Michelin Guide Digital Platform: How to Make Pasta by Hand with Simonetta Capotondo

From the Michelin Guide Digital Platform by Lani Furbank.

“Making fresh pasta from scratch is the kind of cooking that is just as likely to leave you crying and covered in flour as it is to leave you blissfully enjoying a bowl of perfectly shaped tortellini. It’s truly an art form, and as with any creative endeavor, it takes time to learn and master—often more time than an aggressive case of hanger will allow.

Simonetta Capotondo, an award-winning professional pasta-maker, understands the challenges of the craft. She grew up watching her grandmother skillfully roll, cut and shape pasta with a wooden rolling pin and board. “I was so impressed that I decided to do this work,” Capotondo says. She began making pasta at the age of 14 and later trained to become a professional sfoglina.

sfoglina is a woman who makes fresh egg pasta by hand using the traditional tools—a wooden pin and board. It’s named for the sheets of pasta they roll, called sfoglia. Historically, a sfoglina would make pasta for Sunday dinners with the family. Today, many of these artisans work in restaurants sharing the importance of the Italian craft.

While Capotondo was working in restaurants making fresh egg pasta, she noticed that her techniques fascinated guests, and she decided to share her knowledge by teaching. Three years ago, Capotondo came to Washington, D.C., for the first time to work with Fabio Trabocchi to open Sfoglina in Van Ness. She’s returned a few times since then, including for the opening of the second location of the restaurant downtown.

Now, she’s spending a year teaching pasta classes at the original location. Her hope is to help pasta amateurs learn the methods of a sfoglina.”

Read Capotondo’s expert advice HERE!

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