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Pasta Makers- show me the way!
Old 03-13-2010, 07:29 PM   #1
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Pasta Makers- show me the way!

I am just a few months from retiring, and one of the things on my "to learn" list is to make pasta. I think I want an electric pasta maker, and one that is easy to clean.

For those of you that make pasta, can you share your tips and equipment suggestions? If you know of some great pasta recipe book, please share that too.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:21 PM   #2
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if you have a kitchenaid mixer. there are some pasta roller attachments
that work well. a bit pricey but if you make pasta often, they're handy. it's a lot
easier to use than the hand crank ones
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:16 AM   #3
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I own the Kitchenaid pasta rollers/cutters. They are the greatest thing since sliced bread! It's a lot of fun to make homemade pasta...and it's really easy. You should probably buy a wooden pasta rack because if you go crazy with it, spaghetti will be hanging off all your kitchen chairs.

If you don't own a KA stand mixer...well. Then I don't know.

As for books... this one is outstanding. http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-...8547441&sr=8-1

I also recommend Lidia Bastianich's books. Lidia rocks.
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:14 AM   #4
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We do not own a Kitchenaid- so that is out. I will check out the book- thanks!

Still hoping to hear from others--is homemade worth the effort?
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:30 AM   #5
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Still hoping to hear from others--is homemade worth the effort?

Yes it is worth the effort !! You will be amazed how fast it cooks and how good it tastes compared to dried. I use a manual hand crank machine which you clamp on the counter. They tend to wear out after a few years but they are only around $25. I also use a rack.. definitely worth buying.
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:02 PM   #6
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bizlady View Post
We do not own a Kitchenaid- so that is out. I will check out the book- thanks!

Still hoping to hear from others--is homemade worth the effort?
IMO - not really with the exception of ravioli.

I just like the pasta shapes like penne - which are hard to do at home. And to me the dried pasta has a nice texture when cooked. The home pasta is just not quite as firm, and a lot more work. But you can make some really decent wide noodles.

Audrey
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bizlady View Post
I am just a few months from retiring, and one of the things on my "to learn" list is to make pasta. I think I want an electric pasta maker, and one that is easy to clean.

For those of you that make pasta, can you share your tips and equipment suggestions? If you know of some great pasta recipe book, please share that too.
I have a easy dough recipe I got from my mother:
2 cups white flour (I will sometimesmix in 2/3 cup wheat flour for different flavor)
2 eggs
2 tablspoons olive oil
water to get to desired consistency (wheat flour neds slightly more).

Kneed into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in frige for half an hour.

I have a manual pasta maker to get the sheets of dough flattened out. However, to prepare the pasta, I will lay the sheet of dough out on a floured surface, flour the dough well, and then roll up(like a cinnimon roll). Using a very sharp knife, I will then cut the pasta into the desired thickness strips. Taking the strips, I lightly shake off the excess flour and then will lay they out on a sheet to dry out a bit before cooking.

For making raviolli, I recomend this:
Ravioli Maker, Makes Ten 2 1/2" Squares, Ravioli Makers & Cutters

Couple tips I learned the hard way: If the raviolli dough is too dry, the sheetswill not stick together and they will come apart when cooking. Also, don't boil too aggressively or the same thing can happen. However, it does freeze well (before cooking) and this allows it to cook evenly without falling apart
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:26 PM   #9
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I must respectfully disagree with Audrey. IMHO there is nothing better than fresh home-made pasta. It has its own taste - separate and apart from the sauce. Last night, we had home-made farfalle with ground lamb ragu.


An electric machine is not necessary. The young wife has never used anything more than a rolling pin, an Imperia hand cranked machine and a granite countertop. The pasta is terrific.


Imperia Pasta Machine Reviews

How to use the imperia pasta machine Video – 5min.com
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:09 PM   #10
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I own the Kitchenaid pasta rollers/cutters. They are the greatest thing since sliced bread! It's a lot of fun to make homemade pasta...and it's really easy. You should probably buy a wooden pasta rack because if you go crazy with it, spaghetti will be hanging off all your kitchen chairs.

If you don't own a KA stand mixer...well. Then I don't know.

As for books... this one is outstanding. Amazon.com: The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles (9780609809303): Cook's Illustrated: Books

I also recommend Lidia Bastianich's books. Lidia rocks.
I agree with you about Lidia. I love her restaurant in Pittsburgh. One of the items on the menu is the unlimited homemade pasta trio(three different types made daily). I have had it once, and it is great, but too much food for me. My son on the other hand has been known to not eat all day, go there and have all three, then seconds on two of them and then a third helping on his favorite. People have come out of the kitchen to get a look at him. I am kinda with Audrey on preferring dried pasta. I like the al dente quality of it. I am buying only whole wheat pasta these days, topped with freshly grated Reggiano Parmigiano.
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Old 03-14-2010, 05:05 PM   #11
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I second the vote for the KitchenAid and pasta attachments. Much easier than the hand cranked rollers especially for one person.

One thing I have learned is that it is really critical not to add too much water to the flour and eggs. The dough should just hold together. I went to a pasta class at Williams Sonoma and finally learned that trick. Otheriwse the noodles stick together after they are cut.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
I must respectfully disagree with Audrey. IMHO there is nothing better than fresh home-made pasta. It has its own taste - separate and apart from the sauce. Last night, we had home-made farfalle with ground lamb ragu.


An electric machine is not necessary. The young wife has never used anything more than a rolling pin, an Imperia hand cranked machine and a granite countertop. The pasta is terrific.


Imperia Pasta Machine Reviews

How to use the imperia pasta machine Video – 5min.com
I'll take the middle road on this and say that I don't think the home made are all that much better, but that is certainly subjective. When DW made home-made pasta, she took extra care to make a really wonderful sauce (after investing that little bit of extra time/effort, you aren't just going to put any old sauce on it), so it was always very good.

But I'd agree to try the hand crank machine first and see what you think. The machine that Gumby linked to is sold under a bunch of brand names. If you have a "Micheal's" near you, they have a 40% off coupon in just about every Sunday paper, so you can get a machine to try very cheap. I think they are ~ $30 regular price. If you like it, then decide if you want to go electric. You can always use the hand crank machine for polymer clay art projects - they also brand it for that use (And that might be how Micheal's sells them).

We had some neighbors from the "old country" - the husband swore that the noodles his wife made from scratch were the best, and by 'scratch' he meant no machine at all. Roll them out on the table with a rolling pin, flour &roll the dough up and slice it with a knife. We don't need no stinkin' machine! Not sure how his wife felt about it, but she was an amazing cook.

-ERD50
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