The Shopping List


Three products you can find in any grocery store:
INGREDIENT: Sauces
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.

INGREDIENT: Pasta
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.

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

Three Splurge-worthy Ingredients:
REAL SAN MARZANO TOMATOES
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.
TOP-SHELF NOODLES
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.
HIGH-END ANCHOVIES
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; gustiamo.com.