Experimenting with Pasta

I had made fresh pasta before, quite a few times actually. The first time was on Valentine’s Day when Matt and I’s were first together. I had bought the cheapest pasta maker that Bed Bath & Beyond carried. I was on an uber budget and the $34.99 [I know because the price is still on the box] was a big splurge, and we spent the evening learning how to make and roll out dough. We had a great time working together, and it turned out pretty well.

This little hand crank pasta machine moved with us to our current home, and 5 years later I still tried to use it. And hated every time. It’s hard to use with our counters, and the only spot I can affix it to is our pull out cutting board. It never rolled the dough out well, and I couldn’t get my pasta pass the “4” setting without it starting to crumble.

my sad, cheap little pasta machine

I started to think I just didn’t know how to make the dough correctly, and pretty much gave up, leaving my machine in its box to reside in the back abyss of the annoying corner cabinet. But after reading through pasta week on the Kitchn, I was inspired to try again.

But this time, armed with BB&B credit left from our registry, and a slightly larger budget than 5 years ago, I went with the Kitchen Aide attachment. At $199.99, it was an investment, as are many of the fancy hand crank models I’ve seen at the yuppie kitchen stores. Enter the GREAT PASTA EXPERIMENT: does price matter really on pasta makers? Perhaps it wasn’t the cheap machines fault, in which I could return the BB&B (snaps to an excellent return policy), and figure out how the hell to make decent pasta.

the shiny, expensive Kitchen Aide attachment

I made up my usual dough (from Alice Waters: 1/2 cup semolina, 1/2 cup regular, 1 egg & a bit of water), except I was using a GIANT goose egg, so I doubled the flour. Kneading hurts my wrist so I knead it with the dough hook on speed 5 for 10 minutes. Rest on a floured cutting board, cover with plastic and a wet towel, for 30ish minutes.

I then rolled the same sized pieces through both the hand machine and the attachment, moving though the settings.

left: hand crank, right: Kitchen Aide

Clear winner: Kitchen Aide

Seriously, super easy. The dough was perfect each time. I will consider this money well spent.


2 thoughts on “Experimenting with Pasta

  1. super inspiring! I have to admit I’ve never had the courage to make my own pasta. It seemed intimidating. Good to know that a more expensive pasta maker matters. Thanks so much for sharing!

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