Homemade Pasta Part 1: dough video
I find shaping hundreds of tiny dough pieces while listening to music the best meditative therapy. The good news is that there are no equipment barriers for you to try it. Orecchiette (top right), trofie (bottom left), and pici (bottom right) require no more than your hands and some cutting device (knife or a pastry scraper). For cavatelli (top left), I use a sushi mat (costs less than $5 and available at almost every supermarket). If sushi mats were widely available in Italy at the time cavatelli pasta was invented, I am sure they'd be the tool of choice.
YouTube Link: Shaping Cavatelli, Orecchiette, Trofie, and Pici Pasta
I am partial to using a dough scraper when working with any dough because it's safe to use directly on the counter. But a board and knife work just fine. The reason I am using a sushi mat instead of a gnocchi / cavatelli board is because it's cheaper, available in every supermarket, and multi-purpose. Just make sure to get one with thin round sticks instead of the wider sticks that are flat on one side.
When things go wrong, they are usually a result of using flour in all the wrong places. Whenever you are rolling a piece of dough into a rope no matter how thick or thin, flour is your enemy. It will make the dough slide. Also, letting dough sit unwrapped can cause all sort of problems. For example, trofie don't want to curl up and pici don't want to roll out if they dry even a little. So, work with a small piece of dough at a time, and keep the rest covered with plastic. After the pasta is shaped, be very generous with flour and keep everything in a single layer.
Homemade Pasta Part 3: cooking and saucing video
27 down / 23 more to go