Monday, 3 January 2011

What Santa Brought - Pasta Extruder!

This year Santa brought me the new KitchenAid pasta extruder set. I was very excited to try this out, as I had had the original pasta extruder set and it stands as the only KA attachment that I have ever returned. For some reason that first one is still available on the market, but KitchenAid has come out with an all new pasta extruder set with a much better design.

Until now, my pasta rolling set has been my favourite attachment, and indeed I recommend the rollers for anyone starting out in homemade pasta making, as I think that using the rollers teaches you about the properties of good pasta; what texture to look for in the dough, and so forth.

But this new extruder opens up a whole new world of pasta fun - you can make Spaghetti, Macaroni, Bucatini, Rigatoni, and Fusilli. For my first trip out, I made Rigatoni.

I would say that I was at an advantage, having made flat pasta before and even with my bread baking experience. You will definitely need to know the feel of pasta dough. Like with bread baking, you may need to make adjustments for texture. But when I had my dough at just the right texture, and fed it into the hopper in small balls - I was rewarded with perfectly shaped rigatoni!

The cutter easily slices them to the length you desire and they held their shape until I was ready to boil them.

The rigatoni are, of course, a little thicker than factory-produced pasta, but that rustic-ness is part of the appeal of homemade pasta.

I am definitely impressed with my new toy!

Basic Egg Noodle Pasta

4 large eggs
3½ cups sifted all purpose flour
1 tbsp water
1 tsp salt

Break eggs into a glass measuring cup. You want them to come to 7/8 of a cup, add water until they do.

Place all the ingredients in your food processor and whiz together until you have a nice bowl of little tiny leathery balls. Dump them out and knead together until you have a firm, leathery ball of dough. Break into walnut-sized pieces and keep them covered as you make your pasta.

Feed the walnut-sized pieces into the hopper slowly and use the cutter to cut the extruded pasta to the length that you desire.

Carefully place the pasta on a dry tea towel until you are finished.

Cook in salted boiling water until al dente.